November 28th, 2013

The cranberry sauce speaks

And it’s got a lot to say:

I’m a legitimate part of the meal, and it’s about time I was treated as such…Look, do you think I don’t see what you see? I’m repulsive. I stick out like a sore thumb. A red, wobbly sore thumb. Plopped down on this table with the ridges from my can still branded into my side, othering me, shaming me…

Confession: I can’t stand the jellied type of cranberry sauce. When I have Thanksgiving at my place, or when it happens at my brother’s, we always do it ourself. Cranberry sauce is so delicious and so stupendously easy to make—cranberries, water, sugar, simmer for a while till it tastes good—that I don’t see why everyone doesn’t make it. My sister-in-law also does a cranberry chutney that is amazingly addictive.

Don’t have the recipe, but I’ll try to get it and post it.

14 Responses to “The cranberry sauce speaks”

  1. sushisistah Says:

    There is always someone at Thanksgiving that insists on bringing a can to to the table.

  2. Matt_SE Says:

    I don’t “do” cranberry sauce. Sorry.

  3. vanderleun Says:

    ” I can’t stand the jellied type of cranberry sauce.”

    Why, and when, did you start to hate America, neo. The jellied schlooping canned cylinder is THE AMERICAN CRANBERRY SAUCE.

    Are you from another planet?

    On my page at Americandigest.org, the real Americans are sounding the praises of the REAL AMERICAN CRANBERRY SAUCE:

    “Canned is what I grew up with, and canned is what my children will grow up with.
    There is no joy quite like jiggling a perfectly intact cylinder of ribbed red gelatin onto a plate and then slicing it into individual rounds. (Mushed jelly, on the other hand, is for heathens. Totally defeats the purpose.) “

  4. vanderleun Says:

    “There is always someone at Thanksgiving that insists on bringing a can to to the table.”

    That would be me and I doubledog guarantee you that that sauce will be eaten and sopped up long before the new trendy deco foodie glump will still be sliming around.

  5. FOAF Says:

    Vanderleun, I am multicultural, I eat both.

  6. vanderleun Says:

    Too much diversity is a mistake.

  7. Sgt. Mom Says:

    I got a little jar of cranberry chutney in the gift basket that I had for doing a talk about my books a couple of years ago, and it was so delish, we not only have we gone back and bought more, now and again, but this year I am attempting to replicate it: cranberries, a smidge of fresh pineapple, ginger, red wine vinegar, orange juice, sugar and… red cayenne pepper. I found a recipe on Martha Stewart’s site which had most of the ingredients listed on the jar label … and in a couple of more tries, I think I will have it down.

  8. maureen Says:

    One year, I made Nina Totenberg’s family recipe for orange-cranberry relish. Sounded much more interesting than the jellied stuff. Everyone asked where the ‘cranberry sauce’ was. When passed the innovation, tiny bits were sampled and skeptical faces were pulled, until finally I went to the cabinet and dredged up the glistening tube (USE BY date long past). Never bothered with anything unusual again. Lesson: don’t mess with Tradition.

  9. Militant Bibliophile Says:

    Most years my wife makes it from scratch and it is divine (especially dished up with vanilla ice cream for dessert)! This year, due to poverty and lack of fridge space, she got the can: not because the other option is too expensive, but because we feel less guilty tossing 99¢ worth of canned sauce which inevitably goes bad in the fridge than the mounds of turkey that become my next two weeks’ lunch. Because while we both enjoy a little sauce fresh with our meal and dessert, it never manages to get eaten as leftovers. Guess we need to start having more people over…

  10. Gringo Says:

    I have no objection to the canned cranberry deal, but my mother’s orange-cranberry relish- which she made years before anyone ever heard of NinaTotenberg- was delicious.

    Some years ago I invited an Argentine friend then studying in the US to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving. He wouldn’t touch my mother’s orange-cranberry relish: not something he had seen in Argentina.

    Several decades later, when talking with my sister, I mentioned his visiting us for Thanksgiving. “Wasn’t he the one who wouldn’t eat Mom’s orange-cranberry relish?” my sister replied.

  11. rickl Says:

    One story has it that John Lennon actually said “Cranberry Sauce” rather than “I Buried Paul” at the end of Strawberry Fields Forever.

    Go on; listen for yourself.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwJC98yKf2w

  12. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    I love all forms of cranberry sauce, including the canned variety with the rings still showing on the side, except for Nina Totenberg’s recipe. Tried it one year. Never again. Our table always includes a plate of disks of the canned variety and a bowl of whole sauce, homemade, canned, whatever. The recipe for cranberry-orange relish that’s on the bag of Ocean Spray whole berries is terrific and extremely easy.

  13. sushisistah Says:

    I did enjoy the homemade cranberry relish at the table, however, for sandwiches the next day the only thing to smear is the canned jelly variety. I was part of a product testing guinea pig group once and was sent a bottle of Ocean Spray cranberry sauce in a plastic squirt bottle (much like a Heinz ketchup bottle). I immediately used this stuff on every sandwich I made. It was genius. I guess the rest of the guinea pigs didn’t give it as high ratings as I did because the product has never surfaced on the grocery market shelves.

  14. Charles Says:

    Cranberries also make a wonderful addition to home-made applesauce – it does need to be put through a foodmill to get rid of the tough cranberry skins otherwise the applesause is somewhat rough and bitter; but after the foodmill cranberry applesauce makes “plain” applesauce seem very bland.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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