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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Recipes: Spiced Cranberries

Even if you don't live in a country where they celebrate Thanksgiving, it's wonderful to get together in the dwindling daylight of autumn with friends and family to celebrate our having made it through another year and look forward to the things we'll undertake after the impending winter mellows into spring.

We've come to associate certain foods with this festival. Certainly you want to have turkey (and I have a super-simple way to prepare it, which I may post here or perhaps save until next year unless readers bombard me with requests), but for Heaven's sake, don't serve it with that odious wiggly gelatinous cranberry sauce that comes from a can—there is a far, far better alternative.

This recipe comes from the in-law side of the family (as opposed to the outlaws on my side), and has been a staple of our Thanksgiving table for more than three decades.

Ingredient US Metric Metric 1.5×
Cranberries 1 lb 454 g 680 g
Vinegar 2/3 cup 157 ml 235 ml
Water 1/3 cup 78 ml 117 ml
Cinnamon 1 Tbsp 15 ml 23 ml
Allspice 1 Tbsp 15 ml 23 ml
Sugar 3 cups 710 ml 1065 ml

I include the “Metric 1.5×” column because Migros sells USA-sourced cranberries in containers of 340 g apiece, and two of them scale perfectly to one and a half times the U.S. Ocean Spray pound bag recipe. If you prefer a less sweet concoction, halve the amount of sugar. If you'd like a different tang to the spiciness, replace the allspice (Jamaican pepper) with half and half allspice and ground cloves.

So, what are you supposed to do with all this stuff? Couldn't be simpler—just pick through the cranberries and throw out all of the spoilt ones, plonk of all the ingredients into a pot, bring it to a boil, simmer until all of the cranberries have popped, stir well and frequently throughout this process, then keep the crombobulating glozmo at a simmer for 45 minutes and then let it cool overnight. Ladle into conserve jars and, ideally, store a while before serving (but it's yummy even if you make it in a panic the day before Thanksgiving).

Now, wasn't that better than the canned glop?

Posted at November 18, 2007 03:31