Sunday, November 19, 2017

Cranberries, the unspoken hero

Let's face it, gravy is the hero of Thanksgiving.

Turkey a little bland? Nothing a little gravy can't handle.

Dressing dry? Go ahead, ladle a little extra gravy on top. Dressing or stuffing? I really go either way.

Got a spare bite of roll? Run it through the last drizzle of gravy on your plate.

But, the unspoken hero has to be the cranberries. They add the nicest zing to everything on your plate. Paired with the gravy, of course. And, you don't need jam to go with your rolls. The cranberries can be your jam.

The thing is, I'm not talking the cranberries from a can. While I know people swear high and low that they're the best, they're wrong. I think the only reason people believe this way is they've never had homemade cranberries. I might be talking about the Mister's family, here. Until I showed up they used the dreaded can. And nobody ate them! Now, I'm assigned the cran every year.

They're so incredibly easy and add the prettiest burst of color to your meal.

Of course, it's me here, so I meddle with the recipe. But to be fair, I learned this technique from my Grandma, so it's not just me being fancy. The secret is, in place of the water, use orange juice.

eve rousseau
Couldn't be simpler. Here are the steps:

Go to store.

Head to the produce section.

Buy a package of fresh cranberries. Ocean Spray have never steered me wrong.

Bring 1 cup orange juice and a scant cup of sugar to a boil. Add the cranberries. Simmer ten minutes. Some will burst, some won't. It's all good.

Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Best part, they can be made way ahead when you have a free burner. After they come to room temp, throw them in the fridge until they're needed.

What you'll have is a lightly jammy, tangy-sweet accompaniment to your meal that cuts through the richness of the gravy to give your turkey that slight nudge towards brilliance.

Try cranberries from scratch this year, you won't regret it.

Also, in the Mister's family we always have pumpkin chocolate chip cookies to accompany the various pies for dessert. I'm in charge of these this year and gave this recipe from Food Network a shot.

I couldn't be happier with how they turned out. They are soft, moist, and flavorful. Plus, they use butter and didn't need to be chilled. That's a bonus in my book.

eve rousseau
Mine didn't take as long to cook as the recipe called for, more like 12 to 13 minutes. Also, I didn't get 60 cookies out of this batch, more like 4 dozen.

Now, this is very important, the thing to remember about pumpkin cookies is they are very moist. So, beware stacking them for transport otherwise they'll stick to each other and look all dumpy. And that would be a tragedy.

I know it's not beautiful, but this is how I'm doing it. A piece of parchment between the layers.

So, if you're looking for an amazing pumpkin cookie and are overwhelmed by recipe options, give this one a try.

Coming tomorrow: How to make an amazing salad. This might seem like a joke to some, a post on how to make a salad, but there's a skill to making a well-balanced, finger-licking salad. I mean, how many people slide right passed the salad because, mashed potatoes. But, if you make the salad right it'll be just as popular as the green bean casserole. Well... maybe not, but you will go home with an empty salad bowl.

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Check out what I'm writing when I'm not prepping Thanksgiving dinner

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