Thursday, November 27, 2014

Cranberries Roasting on an Open Fire

On this Thanksgiving Day in the United States, I think back to my childhood, and the battle of the cranberry sauce.
It's a nice thing to think about as we recover from about eight inches of snow.

In those days, there were two ways to make cranberry sauce.  In my growing up years (the 1950's and 60's) cranberry sauce came from a can.

When my Mom was alive, Thanksgiving featured jelled cranberry sauce, with no berries.  After my Mom died, my Dad started taking me to my Aunt Ethel's house for Thanksgiving dinner.  It was one of my favorite times of the years, as I loved my Aunt Ethel, my Uncle Lou (both passed years ago), my Uncle Lou's two bachelor brothers (one of whom is still alive and well in his 90's), and my two cousins, who became surrogate sisters to me, an only child.

Aunt Ethel roasted a turkey, with stuffing, made sweet potato cassarole topped with marshmallows, and served - whole berry cranberry sauce. 

Ugh!  (Sorry, Aunt Ethel - it wasn't you.  Believe me.)

And then, when I married, I found my husband's family served a cranberry orange dish. I didn't like it, either.  I missed my Mom's canned jellied sauce (well, I missed Ocean Spray canned jellied sauce, but never mind that.)  Since my mother in law sometimes reads my blog, I hope she'll forgive me for mentioning that, too.

But, as I grew older, my tastes changed, and I discovered something else.  Fresh cranberries.  And I actually started to prefer the whole berry sauce, with a touch of citrus.

Cranberry sauce, dear blog readers, is so easy to make if you like the whole berry kind.  It only takes minutes, a non-cook like me can whip it right up, and there are few reasons not to make your own.  Those of us on Weight Watchers have to take it easy with cranberry sauce - it is normally loaded with sugar, and I'd rather save the calories for something else - like stuffing.
This is how I made it for today.

1 bag (12 oz) fresh cranberries, rinsed. If any stems in bag, remove.
1 cup sugar (I used a stevia/sugar blend put out by Domino - all natural, and you only use 1/2 cup. But then again, I have to watch my weight.)
1 cup water
small amount freshly grated lime rind

In saucepan, mix cranberries, water.

Bring to light boil, cover, stir occasionally, until most of the cranberries have popped

Add the sugar or sugar/stevia, mix, lightly boil some more until the other berries have mostly popped. Then, add the lime zest, and finish boiling.  Cool, refrigerate, and serve.

Then, sit back and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving parade in New York City as your turkey roasts.

I love the classic floats.  Like Harold the Firemen.
And Harold the Police Officer.  (These, incidentally, are not the originals from the 1940s!)

A Goldfish

And the Wimpy Kid.

There was even a Mt. Rushmore float.

Oh yes, about those roasting cranberries.  I have a blogging friend (I've never met her, but I know she is my blogging friend) out in Nebraska. And yesterday, she shared a couple of cranberry dishes with her readers.

Cranberry pie.

And - easy peasy cranberry sauce made in the oven!  Yes, you can roast your cranberries on an open fire! Next year I might just make a variation of her sauce (without orange juice, which I have issues with - I'll figure something else out, though. Just think, you don't have to stand there and stir.

Are you celebrating Thanksgiving today?  Or did you already, back in October, like our Canadian neighbors?  How do/did you celebrate?

Happy Thanksgiving to all my blog friends.  I am thankful you have stopped by today.  I have to try to catch up on NaNoWriMo (seriously behind), but I have not forgotten you, and I will catch up with comments in a few days.


  1. I grew up with the jellied cranberry sauce. It just isnt Thanksgiving without it.

  2. Aww, thanks Alana! I'll be eating as many cranberries as possible today, in pies AND sauce and even pilfered fresh out of the bag. Happy, happy Thanksgiving to you, my dear friend! :)

  3. We don't celebrate Thanksgiving here in England, but I love your tradition. As to cranberries--I've never seen them available fresh, although I'm sure they could be imported at exorbitant cost. Sometimes, we buy a jar of cranberry preserve, which is the closest I've ever come to tasting the real thing.

  4. Hi Alana,

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family girl! Loved this post!


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