One Year Ago: Cranberry Nut Bread
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What would Thanksgiving be without cranberry sauce? Well, it would be my childhood Thanksgiving. That’s right ladies and gentleman. In my house there was NO cranberry sauce. I remember my family telling me that cranberry sauce was gross so they never bought it. They said it was just a congealed jello like substance that came out of the can looking like a can. I remember thinking to myself “well no wonder we don’t have this stuff…it sounds gross!” Now, lets fast forward to the year 2009. It was Thanksgiving day, Mr. NN had a cold and we decided to stay home instead of going to his family Thanksgiving. I quickly realized we couldn’t stay home and not have a small feast of our own. So off to the store I ran. What would I find on Thanksgiving day? Not a whole lot I found out. I managed to find one package of turkey thighs and then stumbled onto bags and bags of fresh cranberries. So I grabbed a couple bags and went home with an idea to finally try cranberry sauce. I was going to do it! I was going to make myself some cranberry sauce and see why exactly it was “so gross” as my family had told me years before.
I got home and unpacked my goodies and stared at the bag of cranberries for awhile. “Hmmm” I thought to myself “now how do I make this stuff?” As any good food blogger would do I turned to the help of other food bloggers. I searched my reader and found that just days before the wonderful Alice of Savory Sweet Life had posted a recipe for Simple but Delicious Cranberry Sauce. Simple! I’m game for anything that has “simple” in the title. Don’t judge me. I like simple 🙂 Ok, ok, back to the story. So I gathered my ingredients threw it together and watched it bubble and boil away. I started to notice how wonderfully delicious it smelled in my kitchen. The scent was amazing. After it was finished I couldn’t help but take a little bite of the warm sauce. I was sure I wasn’t going to like it (after all I had never heard anything good about cranberry sauce) so I scrunched my nose, closed my eyes and shoved the bite into my mouth. Not at all what I expected! The tartness of the cranberry danced on my tongue while the hint of orange rounded it out. I immediately thought to myself “what in the world was my family thinking!? This stuff is great!” I found that I was happy just eating it plain. A simple jello like salad – very common in the Midwest where I am from. The best part is that it was tasty warm or room temperature.
This cranberry sauce is based off Alice’s recipe but I added in ginger, orange zest and used only brown sugar. It turned out wonderful and was really tasty. I have been obsessed lately with ginger and the flavor paired lovely with the tart cranberry and citrus orange. If you are one of those people who think cranberry sauce is gross and can only come from a can, I beg you to try this. It’s fresh, delicious and best of all it isn’t shaped like a can!
Ginger Laced Cranberry Orange Sauce:
12oz. bag fresh cranberries
3/4 cup orange juice
1 cup brown sugar
zest of one orange
1/2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (Add more if you like)
I used a microplane to grate my orange and ginger.
Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes until most of the liquid has reduced – stirring occasionally. You’ll hear the cranberries popping – don’t worry, that’s what you want them to do. Remove from heat and serve. Cranberry sauce can be made days ahead and brought to room temperature or slightly heated before serving.
Slightly adapted from: Savory Sweet Life
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