This past Sunday, I was looking at the ads in our Sunday newspaper. One of the ads, from a national retailer, who also sells food, included a page with a picture of a Thanksgiving dinner. Aside from the turkey (which they also sell), all of the food in the picture came from a box or a can. I can totally understand. Everyone is incredibly busy and it’s just easier to open the container and go. Everyone tries their best to balance what they want or can do themselves with what they can just buy, taking time, desire and ability into account.
If you are up for tiny bit more effort, but willing to be rewarded with great taste, here’s one substitute for the store bought container.
When I was growing up and continuing into my married life, I did not realize or think about the fact that cranberries came in a different form than in a can. Once plopped out of the can and still with its tin can ripple indentations intact, the cranberries were served. That’s all I thought about cranberries and didn’t know any better. I had briefly seen the bags of cranberries in the produce section but I figured there must be a lot of kitchen magic (probably involving pectin or some jelly like process) to turn that bag of fresh fruit into the gelatinous substance that signified actual cranberry sauce. But cranberry sauce is so much easier than I ever imagined.
With just a little more work than opening a can, you can make your very own, delicious, not cloyingly sweet, just the right amount of tang, homemade cranberry sauce. Once you try this recipe, you’ll see that making your own homemade cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries is so easy, you’ll want to retire that can opener for good!
Homemade cranberry sauce doesn’t take much time to make and it can be made a day or two ahead and refrigerated. My daughter made it for us this past weekend with delicious results, proving it’s a good recipe for kids to make as well.
This recipe serves 8-9 and for Thanksgiving this year, I’m making a double batch.
- 12 ounce package of cranberries, fresh
- 1 orange (outside zest and inside fruit)
- 1-2 teaspoons of fresh ginger
- 1 cup organic granulated sugar
- Rinse cranberries and place in saucepan.
- Zest orange into saucepan with cranberries.
- Peel orange and cut orange into small bite size pieces.
- Add orange pieces to saucepan.
- Peel ginger and mince (or use zester here, too) into saucepan.
- Add 1-cup sugar to saucepan and stir all ingredients together.
- Turn stove onto medium high and once cranberries start to make noise, lower temperature to medium.
- Stir frequently and mash if desired to let cranberries turn into “sauce.”
- Cool slightly and put into serving bowl.
- Refrigerate and serve cold or at room temperature.
- Garnish with fresh mint if desired.
We’re planning to have 14 (or so) at our table and hope to have leftovers!
- I always try to use less sugar but the sauce usually ends up tasting too tart. You can always start out with 3/4 of a cup of sugar and then gradually add more if you’d like.
- Another variation to this recipe is to add freshly minced mint.
My favorite type of zester is this one by Microplane: [amazon_link id=”B00004S7V8″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ][/amazon_link] it’s a wood rasp but has a handle on it. I use it for cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, ginger, and for zesting citrus.
Homemade cranberry sauce is a staple on our table and it’s so easy to make and tastes so much better than what comes in a can. You won’t miss those little tin can indentations a bit, I promise!
Do you like cranberries for with your Thanksgiving dinner? Do you like them on a leftover turkey sandwich?
Go Gingham related links:
Whole Foods Thanksgiving turkey giveaway – have you entered yet?
Turkey grilling tips from the “Grill Masters” in my life!
Thanksgiving wishes from one year ago and digging for clams
Grilled Thanksgiving turkey from two years ago
Cloth napkins for Thanksgiving that are made from an old skirt
A Thanksgiving tablecloth made with quilting techniques
Pumpkin spice cake would also make a nice dessert at Thanksgiving