An ode to the cranberry...
Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday of the year. It's a simple harvest celebration - honoring you know...bounty, beauty, brussel sprouts.
So we honored it right - roast turkey (Fresh from the Market of the Mennonite farmers), with sausage stuffing (my Mum's), I made cornbread/sausage stuffing for glutenfreeSteve, roasted potatoes and parsnips, steamed marrow with béchamel sauce, mashed butternut squash/carrots and ginger, steamed green beans, roasted Brussels sprouts and what I wait for the opportunity to make - cranberry sauce.
I remember the first time I trod near the thought of actually making cranberry sauce and turning over a package of fresh cranberries to read the recipe on the back. I said out loud, "You're kidding right? That's it?" So I made it. And kind of swaggered as I brought it to the table like I'd just saved a life with a new surgical technique.
But then I got into it. And I discovered this recipe in Delia Smith's Christmas (a few of her volumes sit on my shelf- but this one is particular well thumbed, stained and brokebacked). I've adapted it a little but here you go. It's a sauce that also freezes well, so you can save it for Christmas, if you have any left over...but you won't...you'll start putting it on everything you can think of...just 'cause...
450g (1lb) fresh cranberries (which is more than a bag, but I used one bag and it was fine)
Juice and rind of one large orange
1 huge tbsp fresh ginger grated or 1/2 tsp ground ginger (I've only used fresh)
4 cm (1 1/2 inch) cinnamon stick
75 g (3 oz) caster sugar (I used regular sugar)
2-3 tbsp port wine
I wash the cranberries and put them in a saucepan. Delia suggests you chop them in a food processor, but I have never done that. You can peel the orange with a potato peeler, then cut the peel into slivers and add them to the pot. I usually do, but this year I grated the orange peel and it was fine. Add the juice of the orange, then the ginger, the sugar, and the spices.
Bring everything up to a simmer, stir well, and cover. Let it simmer carefully for about five minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the port (I use less than the recipe calls for).
Cover with plastic and let it sit in a cool area until dinner. I made mine the day before and then pulled it out to warm it up to room temperature in time for eating.
The trick here is actually finding all four cloves before you serve it. Worth the trouble.
Photo from: http://www.nps.gov/archive/lacl/plants/cranberry.htm