Thanksgiving cooking is underway in my home, and I am excited once again to begin this ritual that becomes a little more near and dear to my heart with each passing year. I am so blessed to still have my mother around to enjoy the holidays with, and I don’t ever take that for granted during the holidays now. She is 89 years young, but she is still in good health for the most part. I am missing my daughter and her husband, though, as this will be another holiday season that we will have to share with them over Skype. I am grateful for the technology that is available that families in earlier times never had, but I still don’t like them being gone every year during the holidays. It just stinks. But, that’s life, I guess. At least they have good jobs and are happy and healthy. In these days, that is so much to be grateful for… which I am. I just miss them, but I will also enjoy all of my family members that still live here, too.
Anyway, I want to move on to a much happier topic… holiday cooking!
The first recipe up for this year is a new little twist on my grandmother’s traditional cranberry sauce, and I even have some step by step photos to share as well.
It’s hard to go wrong with homemade cranberry sauce, in my humble opinion. Just follow some basic steps, and then experiment with ingredients that you and your family might like. That is exactly what I did today, and I must admit that the outcome is so stinkin’ good! I have already posted about being a fan of Honeycrisp apples, so this was the next step in the evolution of my love of them. I honestly think they are the best “eating apples” sold today.
Here we go. This is my grandmother’s traditional cranberry sauce… with some slight tweaking on the juice and spices.
4 C. Cranberries (I used Ocean Spray)
1 C. Honeycrisp Apple Cider (Litehouse Brand or any good quality apple cider)
3/4 C. Sugar (Add more or less to your taste)
1/2 Large Honeycrisp Apple, peeled and diced into small bits
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon (I love Watkins brand)
1/8 tsp. Ground Cloves
Rinse the cranberries well under cold water and pick out any bad ones. (I didn’t find any today.) Dry the cranberries and place them in a non-stick saucepan…
Add the Honeycrisp Apple Cider…
Then add the sugar, stir it in well and bring the mixture to a quick boil while stirring… please don’t let this beautiful mixture stick to the pan… and add more or less sugar, depending on your taste preference (tart or sweet)…
After mixture simmers for 10 minutes, stir in Honeycrisp apple bits…
After stirring in the apple bits well, add the remaining ingredients… cinnamon, ground cloves and orange zest…
Continue to simmer for an additional 10 minutes, stirring often…
Finally, after the last 10 minutes of cooking…
Pure cranberry bliss! And the aroma… wonderful!
What a great way to kick off holiday cooking!
Let the sauce cool just a bit, then pour it into a container with a sealed lid and cool in the refrigerator several hours or overnight. This should keep well for several days, which makes it a great dish to prepare ahead of time for the holidays. Cranberry sauce never lasts more than a couple of days at my house, since it is fabulous on a turkey sandwich after the holiday is over.
This is just a little piece of Heaven. I cheated and spooned a little bit of the mostly cooled sauce over some Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream tonight, too. Oh my goodness… 🙂 It would also be nice over a plain cheesecake.
And, think twice about buying that stuff in the can ever again… 😉