Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Two Cranberries

I grew up with the canned cranberry jelly making its appearance at our Thanksgiving table, sliced in little rounds.  I had no idea what a real cranberry looked or tasted like until I was an adult.  Then my Mother made this recipe:

Cranberry Relish

1 package fresh cranberries (but stick them in the freezer at least the day before making this dish)
1 medium naval orange
1/2 - 2/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp brandy (optional - brandy is not something I have on hand and it's too expensive to buy for a tablespoon, so I leave it out or either add a little bit of brandy or rum extract)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (also optional - we don't like it with nuts - we're nutty enough)

Coarsely chop cranberries in a food processor. Remove to a bowl. Take ends off the orange, cut into eighths, remove seeds, and process until chopped fine. Add to cranberries. Stir in remaining ingredients. This tastes better if made at least one day before serving.

My daughters love this, especially Brooke (my middle child) - she will eat it with a spoon!  My mother-in-law also adores this one.

The second one is my favorite.  When my Mother first made it, I was a little put off.  Apples and ONIONS?  Raisins and CELERY?  Are you feeling well, Mother Dear?  But I decided to try it.  And it is SO good.  Very different, but in an awesome way.  So now we have TWO cranberry dishes on our Thanksgiving and Christmas table - and neither one is shaped like a can.

Cranberry Chutney

4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups sugar (or less)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1 cup water
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 large apple, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped celery

Place cranberries, raisins, sugar, spices, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce and simmer, 15 minutes or until berries pop. Add onion, apple, and celery; simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. SO good and very different.

Cranberry Chutney on the left, Cranberry Relish on the right.  

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