Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fresh Cranberry Relish

The tastes of Thanksgiving are upon us. This is one little dish our whole family can't get enough of. Instead of thinking of it as an accompaniment for the turkey, we think of it as a side. Because it's fresh, all the vitamins are in tact and there for the taking. This side is the splash of bright life for which the rest of the hearty meal gobbles.

Before I go on, I must first make a confession. Yep.

Okay okay, I'll confess.

Yes, I used to be quite content with that jellied stuff in the shape of a can that went schluuuuuuppppe-whap! onto a plate where it was then (eek!) sliced--complete with the ridges of the can as its textural decoration.

I've made amends with that part of my life. I've tried many different cranberry sauces and relishes, and this one is just plain good and liked by all. It doesn't have those chewy rinds or nuts my kids don't like. It doesn't have alcohol or spices in it either. It's pure and simple.

Just take a bag of fresh cranberries.Now, rinse them and give 'em a whirl in your processor. (Tap them down 2-3 times so they end up a consistent small size.) Pour them into a large bowl.

Peel a couple of large oranges and separate the sections. Cut each section into 3-4 pieces, let them do the ring-around-the-processor, then add them to the cranberries. Sometimes the processor doesn't do well with a whole section.

Oh yes, I mustn't forget to mention that you really should taste your orange before you add it to cranberries. I once made the entire recipe without tasting, and the oranges had an unpleasant taste. It'll ruin your dish if you're not cautious about your ingredients. Same with apples--give 'em a taster first.

Core and peel the apples. Cut them into processor-friendly sizes and let them spin. You may need to scrape them down a couple of times to get a consistent size. Add them with the cranberries and oranges.

(Note: Adding the oranges first will prevent the apples from browning once they join the party.)

To the prepared fresh fruit add 2 cups of sugar and mix well.
Allow to sit out for an hour or so to allow the sugar to dissolve.
Voila! A fresh cranberry side to your Thanksgiving meal.

3 cups washed raw cranberries (a 12 oz. bag = 3 cups)
2 skinned and cored medium-sized apples, (or 1 mombo-sized Honey Crisp)
3 large seedless oranges (1 of them is for juice only)
1-1/2 cups sugar

Run fruit through a grinder or process in a food processor. Add sugar. Let sit at room temperature until sugar dissolves. Lasts for a week or so in the fridge.

Sometimes I make two batches and give one batch away to neighbors in pint-size jars. If I do this at Thanksgiving, then I don't feel as badly if I don't get around to making or distributing goodies at Christmastime. Man, does it get busy in December.