Cranberry sauce is that ubiquitous condiment found on every Thanksgiving table and you may have wondered why. Turns out that cranberries are one of the few fruits native to North America and that many Native American tribes ate them as a staple of their diet. It’s thought that they also sweetened them with sugar and cooked them into a sauce as early as the late 1600s. Although there’s no evidence that cranberries were served at the 1st Thanksgiving, canned cranberry sauce became our Thanksgiving go-to in the early 1900s. The rest is history and you can read more about it here.
But here’s the thing about canned cranberry sauce … guests rarely eat it. In fact, you’ve probably got 4 cans of aging cranberry sauce from Thanksgivings past in your pantry right now – cans that you buy each year then remember you still have a few from the last year.
Why not change up this Thanksgiving go-to by dumping the cans and making fresh or frozen whole cranberries into a homemade relish, sauce or, if you really want to amaze your friends, a granita? The best part? These recipes can be made 4-5 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
The recipes for a delicious cranberry and ginger sauce and cranberry granita can be found on our website. Here’s the recipe for a yummy yet simple to make cranberry relish, taught to me by a friend of my son’s about 20 years ago. I make it every year and everyone loves it. It also makes a great spread for those post game turkey sandwiches mixed with a bit of mayo!
Galgon’s Famous Cranberry Relish
1 bag of fresh cranberries
3/4 to 1 cup of sugar
Juice and peel from 1 navel orange
Optional: chopped walnuts or pecans
Remove the peel from the orange and pulse it in a food processor until chopped. Add the washed cranberries and 3/4 cup of sugar to the food processor and squeeze in the orange juice. Pulse a few more times until the cranberries are chopped and the sugar and juice are mixed in. Add more sugar if desired. Stir in chopped walnuts or pecans is you’d like a nutty consistency. Refrigerate and enjoy within 1 week.