Thanksgiving is my favorite national holiday. It is not focused around the obligatory (bad) gift, it's secular, and the abundance of flavors, color, and creativity in the food and recipes cannot be beat.
I started creating my Thanksgiving menu over 25 years ago, in a 2-bedroom duplex with a very small kitchen. The size of my kitchen didn't matter, nor did the fact that I only had one oven. I was organized, made lists, prepped and did as much as I could in advance. My pumpkin soup and this cranberry sauce remain the two constants on my holiday table. Today, I may have a slightly larger kitchen, two ovens, an extra fridge, but the joy of this holiday remains the same.
Regardless, making a Thanksgiving meal requires organization, lots of prep, and time management. I do as much as I can in advance. This cranberry sauce can be made a week in advance, Pie crusts are made and frozen, soups are made 2 days prior, and all veggies are cleaned, blanched, and chopped the weekend before.
Recently, I got a little kitchen toy that is going to be a huge help with my prep next week. I found this Chef's Quad Timer Professional in the special Bon Apetit Thanksgiving Issue and knew I had to have one. I contacted the company directly to find out where I could find one in my area (didn't want to wait the shipping time, needed instant gratification). They kindly offered to send me one to review. I was thrilled.
When I contacted them to tell them how versatile, easy, practical, and functional this unit is, they were grateful. Another bonus of this handy tool is, if you don't hear the beeper turn off, after a period of time, the time intuitively tracks the elapsed time from the original setting (a bonus for me as I am always juggling too many balls at one time and have been known to burn-not brown-the onions).
In the meantime, make this cranberry sauce. It's chunky, fruity, tart, not too sweet and can be eaten all year around. Obviously it is delish with turkey, but it's just as good with chicken, pork, and it is the best condiment on almost any sandwich.
Adapted from Arlene Sorosky's Year-Round Holiday Cookbook
1 lb.(16 oz.) fresh cranberries
2 medium granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/2 cup organic whole cane sugar
1/2 cup orange marmalade
10 oz. frozen raspberries, thawed and drained
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon (or more to taste)
In the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, rough chop the apples and cranberries.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix to combine.
Store in an airtight container. Refrigerate. Can stay for about 1 month.
- By Susan Salzman