Real cranberry sauce

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.” Oscar Wilde, Irish playwright

Cranberries. I like them. Chopped and tossed with oranges in a bitter relish. Glistening in all their red glory in a glass bowl. I have nothing against cranberries from a can, either, even the jellied kind that slide out fully retaining their odd rippled shape. I’ve enjoyed slices of the latter, sometimes layered on french bread, topped with cheddar and popped in the broiler.

But, if you’ve never had real cranberry sauce, the kind that would impress your mother- in-law, you’re in luck. There is simply no easier side to make. Enjoy!

Real Cranberry Sauce

Rinse the contents of one 12 oz. bag of cranberries, fresh or frozen. (You can freeze bags of fresh berries to take advantage of holiday sale prices, by the way.)

In a medium sauce pan, combine berries, 1 cup white sugar (no skimping or you’ll be sorry — really sorry) and 1 cup water. Put on lid to avoid spattering. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until berry skins begin to pop. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve.

In addition to using this as a classic holiday side dish, consider using it as a jam. It is good on toasted baguettes with cheddar cheese, with breakfast toast or over pancakes/waffles. If you have some leftover liquid after the berries are gone, pour up to 1/4 cup atop the middle of a pre-baked Mountain-style Cornbread (in my recipe archive). Use a knife to “fan” the color into a web pattern that will provide a burst of flavor in addition to looking pretty.

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