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"What's for Dinner Honey?" Cranberry Relish 2 Ways


"What's for Dinner Honey?"

Are you getting tired of Thanksgiving recipes yet?  Sorry, Betty can't help herself.  First, we get terrific recipes, and second we find out that our families are not as high up on the dysfunctionality scale as we thought.  Everyone has an eccentric relative. We are not alone Betty.

Today we're serving up the cranberries.  We know that some of you like your cranberry sauce in the shape of a can, and we support you.  But if you want to branch out a bit, or take an easy treat as a gift to your hostess, read on.  Joan and Sarah have you covered.

Joan Chittick comes from a big Irish Catholic family, so a Thanksgiving for 22 is actually on the small side.  Hosting duties rotate, but no longer to Aunt Nancy, a truly brilliant woman but a somewhat distracted cook.  Her first year Aunt Nancy roasted the bird with the bag of giblets, soggy and wrapped in paper, still inside the bird.  The next year [anticipating danger] the family coached her to clean the turkey before roasting, thus ensuring that the bag would be removed.  It was, and Nancy dutifully cleaned the bird...with Palmolive.  Excellent for your hands, but not a turkey flavor-enhancer.  The following year, there was an unfortunate incident with the dishwasher and a turkey...we really can't go on.  Needless to say, sister Jeanette is cooking this year, and Joan will be supplying the relish.

Cranberry Relish - from Joan Chittick [by way of Sarah Leah Chase]

1 1/2 lbs fresh cranberries    
1 lime
1 tangerine or orange
3/4 C packed light brown sugar
3/4 C granulated sugar
3 T orange liqueur
scant pinch of cloves
1/4 C toasted pinenuts or walnuts

Sort through the fresh cranberries discarding the deflated ones, twigs and stems.  Put them in a food processor and pulse until coarse.  Toss them in a mixing bowl.  Cut lime and tangerine into 1/2" pieces, skin and all.  Process until finely chopped.  Add to cranberries, add the sugars, the cloves and the liqueur [Joan uses orange juice when she doesn't have the liqueur].  Stir well, now taste to see if it's too tart.  If it is, add a bit more sugar.  Fold in the nuts.  Cover and let it sit so the flavors mellow overnight.  Makes 6 cups.

Joan always doubles the recipe.  She puts some on the Thanksgiving table, saves some to add to turkey sandwiches the next day, and puts the rest in small Mason jars to give away to guests.

Gee, can Betty be a guest at Joan's next Thanksgiving?  As long as Aunt Nancy isn't making the turkey….


Tart Cranberry Jam

This one is dark and tart, and is perfect on a turkey sandwich* [which is, as we all know, the only reason to roast a turkey].

1 pound fresh cranberries
1/2 C port
1/2 C squeezed orange juice
peel of the orange
3/4 C raisins or currants
1/2 C packed dark brown sugar
3/4 C granulated sugar
3/4 C pecans, lightly toasted
1/4 t cinnamon
8 whole cloves
4 allspice berries

Place the cranberries, port, orange juice, orange peel, raisins, spices and sugars in a saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries are cooked and the sauce is thick, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat, cool, and stir in the pecan halves.  Store covered in the refrigerator. The mixture will keep for several weeks and is best brought to room temperature before serving.


Roast Turkey Sandwich- from Peter Lyon

A good reason to have Thanksgiving dinner early is so that you can have a turkey sandwich late....

The very best turkey sandwich starts with either dense french bread [like Iggy's] or classic white sandwich [like Pepperidge Farm].  Then a liberal coating of good mayonnaise, a pinch of salt,  a lot of freshly ground black pepper [the key], a big scoop of one of the above cranberry relishes, turkey, and organic iceberg lettuce [Betty can't believe we're supporting the use of iceberg...]  salty potato chips on the side.  Eat in front of football. Or in Peter's case, any televised athletic endeavor.  Curling.  Jai Lai.  Professional Rochambeau.