Cranberry Orange Relish

 

I’ll keep my words short and to the point because I know the hustle and bustle of the day is going to take over in what feels like the blink of an eye.

Whether your house is filled to the brim with every family member in a 100-mile radius or you’re enjoying a cozy quiet Thanksgiving, I wish you a day full of good food, a moment to steal away to reflect on the year’s blessings and priceless memories that will carry you the entire year.

As I write this note, my children are running through the house treading the line between happy jovial play and wild feral animal. It’s a blurry line that they seem to cross and retreat from all day long.

I’ve spent weeks thinking about the menu for Thanksgiving and now that it’s finally here, I realize with crystal clarity that I really don’t care all that much. What I care about is those wild children, my family near and far, friends who I miss and don’t see nearly enough and this wonderful, special opportunity I have each week to share a few words and recipes in this space. I feel so lucky to gather at the table over a meal with the people I love and to share it here as I go along.

And because I can’t just let a week slip by without a recipe, I offer you my most favorite cranberry sauce. I recognize everyone seems to have a firm stance on whether they like cranberry sauce or not, but wherever you fall with your preferences, I challenge you to make this easy dish. Tart cranberries are softened with a little sugar and fresh orange juice and then mellowed with cinnamon and ginger. 

Cranberry Orange Relish, adapted from The Pioneer Woman

 12 ounces, fresh cranberries
 3/4 cups sugar
 1 tablespoon orange zest
 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange Juice
 1 cinnamon stick
 ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
 Pinch of salt

Rinse cranberries well, then place them in a heavy bottomed saucepan with the sugar, orange zest, orange juice, ginger and cinnamon stick. Give it a stir, then place the pan over medium-low heat. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 15 minutes, stirring the mixture every 5 minutes to ensure the bottom doesn’t burn. 

After 15 minutes, the cranberries should all be popped. Remove the pan from the heat. The sauce will look very liquidy, but as it cools, the sauce will thicken up significantly. After the sauce has cooled completely, you can add additional water for a thinner texture. Remove the cinnamon stick and serve the cranberry sauce at room temperature or chilled. Enjoy!

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