I love the sounds in a kitchen when people are cooking; pots and pans banging around, whisks whisking, water boiling, butter simmering and mixers mixing - especially during the holidays.
When I was growing up there were always other sounds emanating from the kitchen area when my grandmother, mother and the other women of our family gathered for holiday cooking.
There was laughter, singing and lots of reminiscing when they got together, but there were other sounds as well.
The sound of a broken glass (or two, they were always careful not to drop any more than that to keep the men unaware of how much fun they were really having) after the cook tested the cooking wine a tad too much, followed quickly by a "shushed" giggle and someone scurrying for a broom and mop.
At least once during the afternoon of cooking, someone would yell out for one of the guys to go to the store or drive back to a house for a forgotten dish or ingredient.
There would be at least one time a quick sound of a playful slap would echo in the air when one of the women would chase my grandfather out of whatever he was taste-testing.
One holiday favorite for our family was Pineapple Cheese Salad.
It was great on the turkey, ham or poured over warm pound cake with a little dab of Cool Whip on top.
Our family's problem was there were three individual recipes among the great cooks that cooked our meals. Each was wonderful in its own way, but three bowls of the same dish on the same dinner table meant that one recipe wasn't going to be eaten.
To keep someone's feelings from being hurt, it was decided that wherever our family would celebrate the holiday, decided whose recipe was going to be the highlight of the meal.
My Aunt Glenna's version was a basic version using processed American cheese.
Drain the juice from one 15-ounce can of pineapple chunks into a medium saucepan. Add one egg, 3/4 cup white sugar and two tablespoons of all-purpose flour in a bowl and whisk together until blended well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until just thickened, then take off heat to let cool in the refrigerator.
Cut pineapple chunks in half and cheese into similar size pieces and place in a bowl in the refrigerator.
Once the sauce is cool, combine with the pineapple and cheese cubes.
It was good, but my mother added walnuts to the mix and a touch of cinnamon and a teaspoon of hot sauce, making it a crunchy version with a little snap.
Now my Grandma Iva's version, it was just heavenly!
Fixed at least two days before the holiday meal, she used real cheese!
During the sauce phase, she melted a cup of shredded cheddar in the sauce mix and upped the sugar with an additional ¬ľ cup of brown sugar, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a handful of mini-marshmallows. Once it was thickened, it went in the fridge to cool.
To the pineapple chunks (cut various sizes for texture), she added two cups of various sizes of small cubes of co-jack and Swiss cheese, two cups of halved mini-marshmallows and one cup of toasted walnuts (which I prefer) or almonds.
Once the sauce is cold, everything was blended together in the bowl with a lid and put back in the refrigerator to wait for its place on the holiday table.