Making Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
I guess you could say this post is a bit early, but actually, it isn’t for me.
No, I’m not an overzealous feast planner that feels the need to make cranberry sauce three weeks before the actual meal. Trust me, I know that’d be a little much and if you know me, I’m quite the opposite of that person.
You see, this year my family and I are having an early Thanksgiving. We’re getting together to celebrate and feast THIS Sunday, so you might even say we’re a little bit behind. Naturally, there’s a reason for this (other than spontaneity) but perhaps I’ll get into that at a later date.
On to the cranberry sauce, which just so happens to be my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal.
There is something about cranberry sauce. Whether it be the canned jellied kind, or the homemade whole berry, it’s not Thanksgiving without it. Some think it’s too sweet, but I think it the perfect complement to a plate full of turkey, squash, sweet potatoes, stuffing or what have you. Not only does it taste delicious with every other part of the meal, but for that same exact reason it becomes the unifier of the plate of food an entire country looks forward to eating at the same time of year.
That’s some powerful stuff. When else does every family (give or take) in the continent of North America eat the same thing for dinner? Even though Canadians celebrate in October, and Americans feast in November, that’s a whole lot of cranberries sold in just two fall months. I should be investing in Ocean Spray stock right around now and sell my shares come December.
Maybe you disagree and I’m not here to talk you out of your own opinion, so suffice it to say that cranberries, in whatever form, are important to have at the Thanksgiving table.
And making your own cranberry sauce is much easier than you’d ever imagine. I used to think my mom slaved in the kitchen all day when she made it. That is, until I made it with her last night. We used the Traditional Cranberry Sauce recipe (without the cinnamon sticks) and after putting your ingredients in the pot, the cranberries pretty much do the work for you.
Simple yet so delicious.
Please note that you can always use a sugar substitute in place of the sugar for a lower-calorie sauce.
24 oz. fresh or frozen whole cranberries, washed (2 pkg. Ocean Spray cranberries)
2 C. sugar or sugar substitute
2 C. water
2 whole cinnamon sticks
Mix sugar and water in a saucepan. Stir to dissolve sugar and add cinnamon sticks. Bring to boil, add cranberries, return to boil, reduce heat. Gently stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the berries begin to pop. Remove from heat. Cool completely at room temperature and refrigerate.
So, I poured the sugar into the water.
I stirred, stirred, and stirred until the liquid became a clear sugar water.
We added the cranberries and stirred a whole lot more until…
The liquid began to soak up the color from the cranberries:
Eventually we closed the pot to let it simmer: