This year I'm jetting to Seattle to spend Thanksgiving with my dad's side of the family on my aunt's farm. When I received the invitation in the mail, I realized I've never spent it with these family members. How is it possible I've gone 30 years without tasting my dad's family recipes on this special day? I'll still require my mama's cooking (asparagus casserole is my fave!), but I'm really looking forward to what a West Coast Thanksgiving will be like.
However, I have a sneaking suspicion that there will be one unwelcome dish on the table, because it appears on most tables this time of year. It's canned cranberry sauce, and it's one food tradition that must be broken.
Do you wax nostalgic when you see an aluminum can of so-called "cranberry sauce" on the grocery store shelf, between the green beans and canned corn? Do you remember being tasked as a child to open said can before the glorious turkey dinner, and as you felt the gelatinous tube of lined "sauce" wiggle out of the can and onto a dish, landing with a disgusting *slop!*, you felt proud of yourself for being such a good helper? Does a round slice of purplish jelly next to your turkey bring back warm memories of home?
Well get over it. You're not a kid anymore. This year, impress them all with the real stuff!
Let me tell you how easy it is (I'm not even going to look at a recipe, I'm just going to tell you):
1) Buy a bag of cranberries. It's in the produce section, ask for help because it's in a different place in every store I've been to.
2) Go home and rinse them.
3) In a pot, dissolve a cup of sugar and a cup of water over low heat.
4) Add cranberries and put on medium heat.
5) Let simmer for 10 minutes. You want the cranberries to pop during these 10 minutes. I take a whisk and mash them up to help out the process.
6) You're finished. Put the sauce in a bowl or some Tupperware and refrigerate until you're ready to eat it.
Extra Credit: Grate an orange peel and add the peel and the juice to the sauce while it's simmering. I also like to put a little cinnamon in it.
...wouldn't you say?