Ever since my childhood, I’ve always enthusiastically been on Team Cranberry Sauce when it came to Thanksgiving condiments. Sure, my grandmother, the legendary Jen-Jen, makes a killer white gravy, yet I’ve always been wild about the tart, bright, sweetness that the cranberry sauce adds to the otherwise heavy, buttery Thanksgiving plate. Plus, even as a little girl, I could appreciate the appealing color-contrast cranberry sauce added to the plate.
At my house growing up, we were a house divided on the cranberry sauce issue. My dad and one brother loved the canned jelly that remains in a can shape when placed up its serving dish. My mother and I, however, preferred the homemade form that’s loaded with citrus and cooked down into a sweet yet tart condiment.
To this day, we still have to have both on our Thanksgiving table to make everyone happy. Since I know how easy it is to make homemade cranberry sauce, I’ve always volunteered to make it. After all, mine is the best.
If you are used to buying your cranberry sauce in a can or from the grocery store already prepared, this is the year to tighten those apron strings and make it happen. You can do it. I’ll show you just how easy it is!
I once thought making your own cranberry sauce was intimidating. I’d seen Martha Stewart pull it off effortlessly, yet she makes everything look effortless.
A few years ago once I started gaining kitchen confidence, I bought a bag of fresh cranberries from Publix (my South Carolina days) and got down to experimenting. From adding citrus to pears to apples to pomegranate to a wide range of alcoholic splices and splashes, cranberry sauce can take on a lot of different flavor profiles.
The one I keep coming back to is the most traditional one, with a hint of autumn spice and orange zest.
Let's break it down now, y'all. You will need 5 ingredients. That's it! And you will need about half a hour. That's it!
Here we go: cranberries, orange juice, orange zest, dash of spices, drizzle of honey. After thirty minutes of babysitting on the stove, you’ve got homemade cranberry sauce. Easy peasy lemon squeeze.
Once you’ve got it made, you don’t have to eat it only with turkey. Oh no no no, broaden your horizons and explore the possibilities that await you! Here’s some of my recent discoveries:
And this is jus the beginning, y’all.
Oh the possibilities!
As you’re grocery shopping at Wal-Mart this weekend (or H.E.B. or Kroger or wherever the wind takes you), man up and toss that bag of fresh cranberries into your buggy. I believe in you. You need to believe in you. No turning back.
Plus, this recipe will keep fresh in your refrigerator for 7-10 days, so you could get your cranberry sauce made for Thanksgiving this weekend! You overachiever you!
Alrighty friends, I’m off to brainstorm more ways to incorporate cranberries into my daily diet…I think a cranberritastic, protein-rich snack is heading y’alls way soon! Stay tuned, and be well!
What about y'all? Are you Team Cranberry or Gravy? Are you Team Canned Sauce or Team Fresh is Best?
Healthy Happy Texan
I'm a Foodie, Fitness Instructor, and Follower of Christ. Add a passion for teaching others, dark chocolate, bacon, and dogs -- and that's me in a box.
Come on, let's live a little!