Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Cranberry Relish

Over the years I’ve made many different cranberry sauce recipes for Thanksgiving.  All of them were good but not good enough that I wanted to make them again the next year.  One year I switched from a sauce to a relish and the search was over; this has been my Thanksgiving cranberry recipe ever since. 
So much of what is wonderful about Thanksgiving is family tradition and food lends itself well to that end.  I love to try new recipes, but I also love that someone I care about looks forward to a dish I’m making.  My mom still gets excited when she sees me putting this one together and that makes me happy.  Thanksgiving is not a holiday about getting gifts; it’s about giving them and being thankful for the gifts you’ve been given all year long. 
Happy Thanksgiving to all!  And to Mom and Dad - who I won’t be with this year but will be thinking of - Happy 49th Anniversary!  You are the two people in this world I’m most thankful for.  Enjoy the day and being together, even if it means eating a hospital Thanksgiving dinner with no cranberry relish.  When Dad gets out, we’ll celebrate again.
Cranberry Orange Relish
Adapted from Gourmet November 2001

This cranberry relish is zippy and tart, a nice respite on the plate from all the delicious but rich food that tends to show up for Thanksgiving dinner.  It’s so easy it’s ridiculous; no cooking is required, it can be made a day or two ahead of time, and it’s perfect for turkey sandwiches the next day (and the day after and the day after that).
Breezy Hill Orchard brings fresh cranberries to the Greenmarket from Willows Cranberries of Wareham, Massachusetts.  They are fourth generation cranberry farmers who use as little pesticide as possible. 
Sectioning an orange is not difficult; I found useful advice such as this online.
1 navel orange
12 ounces fresh cranberries
½ cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Finely grate 2 teaspoons of zest from orange.  Section orange.
Pulse cranberries with zest, orange sections, sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor until finely chopped. 
Chill, covered, at least 2 hours to allow flavors to develop. 
Relish may be chilled up to 3 days in advance. 

Serves 10

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