Friday, November 26, 2010

Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cranberries

Pineapple-Meyer Cranberry Sauce
Picture this: Thanksgiving morning, I sit with my mug of tea trying to clear the night from my eyes and focus on what I need to do: bake a pie and make cranberry sauce. Both are easy. The pie I've made before about a billion times, and the cranberry sauce... even the most complex of those are little more than chop-simmer-cool. Though I'm surrounded by a half-dozen excellent recipe options from holidays past, I decide to go online and look up more of them. I do stuff like that. Last night, too tired (and too cold) to want to stop at the grocery store on the way home for a couple oranges, I had decided to use Meyer lemons in the cran-sauce this year. They go great together in lots of other things, and I'd already seen one recipe in a Sunset magazine using that combination. Two results from my online search looked promising. One was from Bon Appétit and the other from Figs With Bri, a lovely food blog that overflows with warmth and deliciousness.

The holiday season is always a magnet for bittersweet emotions and this week has been the official start of them. Hubs and I are disappointed that we couldn't celebrate Thanksgiving with my family or his (all of them hundreds of miles away). We are overcome by the generosity of good friends offering to share their family table with us. We are concerned about friends who are having serious health issues. So, how do I handle all of this? Simple really, I sit and weep over a cranberry sauce recipe I found on the internet. But I never forget the sweet side of bittersweet: our relatives are relatively healthy and happy, we have loving, caring friends with big hearts, and we have food, clothing, and a roof over our heads. When you boil it all down, anything more than that is just sauce for the turkey... it's nice to have a little on your plate, but it's the meat that matters.
Speaking of boiling things down...

Pineapple-Meyer Cranberry Sauce
Adapted from this recipe at Figs With Bri 

12 ounces fresh cranberries, washed and picked over
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup crushed pineapple (canned)
zest from 1 large (or 2 small) Meyer lemons

Stir all ingredients together in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes or until just shy of the consistency that you want (sauce will set up more as it cools). Take off heat and let cool. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes: I had a large can of crushed pineapple in the pantry so I drained all of the juice from the can and got just under a half-cup. If all you have is a small can of of pineapple, drain the juice from it into a measuring cup and add orange juice to make a half-cup of liquid. Then go ahead and add all the pineapple from the small can and don't worry about measuring that. Make this a day or two before you need it. It'll be one less thing to do on the big day and it takes no time at all to make. It's not too tart or too sweet, and the lemon zest gives it that little added awesomeness.

Here are some more Meyer-licious cranberry sauces...
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  1. I would like pineapple lemon cranberry sauce.

  2. Kristin: This cranberry sauce dances that line between tart and sweet which is what I think a good cranberry sauce should do. Everyone at the table seemed to really like it (or maybe they were just being polite?). I'll definitely be making it again regardless!


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