Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Thanksgiving Recipes: Boozehound Cranberry Sauce

As your correspondent on things that are Important in New England, I’d be negligent in my duties if I didn’t take the time to speak with you about the cranberry. Cranberries! Such New England-y little bitches! All tart and pucker-y! And this New England-y little bitch loves them. (This New England-y little bitch also knows several hundred things to do with them, but we don’t have much time here so we’ll keep it to one pretty easy and terribly impressive thing to do with them for the sake of this exercise.) And so it is with love and only the slightest bit of judgment about the fact that you’ve spent decades serving that jellied insult to the fine bogsmen of coastal Massachusetts that I share my recipe for Outré Cranberry Sauce.

This is really very simple, and if you’re a person who doesn’t cook you should feel okay about signing on to be in charge of the cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving because generally cranberry sauce is so easy to make. (Do you need a super basic recipe because you can’t manage a recipe with more than 3 ingredients? Sure, I’ve got one of those!)

Put two cups of cranberries in a large saucepan and stir until they begin to burst. This will probably take 3 to 5 minutes, and if you’re anything like me and you startle easily, you may want to take a Xanax beforehand. Hell, take one anyway—the entire family is coming over, you’ll need it for when your aunt asks loudly over the antipast' when you’re planning to find a nice boyfriend and settle down. “I think your mother wants grandchildren!” We recommend: “Well Auntie Bianca, Mommy should have thought of that before she decided to have only one child, now shouldn’t she have?”

I’m just not sure that I need to be saddled with a lifetime of cleaning up someone else’s boogies because my mother failed to hedge her bets and have that second kid back in the late 70s.

Once the cranberries have joined you in coming apart at the seams, add 2 cups of red wine—surprise! There’s wine in the cranberry sauce!—and ½ a cup of brown sugar and boil that up until it reduces to about 2 ½ cups. About 15 minutes? Drink the rest of the wine while this is happening! Hey, is it hot in here? It’s hot in here. Could you be a love and bring me an ice cube?

To the reduced cranberry wine potion, you’ll add a ¼ cup of crystallized ginger that you’ve minced up nicely, a ½ teaspoon of curry powder, a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and a ¼ teaspoon of black pepper. I know! Is crazy! I told you it was outré! But also delicious and kind of pretentious and these are both qualities I can get behind. I may not have children, Auntie Bianca, but I have a life that calls for putting wine and crystallized ginger in my cranberry sauce whereas you drive a PT Cruiser. And it’s purple.

As this is the season for giving thanks, and because at heart I’m a sentimental old sap, these are just a few of the many, many things I’m Thankfawl for this year:

• The calming effect of ‘In the Weeds
• The ‘DOODY’ tag
• Editable comments!
• Balk’s imaginary friend, Science
• Miles Klee and his deli slicer fantasies
• Alt text
• The Incredible Hulk’s author page
• The many, many things for which Dave Bry is sorry
A lady home to call my own
• 4:20 posts
Screen Name
• “Some Level of Online Success”
• Harry William Cyphers IV
Motherfucking Negroni season

Jolie Kerr is also thankful for wine. And ice.

Do you have an eccentric, unusual or just highly specific family Thanksgiving recipe? Let us know. If you eat something, repeat something!

27 Comments / Post A Comment

hockeymom (#143)

This sounds amazing. I will be trying it out!
But an ice-cube in RED WINE? For that alone, you should not procreate.

jolie (#16)

Oh please, like you've never had a sangria.

wb (#2,214)

Do you offer the wine poured into the pot an ice cube before its simmered?

hockeymom (#143)

OH Sangria! That makes it all clear.
I am scheming to find a reason to make that cranberry sauce before Thanksgiving and I've decided that reason is Thursday. It sounds delicious and perfect for tomorrow night.

Annie K. (#3,563)

I'd be interested, Jolie, to know your feelings about fresh cranberries put through a grinder with orange peel, orange juice, and a hell of a lot of sugar? We did that in the midwest with cranberries out of a bag and while I can't say it was good, it was startling.

C_Webb (#855)

That last line is fabulous, BTW.

Do the cranberries burst before or after they make that "ttthhhhhwwwwwppppp!" sound sliding out of the can in a solid gelatinous column?

deepomega (#1,720)

Negroni season! Is it here yet?!?

(This was great! I can't stand canned cranberry sauce – maybe I'd like the real deal? Sorta like how I thought I hated guacamole for years until I had guacamole that wasn't from a jar)

City_Dater (#2,500)

You'll like the real kind, if you are a fan of the tart/sweet/spicy (GINGER! WOO! Jolie, that is genius!) fruit group. The canned kind tends to be too sweet and also picks up that metallic taste from the inside of the can.

Hey, what about succotash? The only time I've ever eaten succotash was at a New England Thanksgiving (or it might have been Christmas? Idk).

Bittersweet (#765)

Lima beans are a sin against nature and vegetables. I don't really understand why God allowed them at all.

(So, Big No on the succotash…)

I never said I liked it!

However, butter beans are lima beans, and they're pretty tasty, so.

Grant G Brown (#3,366)

Uniformly disgusting, in both taste and texture. Even in name.

C_Webb (#855)

My kids are with their dad for T-Day this year, so a) I'm getting bombed, and b) I'm making this before/while/maybe after I do. Thank you, princess.

jolie (#16)

And I will be thinking fondly of you as you do so. God speed, Lady!

birah r. (#4,504)

i would like to make real cranberry jelly and somehow force it into a can-shaped mold of some sort.

jolie (#16)

Oh please do this!

gumplr (#66)

PT Cruisers come in a color other than purple?

Aatom (#74)

Yes. Electric purple.

Bittersweet (#765)

Sounds yummy, Jolie! I will try it this year instead of the usual cranberry-orange relish.

For those with a boyfriend/husband who are getting crap from elderly relatives about having kids, "We're practicing a lot" is a good comeback. I used it for years – shut the g'rents right up.

laurel (#4,035)

This will be had and enjoyed and the leftovers frozen and then had and enjoyed again. On maybe a sammich.

hockeymom (#143)

Thank you for not saying "SAMMY'.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

I'm definitely going to be making this, after I get my hands on some New Jersey cranberries, which every accepts as the best cranberries around. It's empirical.

garge (#736)

This is wonderful, Jolie. I was of a similar mind as birah r. above, and immediately thought of making a huge batch and canning it, to make Thanksgiving care packages for the lonely. Fellow lonelies can reach out, and I will send you a can of cranberry sauce, a cigarette & match, and a copy of the Charlie Brown xmas song (sorry, cats not included).

Grant G Brown (#3,366)

Unfortunately for me, Canadian thanksgiving passed a few weeks back. Mental note to make this at Christmas (which we actually celebrate on Dec 7th!)

Dave Bry (#422)

"Once the cranberries have joined you in coming apart at the seams…" Nice.

This sounds excellent. (Though I have to admit to a fondness for the jellied insult to the fine bogsmen of coastal Massachusetts. It's stays the shape of the can!)

I'm making this, thanks, sweetie.

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