Long before the appetizers are set out for a day long "noshing fest" the girls & I were up early chopping, cutting & simmering. Many hands do make light work, thank goodness I was blessed with daughters. In our family the Thanksgiving dinner is not complete without Cranberry Sauce. The mechanical "suction noise" of store bought cranberry sauce in a can is virtually unheard in our home. My mother used to make fabulous cranberry sauce when we lived in Alaska & could pick wild cranberries. These days however we rely on the bags of farm raised berries. My version of Cranberries for the holiday adds Triple Sec to wake it up a bit & heighten the orange & tart/sweet flavors. Some years ago my sister simmered brandy into her sauce & it really packed a punch. There is no one right way to make Cranberry sauce but here is my current version.
Cooking & the 3 F's of Thanksgiving= Family, Food, Football!
2- 12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries, rinsed
3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup Triple Sec liquor
2 mandarin oranges, seeded, cut the segments into halves,
1 whole cinnamon stick (to be removed after cooking)
1 tsp. finely grated orange rind (optional)
Place the cranberries, oranges, rind, sugar & water into sauce pan & bring to a low rolling boil. Once cranberries are boiling, reduce heat to simmer, add Triple Sec & stir frequently. Once the berry skins have burst, achieved a translucent quality & thickened slightly remove from heat & let cool. Remove the whole cinnamon stick. This sauce is good for home canning/processing but then our family never has much left over after the holiday. This recipe can also be frozen immediately or cut in half if you don't need this quantity. If I don't have oranges & feel there is a little more sweet needed I add in 1 small undrained can of crushed pineapple. This recipe is very forgiving & you can get creative.
*I have also used whole star anise or ginger in this recipe.