Being a foodie, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.
But it's not just the food. I love the whole idea of the holiday.
Family. Food. Gratitude.
The past few years I've “let” my husband, Colm, do the cooking for Thanksgiving and Christmas. (Except for this amazing stuffing I make!)
Cooking together doesn't work for us. Some of our worst fights have happened in the kitchen while preparing a meal.
I'm very much a control freak, by-the-recipe, person (until I've made something enough to feel like I can start customizing).
Colm is what I call a Frankenstein cook. He throws a bunch of ingredients together.
Sometimes it's amazing; sometimes it's horrible.
After a particularly nasty blowout over a destroyed baking sheet photography prop, I relinquished all Thanksgiving and Christmas food prep to him.
Colm makes a huge mess, but everything (usually) tastes delicious.
The only thing he constantly forgets is the cranberry sauce, because he doesn't eat it. And cranberry sauce is the ONE thing that all of the girls love to eat.
I always just buy the canned cranberry sauce. The kids like it and it's easy. Chill. Open Can. Eat.
Last year my mom told me I should make cranberry sauce from scratch–“it's super easy and tastes great”, but I thought it would be to much trouble.
When I saw fresh cranberries on the order page at The Produce Box I decided to give it a try. I can test out a recipe or two and see what I think. If it's not good, or too difficult, no big deal, there is always the canned sauce.
The Produce Box is a fantastic service in North Carolina that provides boxes of fresh produce, meats, dairy, and bakery items directly from local farmers and other small business owners.
Each week there is a different selection, depending on what’s available and in season, and unlike a CSA, you choose exactly what, and how much, you want to purchase. It’s like a farmer’s market brought right to your door. (Want to become a member? Check it out here! Use my referral link and we will both receive a $10 credit!)
I'm so happy I decided to order the cranberries because I can't get over how easy it was to make fresh cranberry sauce.
And it is WAAAAAYYYYY better than the canned stuff!! And. So. Stinking. Easy.
Homemade Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan.
Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time.
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 12-ounce fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained (frozen is okay)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried orange peel, more or less to taste
Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil; add cranberries and orange peel, return to boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time.
Serving Size:2 Tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 51Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 11g
Since I had extra cranberries, I also made a delicious 5-minute cranberry orange relish. Again, super easy–this one is no-cook–and super delicious! My 10 yo sat down and just started eating spoonfuls of it out of the food processor.
5-Minute Cranberry Orange Relish
Place the cranberries and orange slices in a food processor. Pulse on grind setting until mixture is evenly chopped. Add sugar and pulse until mixed thoroughly.
This bright and refreshing Cranberry Relish is delicious on its own or as a topping for turkey or chicken. My youngest will eat it with a spoon right out of the fridge.
- 1/2 unpeeled orange, cut into wedges and seeded
- 12-ounces Fresh Cranberries, rinsed and drained (frozen are okay)
- 1 cup sugar, or more to taste
Place the cranberries and orange slices in a food processor. Pulse on chop setting until mixture is evenly chopped. Add sugar and pulse until mixed thoroughly. Transfer to a bowl. Store in refrigerator or freezer. Serve chilled.
If you aren't a fan of the added tang/zest from the orange peel, feel free to peel the sections before adding to the food processor. I would increase the orange to a full orange if you omit the peel.
Serving Size:1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 67Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 17g
I'm still kicking myself that I didn't try making cranberry sauce from scratch before now. It is so easy to make and tastes so much better than the canned stuff, it's silly not to.
We definitely will be making fresh cranberry sauce from now on!
Do you have a favorite side dish that you always have to make from scratch for holiday dinners?