My mom’s 10 minute recipe for fresh raw cranberry sauce with orange for Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving dinner for my family was always about spending time with friends. Since my mom’s side of the family was in Texas, and my Dad’s was in Vermont, both too far away to travel to, we stayed home in Bucks County, and got together with some other families in the neighborhood. The Prices, the Guerreros, the Dunlaps and the Gordons.
It was a huge group. My sister Jessie and I folded right into the big posse of kids, 10 of us all together. I was one of the youngest three, and spent a lot of time observing the misbehavior of the older teenage boys in the group.
One year, I remember watching one of the older Guerrero boys holding a two liter of orange soda up to his eyeball and tipping the whole thing back with his eye open. This was of course on a dare but what was he thinking? Or there was the time when all the kids left the table and put on dress-ups and then went thanksgiving “trick or treating” to really confuse the neighbors.
The parents, for their part had their own share of shenanigans. There was the time when one of the other moms brought a bottle of champagne over early in the day. While they were all supposed to be cooking the moms got too tipsy for their own good. Or there was the time when my dad decided it would be a good idea to set up a tape recorder on top of the Guerrero’s fridge to record the whole crazy evening. I’d love to get my hands on that today!
I remember the people and the fun. And the laughter, and the f-bombs dropped by my dad.
There were traditions that we had every year too. Without fail big Dirk, would always start the meal with a Quakerly moment of silence, everyone solemnly holding hands. And then we’d all start to pass the food around the table with mass confusion ensuing. After a moment, and a chance to try some of the meal, my Dad would stop everyone, and we’d all have to go around the table to say what we had for our first bite. I love that tradition and still insist on it to this day!
And of course there was the food.
My mom’s cranberry relish was one of the traditions that we could always look forward to. There were usually a few different cranberry sauces on the table, but this one was always my favorite.
This month’s Recipe Redux is all about food memories, so I asked my mom this morning to share the recipe for her raw cranberry relish with orange with me. Making it today brought all of these memories flooding back and I couldn’t help but smile about them.
She told me there wasn’t really a recipe, other than it is one pound of cranberries to one orange. Then she adds sugar and raspberry jam to taste. I made a half batch since it is only eight of us this year, and I want to serve more than one cranberry sauce. As I made it, I was surprised by how easy it was. It only took 10 minutes, maybe even a little less. I love how it is so fresh and bright. When you make it, feel free to doctor it up with as much sugar as you like. I stopped at three tablespoons, but you may like a touch more.
Was Thanksgiving a meal with family or friends for you growing up?
How many kinds of cranberry sauce will you be making this year?
What Thanksgiving tradition or recipe brings back all those memories for you?
My mom's recipe for raw cranberry relish with orange in it. It only takes 1o minutes to make and it is vegan and gluten-free
- ½ navel orange (with skin), cut into 6 pieces
- 12 ounces cranberries, picked over and rinsed
- 2 tablespoon raspberry jam, or to taste
- 3 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
- Remove any seeds from orange (if there are any) and place in food processor fitted with steel blade attachment. Process until chopped into pieces no larger than a pea. Add cranberries and pulse until the cranberries are finely chopped.
- Whisk raspberry jam in a medium bowl to loosen. Add cranberry mixture and sugar and stir thoroughly until the jam is incorporated and the sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate up to one week.
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