Upon the request of myself and my brother, who also did not get to feast the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner because he was in Cabo, Mexico this year, I am making the big dinner for my family to celebrate my Mom’s birthday! Of course this year will require a few changes, eliminating one of the stars of the meal, butter – but I think I can pull it off.
I like to make list upon list to help me stay organized for this huge undertaking. The menu will include: a salt-roasted turkey with lemon and thyme, regular and gluten-free stuffing with sausage, apples and water chestnuts, green bean casserole, candied sweet potatoes, corn pudding, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries, chocolate cake and pecan pie. Yes, for two days I live in the kitchen prepping and cooking and sautéing and baking. This year, my Dad has so graciously volunteered to be my Sous-Chef! Thanks Dad!
One of my tips is preparing as many dishes that I can before the big feast day. So two days before eating, I make the cranberries. As a child, I always shied away from the cranberries as they were always unpredictable. There are so many ways they can show up on the table – in a jello mold, from a can, in a salad, however my favorite is my Mom’s recipe listed here.
Now, they are one of my most beloved sides to this meal adding beautiful color and vibrance and a sharp, tart and sweet counter piece to the dense and rich food surrounding it on the plate.
So, here is to the start of the holidays for our family! Feast away!
1 bag of cranberries
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
rind of 1 orange
1 cinnamon stick
Place all ingredients in a large pan set over high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves and mixture starts to boil. Then turn heat to low and let sit, stirring every now and then for 1-2 hours until desired thickness. You can serve warm, or let cool completely and refrigerate.