Thanksgiving is probably my most favorite of the major holidays. It involves a lot of cooking, a lot of food, and usually a lot of family and friends. Expectations are only to enjoy a meal together…no gifts are exchanged, no pressure for a new years eve kiss, no costume to come up with…just eating and hanging out with folks you like, and maybe even love!
However…I can be picky when it comes to those traditional turkey day recipes. First, stuffing and I have issues. Spoiler alert: stuffing is just soggy bread! At least in my head, that is all it is…and no one likes soggy bread. Second, let’s talk sides…I think the side dishes that make the cut for a thanksgiving feast should be savory in nature…I just can’t get on board with marshmallows and brown sugar in my sweet potatoes. Third, I’m not the biggest fan of putting fruit on my meat…which means cranberry ________ (fill in the blank) on top of my roasted turkey. But this year, I’m ready for change. Go big or go home right…?
So I went BIG and made FOUR different cranberry accoutrements for this years turkey.
Let’s start simple…
Straight up Homemade Cranberry Sauce
1 cup water
1/3 lb. fresh cranberries
½ cup sugar
½ tsp. grated orange rind (optional)
Boil Water. Add sugar and cranberries.
Cook 10 minutes or until all skins pop (longer cooking, thicker sauce).
Skim froth and add optional orange rind. Chill.
1 navel orange, quartered, with peel
2 cups fresh cranberries
¾ to 1 cup sugar
Process orange quarters, sugar and cranberries in food processor until fairly fine.
Chill. Stir occasionally.
Moving into the slightly less traditional, we have a…
Garlicky Cranberry Chutney
1 inch fresh ginger
3 cloves finely chopped garlic
½ cup apple cider vinegar
4 tbsp.’s sugar
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 lb. can whole berry cranberry sauce (I couldn’t find a 1-lb. can…so I used a 14 oz. can instead)
½ teaspoon salt (or less)
ground black pepper.
Cut ginger into paper thing slices, stack them together and cut into very thin slivers.
Combine ginger, garlic, sugar and cayenne in a small pot. Bring to a simmer; simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes or until about 4 tbsp.’s of liquid are left.
Add the can of cranberry sauce, salt and pepper. Mix and bring to a simmer. Lumps are okay. Simmer on a gentle heat for about 10 minutes.
(pardon the missing photos…I lost my daylight and apparently got distracted and forgot to take any more photos until it was done.)
Cool, store and refrigerate.
Mama Stamberg’s Cranberry Relish
2 cups whole fresh cranberries
1 small onion (or half a larger onion)
¾ cup sour cream
½ cup sugar
2 tbsp.’s prepared horseradish
Grind the raw berries and the onion together – rough chop the onion and toss both into a food processor, pulsing until they are ground…but not puréed.
Add everything else and mix together.
Put in a plastic container and freeze.
Early Thanksgiving morning, move it from freezer to refrigerator compartment to thaw. When served, it should have some little icy slivers, and be thick, creamy and have a color similar to Pepto-Bismol.
There you have it…three pictured below and 1 in the freezer for tomorrow. I’ll let you know my thoughts, ratings and a verdict on which cranberry sides passed muster.
(left to right: Garlicky Cranberry Chutney, Cranberry Relish, Cranberry Sauce; Not pictured: Mama Stamberg’s Cranberry Relish)
What cranberry dish are you partial to? Any weird hangups about holidays or about food…or about holiday food…? …….? Bueller….? Bueller….?