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Thanksgiving countdown: Day 6!

Growing up, we always had homemade cranberry sauce.  Cranberries are one of my mom’s favorite side at the Thanksgiving table. And although they sometimes are overshadowed by the turkey, and casserole, and desserts, a good cranberry dish is critical to a Thanksgiving meal.

Pile them on top of the turkey, swirl them in with the mashed potatoes, or use them as jelly on your roll, it’s all delicious!  And what plate of Thanksgiving leftovers is complete without the cranberries?

I have a small confession to make.  I really don’t mind the jellied cranberries right out of the can. Something about that cylinder of cranberries, lined with can marks, sparks a little excitement inside. I get the same feeling when I start seeing canned pumpkin puree displays around every corner at the grocery store.

But what kind of food blog would this be if I told you to buy a can of cranberries, put them on a pretty serving tray, and call it a day?  Especially when making your own is so easy and the flavor is so much better.

It definitely would be a little out of character.

This year we will be having two types of cranberries at Thanksgiving. The first is the traditional water, sugar, berry mixture. And the second is a spiced up version.  The jury is still out on which one is the favorite.  I’ll let you be the judge.

Jalepeno and Orange cranberry sauce
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1 bag, 12 ounce cranberries
1 cup water
1 large orange, juiced and zested
1/2 large jalepeno, chopped
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 1/4 cup sugar

In a sauce pan, combine water, sugar, ginger, orange zest and orange juice.

Bring to a boil.  Add in cranberries.  Let sauce continue to boil for about 8 minutes, until all the cranberries have popped. Remove from heat and let sit. The sauce will thicken as it cools.  Serve cool.

Traditional cranberry sauce
1 bag, 12 ounces cranberry
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

On the stovetop, bring water and sugar to a boil. Add in cranberries and cook until all berries have popped, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and let thicken. Serve cool.

The jalepenos cranberries really do have a nice kick to them.  It is unexpected, but pairs so nicely with the ginger and orange.  I think they will be a fun addition to the table. And while they may not be at the top of your must make list, think about making some homemade cranberries this year. They take about 15 minutes to make and have no odd lines indicative of a canned beginning.

Please remember to vote today! Two of the women have teamed up to go against me.  I need your support!

November 24, 2012 - 12:20 am

Debra Ann - I have been making this cranberry sauce for several years. In fact, my son asked me if I was making this, saying it is not Thanksgiving without it!

November 26, 2012 - 4:08 pm

Lindsey - That is great! I just love fresh cranberry sauce.

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