Anyone want to talk about cranberry sauce?

lavenderlverNovember 18, 2012

I usually make my DG's raw cranberry relish with oranges and walnuts. This year, I made a cooked cranberry sauce with port wine, balsamic vinegar, dried figs, fresh rosemary and a bit of ginger...came out mighty tasty and as it macerates, it should get better.

Anyway, being a turkey day traditionalist, I may cave and make the cranberry/orange as well.

Are you a creature of habit when it comes to Thanksgiving menus or do you like to experiment?

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Well, I may have to try your cranberry relish lavenderlver.
It sounds very sophisticated!

I'm not a big fan of cranberry sauce. My husband loved it but was the only one that did in our family, so the only reason I've made it the last few years is just to have it on the table and a few guests ate it.

My dad always had to have the canned cranberry sauce and us kids looked forward to hearing the sucking noise it made as it slithered onto the plate when Mom slung that can at it.

When I married and began my own Thanksgiving traditions, I used fresh cranberries, cooked, with fresh squeezed oranges, orange zest, sugar, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a grating of fresh nutmeg.

Now, fresh yeast rolls and Kerrygold butter...that's about the only part of Thanksgiving I like!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 8:27AM
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lavenderlvr, would you mind posting the amounts of the ingredients in your relish. That sounds awfully good. I don't do much experimenting with cranberries, just cook the fresh berries with half the sugar the recipe suggests, and some water.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 8:38AM
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No one in my house, except me, will touch cranberries .. I make them the traditional way and 'after' build a turkey sandwich with dressing and cranberry relish. I also buy extra bags and freeze them for a summertime treat. Like blueberries they freeze well.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 8:52AM
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Lavenderlvr, Make that three people who would like to borrow your cranberry recipe. It sounds like something my family would like.

I grew up with the jelled stuff that slid out of a can because that was what my DF grew up with.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 8:53AM
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I make my own cranberry sauce, it's such an improvement. And adding all the wonderful things you did just makes it better. It's so easy to make basic sauce - cook a bag of cranberries, a cup of water and a cup of sugar.

I usually can it, because I like to eat it all year.

The only thing it's missing is the can lines! Such a tradition.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:13AM
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I'm linking the recipe for the cooked sauce. The only things I did differently was to cut back on the white sugar by 1/4 cup (it's plenty sweet, especially with the cg) and I added some finely chopped candied ginger. I used an inexpensive port (Taylor) and decent balsamic.

This is what I'd call a more earthy, savory sauce and I think it will be wonderful with the turkey.

I usually wing DG's relish, but the basic proportions are 1 12 oz bag of cranberries (chopped fairly fine), 1 whole orange or 2-3 clementines (cut in quarters, skin and all, with stem area cut away and chopped fine), maybe 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and a couple TBS of sugar. You can add more or less of any ingredient to your liking. I usually chop up the cranberries and orange a few days ahead, add a little sugar and let it sit. Wednesday night, I'll taste and add more sugar if necessary and the walnuts.

It's a very tangy and refreshing relish.

Funny, but on turkey sandwiches, I love the canned jelly stuff, lol

Here is a link that might be useful: Epicurious recipe

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:47AM
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I love cranberries. Lavender's recipe sounds great. I'm going to try it.

We usually make the relish too, just like Lavender. That's tasty and refreshing, so you can't go wrong, but it's nice to have a change.

This applies to other things too.

It's sometimes hard to believe that wine (which I'm not crazy about and rarely drink) and prunes (which I hate) can be cooked together with some salt and some herbs, like sage, and it results in the tastiest sauce for pork.

Thanks for the recipe idea, Lavender. I look forward to trying it.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:52AM
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My family would outright revolt if I played too much with the Thanksgiving traditions.

Here it is homemade cranberry sauce using fresh cranberries, OJ, sugar and a bit of horseradish.

I do make a cranberry chutney though to serve with crown roast of pork other times of the year.


12 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries
1 orange, chopped
1 apple, chopped
2 Tablespoons finely minced shallots
1 Tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger root
3/4 Cup white vinegar
3/4 Cup white wine
1 Cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil in a covered pot.
Simmer covered for 5 minutes.
Simmer uncovered for 25 minutes.
Note: Prior to cooking, it may appear that there is not enough liquid. Check the consistency after the first five minutes of cooking. Add wine or water if necessary. The final product should be thick.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 10:16AM
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I Like orangezest, clove (just a little) now this may sound strange but it is part of your name add a little lavender to it a delicious (mystery essence for those tasting it the first time) just about 2 to 3 tsp in a cheese cloth little bag it really kicks it up with a vanilla bean.

A guilty pleasure I love cheap in the can gawd awful stuff because It's what I had as a kid.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 10:22AM
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Cranberries are very expensive here and can usually only be bought frozen as a European import. I do it once a year for Thanksgiving, where it's gonna be sweet potato w/ sage pie, sweet pumpkin pie, cornbread and dried cranberry stuffing, sauce with juniper berry glaze for the bird, and whatever fresh green veggies i can find. We have all very fresh food here, and I just ordered the turkey from our local butcher. Most of my family and friends have never tasted these traditional American foods, and I relish (sorry!) showing them that American food is much more than burgers and corn syrup. And to be completely honest, it had been so long that I'd done a real T-day table, I went right to Martha, and found exactly what I wanted and it came out a fabulous feast last year.
You all read my mind, I need to get out my recipes and lists form last year and start planning. Last time it took 3 days of cooking and I loved every minute of it.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 10:45AM
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Batya I also make sweet potato pies and cornbread dressing ... most people I know make a "white bread" stuffing. Juniper berry glaze, now that sounds wonderful. Got a recipe?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 11:04AM
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The recipe sounds yummy.

I found the best cranberry sauce at Trader Joe's. They have some in the freezer, or in a jar.

I've tried making my own but it paled in comparison to Trader Joe's.

The problem is that people attack TJ cranberry sauce quickly. If you're not there shortly after their shipment, you cannot get it.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 11:20AM
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Boo hoo! I don't have a kitchen. I can't make ANY Thanksgiving dishes and my mouth is watering thinking about cranberry relish. (-:

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 11:59AM
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Would you like me to send you a jar of my cranberry sauce? What about all the other fixins'??

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 12:04PM
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OMG I just realized that I thought Thanksgiving was the last Thursday in November, so I invited people for the 29th, but moved it to the 30th on Friday so folks would be be able to come from work on time.

Looks like I am going to be late a week!!!!

That's what I get for not checking a calendar and thinking I knew when holidays are without looking.

I swear that I got all my recipes, etc from the Martha site, and the glaze was a cranberry juniper berry glaze for the turkey. I wasn't planning on looking it up and getting my ingredients together until this weekend. Good lord, I need to be thankful for the brain power I have left.......

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 12:12PM
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david52 Zone 6

Cranberry 'sauce' is essentially a chutney, and there are a bazillion recipes out there depending on what fruit and spices you have available. We serve several chutneys at Thanksgiving, this year's offerings will include apple chutney, mango/peach, and plum/chipotle. I need to crack open a jar of this summers' cherry chutney and see it its up to standards.....

Once you've entered the world of chutneys, you view cranberry sauce through a different lens.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 12:17PM
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David has me "drooling" and I have CSA apples :)

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 12:36PM
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This family were not turkey eaters until I started to confit the legs. That changed the game entirely. So we now have those along with our traditional roasts. We also are not big fans of cranberry but Thanksgiving is not the same without it on the table so it basicially is table decor in this house but DS likes it on his turkey confit sandwiches the following day(s) so it is not wasted. David those chutneys sound wonderful!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 12:47PM
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DH makes the cranberry sauce. Fresh cranberries, diced pears and I have no idea what else. But it's delicious!

I grew up on the canned stuff too, and can't stand that stuff.

We're a mix of traditonal and not. The basics (turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, sweet potatoes (cajun recipe and the best ever)) are always the same and family would revolt if not made (especially the sweet potatoes). But, then we do a different vegetable every year. We also have a few vegetarians/vegans so we make them something different each year. We go a little crazy with a LOT of appetizers and a LOT of desserts. I start cooking and baking a couple weeks before (the freezer is my friend).

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 12:53PM
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Thanks mom47 That's sweet of you! We actually have been taken pity on by our neighbors who are doing a pot luck dinner and our assignment was to buy a pumpkin pie which my DH ordered on Friday. I will get my annual cranberry sauce fix then. Hopefully, we will have a kitchen by Christmas (two mis-ordered cabinets that have to be remade, granite thickness is uneven, which they noticed after it was cut, so I have to pick another piece and they don't have anymore of the granite I wanted - Yikes!)

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 1:31PM
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Demi - your comment about the sauce slithering out of the can brought back memories that I had forgotten about. My Dad, who died a number of years ago, loved that sound. Thanks for the memory.

I am the only one who likes cranberry sauce so I just buy one can of it and it does me for dinner and a few days of sandwiches. It has to be the sauce and not the jelly.

But, maybe if I made a fancy sauce I might have more takers. Something to consider.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 1:51PM
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JZ...Murphys law when it comes to kitchen re-dos. >>>My mother made lovely homemade cranberry sauce but my kids wanted the kind that slid out of the can, so that's ours. DD's having dinner so it's her choice, however these recipes look wonderful.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 1:52PM
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All the ideas sound delish. I live in the heart of cranberry country--Cranberry Fest is the biggest festival of its kind in Wisconsin, so recipes for cranberries abound. Here's a different take, as I like tidy, pretty and practical. These travel well, and get rave reviews:

You can make them several days in advance.

"Mr. Food's Cranberry Relish Squares:

3 (4-serving size) pkgs cranberry flavored gelatin
2 c. boiling water
1 (14 oz.) can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 c. chopped pecans
1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained

Place gelatin in medium bowl; add boiling water, stir to dissolve gelatin. Add other ingredients; mix well. Pour into 8" sq. dish. Cover & chill at least 4 hrs, or until well set. Cut into squares.

Everyone plays around with this recipe; this is Mr. Food's "Quick & Easy" version.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 2:27PM
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I grew up - probably across the state from you, Elvis, in Monroe County. Big cranberry bogs there, too - pretty much long ago sold out to Ocean Spray.

Had a grade school friend whose family was big into cranberries so we got a field trip or two out of the association.

Wonder if people know the fresh berries in the grocery aisle are "dry harvested" - picked off the vines with big lawn mower like rakes before the bogs are flooded. The "wet harvest" is done by reels which shake the berries loose and they float to the surface of the flooded bogs. The wet berries go for the assorted cans of cranberry products. Watching a harvest is an interesting thing.

I will admit to preferring the jellied canned of my childhood, rings and all - but will eat them just about any way.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 3:44PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

I grew up with cranberry jelly, appearing once a year and lasting until the last turkey leftovers were tossed. I still prefer the jelly on my turkey (or chicken) sandwiches. I dislike, to the point of rejection, jelly with imbedded cranberries. I can't say I remember any chutneys made with cranberries, but that just might mean I've blocked out the horror. :)

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 3:57PM
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I make the traditional Jam style but remove the skins after it cooks and mold it into a fancy shape-looks pretty. I do traditional southern with the spiced candied sweet potato, cornbread stuffing(mine is seriously good) I coat my turkey with kosher salt. handfulls of ground herbs, crushed black pepper, fine chopped onion and let it set over night then I wash it and smoke the next day. It is wonderfully herby and moist-converts anyone who eats it from that ghastly butterball boiled in a baking pan to a soggy mess. Family tradtions are brutal-my Sweeties family dumps canned 'yams' in a big pot of water and boils them up-they use instant mashed potatoes and make gravy from the bag of brown liquid from inside the turkey by mixing it with flour shaken up with tons of water-it is horrible tasteless brown goo but for them it is Thanksgiving-yeech.

Why do they call sweet potatoes Yams? A serious source of irritation for me. I am not sure I have ever seen an actual YAM.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 4:12PM
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I can't abide chutneys - same goes for marmalades.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 4:19PM
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Glad to hear it jerzeegirl.

I was thinking we could gather food for you and meet at the Swedesboro Visitor Center on 295 just after the Bridge - late at night, and make a food transfer under cover of darkness!!! (Is it legal to transport cranberry sauce into New Jersey? Actually, I made it with New Jersey cranberries.)

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 5:21PM
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lavenderlvr, I am going to try your sauce for the first time on all the brothers.

We all get together for Thanksgiving and I love trying new
recipes on them.
I think I will make your recipe too Elvis. They are all
big on having "choices" (can't figure out why they keep the same wives but glad they have) :)

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 5:25PM
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Patricia: "Why do they call sweet potatoes Yams? A serious source of irritation for me. I am not sure I have ever seen an actual YAM."
Library of Congress says:

Yams are closely related to lilies and grasses. Native to Africa and Asia, yams vary in size from that of a small potato to a record 130 pounds (as of 1999). There are over 600 varieties of yams and 95% of these crops are grown in Africa. Compared to sweet potatoes, yams are starchier and drier.

Sweet Potatoes
The many varieties of sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are members of the morning glory family, Convolvulacea. The skin color can range from white to yellow, red, purple or brown. The flesh also ranges in color from white to yellow, orange, or orange-red. Sweet potato varieties are classified as either "firm" or "soft". When cooked, those in the "firm" category remain firm, while "soft" varieties become soft and moist. It is the "soft" varieties that are often labeled as yams in the United States.

Why the confusion?
In the United States, firm varieties of sweet potatoes were produced before soft varieties. When soft varieties were first grown commercially, there was a need to differentiate between the two. African slaves had already been calling the "soft" sweet potatoes "yams" because they resembled the yams in Africa. Thus, "soft" sweet potatoes were referred to as "yams" to distinguish them from the "firm" varieties.

Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires labels with the term "yam" to be accompanied by the term "sweet potato." Unless you specifically search for yams, which are usually found in an international market, you are probably eating sweet potatoes!"

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 6:32PM
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A recipe I made up years ago for snacks at pot lucks and plant society meetings...

1 package Philly cream cheese
1 small tub sour cream
make more as needed to expand amount

mix together

add any mixture of (two or three at most)

canned olives
canned pimentos
canned hot or mild green or red peppers
canned tuna
canned chicken
canned shrimp
bacon bits
any other that moves you
dried fruits diced including dried cranberry (to keep with the thread), raisins, mango, banana, trail mix etc.

spread mixture on large flour tortillas (heavy)or crepes (light), fridge overnight and slice diagonally.

Put on table with tags telling content and stand back. Never take any home, they all disappear.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:21PM
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Forgot to say roll them up,in fact they get called tortilla or crepe roll ups.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:25PM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Unless you specifically search for yams, which are usually found in an international market, you are probably eating sweet potatoes!"

I asked a friend if she had ever had tasted Japanese sweet potatoes, and I held one up to show her. "Oh," she said, "that's what we eat back home in Belize!"

So much for common names, and the price differential between the Caribbean markets and Santa Monica was notable.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:33PM
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david52 Zone 6

As luck would have it, I harvested my container sweet potatoes today. In the 10 gallon pot, we got about 3 lbs of Korean Red sweet potatoes, about an inch - inch and a half dia, , 6 inches long. In one of the 1 gallon pots, 6 finger sized ones, in the other 1 gallon pot, one two lb monster.

The ones in the garden never made it. Just too short a season. These I brought indoors mid-september.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 8:45PM
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Happy Thanksgiving to you too, mom47, and to all of you! I am very happy because I am taking this week off from work (and I have another three weeks to take before the end of the year. Woohoo!).

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 8:58PM
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Sweet potato souffle from a Williams Sonoma cook book is another Thanksgiving staple. It is spiced with ginger and maybe other things. DH always makes it so I don't know for sure. I tried growing sweet potatoes (or yams?) once. They spread like mad in the the garden but the roots were too thin to peel and eat.

I like chutney but have never made any. Like cranberry relish,they are best if someone else takes the time to prepare it.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:40PM
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You need a really long season for sweet potatoes and poor soil-they do well in the clay soils of north Mississippi-rich soil-all vine and no potato. I grew them when I lived there and gave them to all the neighbors as they were so prolific. They were enormous.
As a person with a degree in Botany I do know the difference between Ipomea(sweet potato) and Dioscorea(yam) but thank you Elvis for telling me why there are two names but I do know that there seems to be no relationship between what they are called in the store and dry vs soft. I am aware that in the past multiple varieties of sweet potatoes were grown as slave food-some keep better than others and if you have a bad year for one variety another will probably do better but in the US we are eating sweet potatoes. The best for the spiced candied sweet potatoes are the dark red varieties. There is an old variety called Nancy that you can get in the south that is wonderful but around here I just have to make do with what I find.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 11:33PM
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Patricia, my crop must have been a fluke. I have rich garden soil, mix of sand, clay, cow poop, shredded leaves, grass clippings, kitchen compost. I got a sweet little crop--not a lot, but enough for my household of two. 8 plants yielded 1 bushel.

I've grown sweet potatoes 3 prior times; once great, once dismal, and once so-so. You can grow them up here, with a few adjustments.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 12:42AM
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I'm with you on chutneys duluthinbloomz4, although I do love a good English seville orange marmalade. That said, the extent of my chutney experience has been with Major Greys and I'm sure David's homemade is wonderful.

Our local market that caters to a large Portugese customer base carries Japanese sweet potatoes, although not certain one thing has to do with the other, the potatoes are fabulous. Denser and not as sweet as a sweet potatoe, very nice baked.

The recipes here all sound really! good, thank you for sharing. The addition of vanilla to the lavender, orange zest and cranberry combo, just sealed the deal for me. Labrea, 2-3 tsp of lavender to 1 bag of berries and what do you use for the liquid?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 6:40AM
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Patriciae you are absolutely correct, I received sweet potatoes in my farm share this year and none were longer than 4 inches, even the ones I got for my Fall share last week.

Our growing season is just not long enough, although that is changing.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 7:39AM
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Speaking of white sweet potatoes, when I was in a cooking class out west this August, the chef used white sweet potatoes two days of the classes. It was the first time I'd have had them, and loved them.

Alas, I haven't found anywhere to purchase them, but I could try to grow them.

Does anyone know a source?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 9:43AM
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david52 Zone 6

Try Sandhill Preservation, they have an enormous selection of sweet potato varieties. Not the easiest outfit to deal with to be sure, no internet orders,no credit cards, but once you get what you need, off you go.

Major Greys chutney is disgusting. IMHO, a decent chutney combines concentrated fruit flavor achieved with dried fruits - hopefully from your own trees and dried in your own dehydrator, then add sweet (honey, sugar) hot - chili, chipotle, and what ever spices you like - ginger, cinnamon, cardamon, and so on. Many of the Indian chutneys contain fenugreek - thats an acquired taste, gives chutneys a bad name, and can be left out.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 10:01AM
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kimka(Zone 6B)

When I was growing up, the mark of any serious family holiday feast was that there was OceanSpray jellied cranberry sauce on the table. So to this day, we just have to have "can wrinkles" on the holiday table, even when I make a fresh cranberry-orange sauce too.

And it is still great on a leftover turkey sandwich instead of mayo, which is how most of it gets used.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 10:05AM
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I like to put mayo on one slice of the bread and the cranberry sauce on the other slice!

At your advice, notto, I bought some cranberry sauce at Trader Joe's yesterday. I think I'll just eat it with a spoon, lol.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 10:15AM
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Thank you very much, David, for the information.

I appreciate your posting the information and will check into it.

I am quite shocked that so many others grew up with the canned Oceanspray cranberry jelly and it is still part of tradition. I had no idea, I thought my family was just weird.

I guess we all didn't grow up with Martha Stewart Thanksgivings!

(Thank Goodness).

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 10:19AM
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I doubt even Martha Stewart grew up with Martha Stewart Thanksgiving.

Those cans are a very important part of TG! And it's neater when it's slice!.

I love homemade cranberry sauce, I eat it all year. I sometimes make it with sparkling wine.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 11:03AM
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The handy old wire cheese slicer makes nice even slices.

Can't think of anything better than trotting out all the fancy odd serving pieces - old cut crystal or pressed glass handed down from relatives or found in dusty antique shops. The red of the cranberries looks festive along side the relish tray with the ripple cut carrots, celery sticks, olive and pickle assortments.

I don't know - if Martha Stewart didn't have her staff of hundreds doing all the work, she'd be just like us. I must cancel that magazine subscription!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 11:41AM
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I missed this over the weekend, since I don't read then, but I just want to say how sorry I am you don't get to have your own Thanksgiving jerzee, but I am so so glad you get to have it with your friends. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

I made a new one this year (with a bit of lime zest instead of orange and with dried cranberries and dried tart cherries). I don't know how it'll go over. But the one at the beginning has my interest! I want to try it too.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 3:46PM
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kimka(Zone 6B)

Oh but pre-slicing the Ocean Spray obscures the lovely can wrinkles. You just sploosh plop the whole can onto the shallow crystal bowl so the whole loaf just sits there and jiggles softly to itself until the turkey joins it on the table.

Now, who has a really ugly turkey platter that get broken out just once or twice a year?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 4:39PM
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But kimka - the can lines make a useful slicing guide if the aforementioned wire cheese slicer isn't available for uniform cutting. But I do see the beauty in the shimmering perfection of the uncut little tower.

I never did have any "dedicated" occasion dishes. Take a gander at the Holiday Forum over on GW's Home Site. Tablescapes R Us, to be sure. I'm not knocking it - I just don't have the energy or inclination to go beyond the good china, glassware, and silver.

Here is a link that might be useful: A moveable feast

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 5:09PM
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I missed this over the weekend, since I don't read then, but I just want to say how sorry I am you don't get to have your own Thanksgiving jerzee, but I am so so glad you get to have it with your friends. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

Thanks rob! As soon as the kitchen is completed I will have to test it out with belated Thanksgiving dinner. I don't really care about the turkey but I started making Rachel Ray's stuffing balls about five years ago and now it's a tradition! I only allow myself to eat them once a year.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 5:52PM
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Demi: "I am quite shocked that so many others grew up with the canned Oceanspray cranberry jelly and it is still part of tradition. I had no idea, I thought my family was just weird."

It's the only DH will eat cranberry sauce; gotta have those dents.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:41PM
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Stuffing balls?????? Inquiring minds need to know!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:45PM
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Chase: They are called Stuffin Muffins and here is the recipe.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stuffin Muffins

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 11:15PM
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I make a very basic cranberry sauce - only a small teaspoon full ends up on our plates, a small taste goes a very long way. But,that tiny taste is very important to the whole "Thanksgiving meal" experience.
I used to make sweet potato pie years ago for Christmas and Thanksgiving, preferred it to Pumpkin pie - but have not made one in probably ten years because we don't want that stuff hanging around the kitchen.
I do buy a single sweet potato and boil it and then cook it down with butter, a bit of brown sugar, a bare hint of vanilla and a few pecans halves or walnut pieces- whatever is on hand at the time - but again, it's just a small teaspoon that ends up on the plate but a very important teaspoon.

If only I had a Trader Joe's I'd try a jar of their cranberry sauce but alas, we don't and probably won't since Whole Foods just got in. I suspect this place might be considered too small for them both. I would have rathered Trader Joes, I've heard so much great things about that place.

Demi, both of us grew up on the canned Ocean Spray cranberry sauce (NEVER the whole berries, ugh!) and we both loved it. And I served it for a few years until we had guests one year when overseas and a friend brought over her own cranberry sauce and I was weaned away from the jelly with the lines in it. My husband still speaks lovingly of that stuff.

I had a small, very beautiful antique cut glass bowl my grandmother gave me when I married, and that was the designated "cranberry dish" from our first holiday until this one.
I have to break it to my Dh that Ocean Spray's gelatinous abomination is not worthy of my grandmother's cut glass dish! ;)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 2:06AM
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My grandmother and her family in south Miss grew a small variety of sweet potato-they were maybe 6" or so long and slender but I never thought to ask what kind. They kept them from year to year-you put some in a crate of sand covered over and kept damp in the early spring-they sprout and you pull out the 'slips' and that is what you plant. Her soil was very different from mine-light and sandy so if one variety doesnt do for you try another. Of the variety I grew(mostly the afore mentioned Nancy) many were 3ft long and some so big I couldn't dig them up.
This is funny-I never had pumpkin pie growing up-always sweet potato until I was in college when my grandmother starting growing what she called a "German sweetpotato" Turned out to be butternut squash.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 3:57PM
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Thanks JZ they sound good!!

I always stuff the bird but make extra on the side and this sounds like a great way to do it.

One of the many things I love about our Canadian Thanksgiving is that it is far enough away from Christmas that we can have turkey on both occasions...and we do. These will be on the menu this year.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 4:22PM
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Mylab--so you have special dishes for special dishes, like I do?

Maybe the Ocean Spray "needs" the fancy dress to help it! ;)

A cut glass bowl that a lady long gone gave me at my shower was always used for "Coke Salad." I don't think I've ever had anything else in that bowl. Of course I haven't made Coke Salad in about 6 years or so now, I stopped before DH died, he was the only one that ate it so instead I always made his raisin pie.

My dad was the one that loved that Ocean Spray jelly with the lines. I'm just getting a kick out of so many people here that grew up with it, too, I had no idea!

As to turkey, my dad and I always had to have green pimiento stuffed olives with our turkey; my husband's family always served mustard with their turkey, so now I have to have both at my table!

The only cooking I'm doing this year is sweet potatoes and an antipasto platter, as I'm celebrating the day at a friend's house and then Saturday I'm hosting seafood gumbo, Italian salad and garlic bread dinner for my "friend's" family and extended family, but that is casual and not nearly as much work as traditional Thanksgiving.

I'm going to make peach fried pies, also--after years of inconsistent results, I tried phyllo dough for the fried pies and they turned out great in my little deep fryer with the basket.

Now, to find the perfect platter for those pies....

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 5:43PM
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In the late 80's I was visiting her when my mother decided to clear out old things she didn't use from her kitchen. She threw away a very old but pretty baking dish that she used to use when making meatloaf - several of us daughters were there and rescued it from the discard pile with shock - throw away the MEATLOAF dish? How *could* she?

It came home with me and I made meatloaf in it for many more years before it sadly cracked and thus expired, due to old age.

Have fun with your "gumbo" company.
Sometimes it's the more casual get togethers that are the most relaxed fun and I've found that, especially now that I'm far from the south, gumbo (with a little jar of filet on the side) is always a fun and relaxed menu item.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 10:12PM
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I sure do like lindac's Cranberry Jezebel. I hope she doesn't mind me posting this.

Cranberry Jezebel
Here's the recipe for Cooking Light's Cranberry Jezabel.....
Linda c
12 oz bag fresh or frozen cranberries
1 c. water
3/4 c. white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
Wash and pick over the berries, put water and sugars in sauce pan( large
enough to prevent boil over) and bring to a boil, add berries and return to
a boil, cook on medium for 15 to 20 minutes from the time it returns to a
boil, stirring occasionally. Cool to luke warm and add 3 T. fresh (fresh is
hotter!) horseradish and 1T Dijon mustard, stir, refrigerate and enjoy!

I'm not sure if anyone else has posted this recipe.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 10:27PM
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