Living with someone from a different culture can be interesting, but it can also be trying. This is as true for food as it is for languages, folkways and mores. In this case, I’m talking about being an American northerner married to a southerner. It may seem that being from the same country negates any cultural hardships. I’m here to tell you that the difference between north and south can be like night and day.
That being the case, we’ve been cautiously – and sometimes not so cautiously – introducing each other to our favorite recipes. More often, we’ve been experimenting with flavor preferences and cooking styles. Most of the time, it works out well. Sometimes we strike gold and create a new tradition in one fell swoop.
This was the case with this past Thanksgiving’s cranberry sauce recipe. Neither of us cares for cranberry sauce from the can. It’s okay in a pinch, but why settle for gelatinous gloop when you can have a homemade cranberry sauce?
That’s what I decided to do this year. I bought the cranberries, apples, orange juice and cinnamon and took a chance.
Cranberry sauce recipe
1 bag of fresh cranberries
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of fresh orange juice (store bought works as well)
1 cup of diced apple (Optional. I used pink lady apples, but any tart cooking apple will do.)
1 half teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)
Mix the whole cranberries in a pot with the orange juice, sugar and apples. Bring this mixture to a boil. Turn the cranberries to a low simmer and leave them until the cranberries pop, or split. This may begin during the initial boil. Add the cinnamon if you prefer a spiced cranberry sauce. Nutmeg is another option. Let the sauce simmer for another ten to fifteen minutes after the cranberries have popped.
Take your cranberry sauce off the heat and let it cool until it is safe to pour into the container of your choice. Let the cranberry sauce stand and thicken a couple of hours before the meal. Better yet, prepare the cranberry sauce the night before.
Cranberry sauce bliss
This recipe was a definite hit. The flavor was perfect for a fall meal and for adding moisture to what some think of as a dry meat. It added color to the meal presentation and even tempted the kids enough to try. Speaking of kids, since a homemade cranberry sauce tends to have less sugar than the gelatinous gloop, some kids may not enjoy it as much. Adding the spices and apples may sweeten the sauce just enough for their more finicky tastes.