Here we go again, Thanksgiving, just a few short days away. I love you…I adore you… so, can I ask? What happened to the fall and when-the-heck did you get here? I never seem to arrive in the middle of November well prepared. It’s like I left October without my house keys, a pair of socks or a contact case, Thanksgiving arrived early, my house isn’t clean and I have no food.
Don’t know what I’d do without family to invite me over!
When going to a big family function—foreign or domestic—it’s important to wow the judges. On holidays, we go all out. The table is set with carefully starched and pressed linen napkins and cloth, bone china, antique silver flatware and cut crystal. Everything–the cheese, the bread, the wine, the vegetables and meats–is the freshest, most beautiful that we can find; brought to the table like little gifts.
But while sipping from a glass that costs more than I spend on food in a week, I’m left to wonder: how the hell did that can shaped, gelatinous blob of cranberries get deemed acceptable?
Aside from the fact that they’re delicious and more hysterical than the turkey shaped butter mold that my dad insists on lopping the head off as soon as we sit down, how does the red viscous can-mold manage to make it under the radar every year?
This year, I said I’d take on the task of reinventing the cranberry. Much easier than the wheel…Here are some fun ways to add some sauce to the sauce: that boring canned cran will never be the same!
First comes first: breakfast cooking cocktails! Thanksgiving is always served more as a lunch, so starting early is necessary. In order to stand in the kitchen while others lounge in front of football, a little morning bev is needed. Again I’ll say: it’s a holiday!
- 4 oz. Champagne
- 1 t. Jellied Cranberry Sauce (the canned stuff)
Place cranberry sauce in champagne glass and top with chilled champagne. Now, you may enter the kitchen…
Cape Codder Cran
- 1 14 oz Can Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
- 1 lime, juice and zest
- ¼ C Vodka
Just like the cocktail! Mix all ingredients in medium sauce pan and heat on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat, serve chilled. Lime wedges optional.
Jager Spiced Cranberries
- 1 14oz. can Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
- 1 Persimmon, diced
- ¼ C Jägermeister
Mix all ingredients in medium sauce pan and heat on medium for 5 minutes, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat, serve chilled or warm with dinner or along with cheese platter! This pairs beautifully with Brie, Camembert, Gouda and mild Swiss cheeses.
- 1 12oz. bag Fresh Cranberries
- 1 C Water
- 1 C sugar
- 1 Navel orange zest and segments, pith removed
- 1 Persimmon, diced
- ½ C Pomegranate seeds (click link for tips on cutting & seeding!)
- ½ C Grand Marnier
In medium sauce pan, bring water and sugar to a boil. Reduce heat and add fresh cranberries, orange segments, orange zest and persimmon. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add pomegranate seeds and Grand Marnier. Serve chilled or hot (according to your preference) with the holiday bird.
Don’t forget about dessert…
Vanilla Vodka Whipped CranDip
- 1 14oz. container Cool Whip,
- 1/4 C Crème fraîche (cheat & buy it…)
- 2 T Vanilla Vodka
- 1 14oz. can Whole Berry Cranberries
In large bowl, combine all ingredients and whip with electric mixer until evenly combined and fluffy. Serve chilled with cut fruit or in a pre-fab graham cracker pie crust (frozen or chilled) for dessert.
Thanksgiving cranberries will no longer be the laughing stock of the table. That butter turkey is another story…Happy Thanksgiving!!