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Cranberry Heaven

by Amy Ephron
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cranberryI love cranberries. I do. I love Ocean Spray whole cranberry cranberry sauce. It has to be whole berry and I’m addicted to it. I can’t even serve a roast chicken without cranberry sauce. We were once out of cranberry sauce (which I didn’t realize) as I put the chicken on the table and I started crying. Literally.

Alan was so annoyed at me he stormed out and bought ten cans of whole berry cranberry sauce and we had a very pleasant dinner. The roast chicken was very good by the way. But it just feels naked to me without the “sauce” and gravy might do the trick but it’s fattening and bad for you and over-indulgent on a Wednesday night.

On Thanksgiving, I like to take two to three cans of Ocean Spray, put them in a decorative mold (like you make a bundt cake in) but I have one that’s in the shape of a rose, put it in the fridge for three hours and then carefully place a plate over it, hit the bottom of the pan and serve it on the plate and pretend I made it myself.

My friend Carol Caldwell once made a spiced up cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving that we thought was pretty great. She has no recollection of this. But I do. What I remember is that it had jalapenos in it, a kind of zingy (or California) addition and some kind of alcohol (which may be why she doesn’t remember it). I think it was bourbon. She thinks it was Vodka. I’m pretty sure I’m right. And for sure, a little bit of grated orange rind for flavor.

But whether you’re making your own or using a canned variety, here are some ways to spice up your cranberry sauce:

cranberry saladCarol Caldwell Southern Spicy Cranberry Sauce

1 can of whole berry cranberry sauce
2 teaspoon of grated orange rind
5 jalapeno slices (we like Mezzetta in a jar), chopped fine
1/2 cup of Bourbon (although it maybe Vodka, who knows – trust me, go with the bourbon)

By the way, this would be really good even without the alcohol, which is totally optional. Mix everything together and chill until dinner is ready.

Comments   

0 #5 Martin Pitts 2013-11-22 16:48
Hey Dear Amy,
I'm from Nashville and I hate bourbon and all brown whiskey. But remember moonshine is clear as spring water...
Have a bountiful Thanksgiving!
Marty
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+1 #4 Mary McC 2013-11-19 06:45
I use the recipe on the back of the bag of fresh Ocean Spray Cranberries & doctor it up with a little fresh squeezed orange juice, bits of the orange & orange zest and a teaspoon of Grand Marnier. Sometimes I will add a few dried apricots, finally chopped. This has become a mandatory addition to our Thanksgiving feast!
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0 #3 Kim Stebbins 2012-11-19 18:53
I agree! Cranberries with chicken year round. But when fresh cranberries are in season, homemade sauce is so easy to make! My mother always insisted the cranberry sauce be served in a tall, footed crystal (or glass) dish, and so it is at every Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, sometimes I add a little orange rind, but never bourbon-- and I'm from Nashville! But, maybe I should try that?!?
I make a killer cranberry marmalade that I use to top a round of Brie-- bake about 12 minutes and serve with pear slices and crackers-- to die for! :)
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0 #2 AMY EPHRON 2012-11-19 18:13
don't talk to me about the bourbon -- you know how I feel about brown alcohol. carol caldwell's recipe!! and she's from nashville where I understand they really like bourbon.
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0 #1 Hallie Ephron 2012-11-17 07:45
I'm a huge fan of canned whole cranberry sauce, too, Amy - wonder were I got it from :-)

I hate adulterating it with anything, but orange zest might just work. But bourbon??
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