This is the easiest dish you can make for Thanksgiving. All you need is an orange, cranberries and sugar, plus a way to grind them up. I use an old-fashioned, hand-cranked grinder like my mom used, which works even when the power is out. If there are young people around, say 5-10 years old, nab one to do the cranking. In fact, you may have to finesse sharing the job because it can turn into one of those, “Can I do it? Can I do it?” situations.
What I like about this relish is the bright clear flavors of the cranberries and orange, sweetened only as much as you like, and the cheerful color it adds to the table. No cooking necessary. You can make it a day or two ahead and stick it in the fridge. If you don’t use it all up, you can dump it into gelatin, or add it to apples in pie. It’ll keep a while anyway so it can last as long as the turkey leftovers do.
If you like Tex-Mex flavors, add a little chopped jalapeno and onion. Or add a little chopped crystallized ginger. But not both at the same time.
The good news is that we are growing cranberries in Maine these days, particularly Down East. (No oranges yet that I know of, except maybe someone who has a tree in a greenhouse somewhere.) In fact, I am growing cranberries in my garden, too, but the plant is still pretty tiny and I’ve collected only about 17 berries off it so far, not exactly enough for relish.
Cranberry Orange Relish
Yields about two cups of relish
2 cups of fresh whole cranberries
1 cup of sugar (or to taste)
Quarter the orange, then chop each piece in half. Run the berries through a hand-cranked grinder, followed by the orange, stirring to mix the two. Or process the orange in a processor,
pulsing until it is coarsely chopped, then add the cranberries and process until you have your
preferred consistency. Add the sugar and store in the fridge overnight. Check next day and adjust sweetening if necessary.
Special Note: Some of you have contacted me to ask what size can of pumpkin you need
for the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies recipe. I completely forgot that it comes in two sizes.
You want the smaller, 15-ounce size, or a scant 2 cups of cooked pumpkin.
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