Monday, November 26, 2012

Orange Cranberry Sauce

I know this is a little backwards-- sharing with you Thanksgiving recipes AFTER the holiday. But I certainly cannot post recipes before I have actually made the dishes and until this blog has been around for awhile, I won't have the holiday dishes until after the holiday. So bear with me, ok? And enjoy the insight into Thanksgiving in my parents household.

Typically, Thanksgiving is all full of tradition at our house. Yes, the food is pretty traditional, but it is more the activities that make the weekend. My dad makes a pie (or two or three) early in the morning and a cinnamon crisp from extra crust for breakfast. We watch the Lions football game (because we're in Michigan). We eat food. We take at least one walk around the block (either before or after dinner or both). We scour the multitude of ads and make our plan of attack for Black Friday. We (the girls only-- my mom, sister and I) get up nice and early and head out with the crazies for some shopping which typically includes a soft pretzel partway through the morning and long lines and coupons and everything else associated with the madness of the day. Then we head home laden with bags to rest up for the afternoon. Friday night (and sometimes Saturday depending on the schedule) kicks off the Christmas season with leftover turkey sandwiches, chips and dip, pickle tray, and raw veggies in front of the television playing "White Christmas". We sing along (because obviously we know all the words) and lament the fact that every year the housekeeper cannot help but pick up the phone and overhear the wrong part of the conversation between Bob and Ed.

Well this year, unfortunately my sister and her family did not get to make the trip to Michigan for Thanksgiving. So we did a few things differently. Some of those included food! We have also been a canned cranberry sauce family (and don't get me wrong, I love the ridged deliciousness) but I had been itching to make my own and my parents were all for it. So we did. I read a lot of recipes online and we decided to add orange to enhance the flavor and start with a small amount of sugar and work our way up. We like tart things for the most part, so feel free to up the sugar if you want.

We all loved it. It is safe to say this is a permanent replacement (or depending on how many people are in town for the holiday maybe a permanent addition?) to our Thanksgiving feast. It would go great with pork or beef, if you are looking for a quick and easy side for Christmas as well. My only regret-- that we didn't make more!

Orange Cranberry Sauce
12 oz bag of fresh cranberries
zest of 1 orange
juice of 2 oranges, plus water to reach 3/4 cup
dash of cinnamon
4 tbsp granulated sugar
4 tbsp brown sugar

Rinse and drain cranberries. Place them in a medium pot. Add the orange zest, juice with water, cinnamon and 3 tbsp of each sugar. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Taste the cranberries and add last 1 tbsp of each sugar if still very tart. You can add additional sugar, equal amounts of each type, until you get to your desired sweetness. The total of 8 tbsp leaves it pretty tart; I've seen recipes up to double that amount so go wild if you want it sweeter.

Remove from the heat and refrigerate for a few hours until it sets up. Serve cool.

Makes about 2 cups of cranberry sauce.

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