Jogging away from the Christmas theme for this meandering, I'm going to talk about a favorite dish of my father's.
Please know that Italian cooking REQUIRES a salad of some sort (anti pasta?) after the meal and that usually meant honeymoon salad (lettuce alone) at our house with an oil/vinegar dressing. Well, dad was not particularly fond of honeymoon salad, although he did always have some, but he loved pickled beets.
I don't think anyone else besides me and dad liked pickled beets. My mom never made them with onions. In fact, I didn't know until buffets became popular that pickled beets were supposed to have onions in them. My mom's recipe was very simple. I can of sliced beets (or if someone gave us some fresh beets, she'd cook them up and pickle them into jars), 1/4 cup of white vinegar -- has to be white, not wine or balsamic -- and some salt. That's it. No sugar -- the sugar is in the beets.
Well, there was this dish -- the pickled beet dish. And pickled beets were ALWAYS served in this dish. I have the dish, and my son would want me to put up a picture on this BLOG, but too bad. You'll just have to come visit me if you want to see the pickled beet dish.