It is finally here – it is finally upon us – one of my most favorite food holidays of the year! – THANKSGIVING.
Thanksgiving wasn’t always one of my favorite food holidays of the year. There was a time once when I couldn’t have cared less about turkey, it was really just another day off where I got to sleep in and drive all over southeastern PA to spend portions of my day with different family members. Which sounds like hell when I think about it now. But then I started making a big Thanksgiving dinner myself, and I started to really love it.
If you’ve never cooked a Thanksgiving feast before, it can be pretty damn intimidating. THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO. I’ll admit, I’ve got a system down that I’ve developed over the years, and it typically ends up being a nice leisurely day until about an hour before we eat and I’m rushing around like a madwoman, cursing my small kitchen, wondering how I ever thought I could get it all on the table warm at the same time, ticked that I didn’t splurge for double ovens when I remodeled my kitchen 9 years ago (double ovens which will almost certainly be a must-have in my new house next year). But nonetheless – every year there is that mad rush right before eating, and every year it turns out good and delicious.
I realize now I’ve made it sound bad but I promise it’s not. It’s not that bad. I’m just being dramatic. I’m sure it’s even less bad if you have a kitchen bigger than my wingspan.
So let’s start with some easy stuff first. Cranberry orange relish. Why oh why would you buy that cranberry jell-o instead of making this? This takes almost no effort at all. All you need is a blender!
I’ll admit I’m not a fan of cranberry sauce, but I find this tasty; and those that DO like cranberry sauce find this stuff excellent. I’m relying on their authority here.
My husband’s mother used to make something like this every year before she passed away, and when I discovered this recipe and made it for the first time, he was so excited that I was able to find something like what she made. I make it every year and serve it in one of her crystal bowls.
The absolute best thing about this stuff is you can make it up to a day in advance. Just blend it up and pour it into a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve. Cross this off your to-do list early, and you will feel more accomplished heading into the Main Event. Stay tuned for more recipes and advice over the next couple of weeks to help you plan your big feast!!
12oz bag fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 whole orange, cut into small wedges (peel included)
1/4 cup orange liqueur, like Grand Marnier
Pour half of the cranberries, half of the sugar, and half of the orange into the blender, and bland until combined well. Add in the rest of the cranberries, sugar, and orange, and blend until combined well. You are looking for a thick-ish consistency, like salsa. You may need to stop the blender and push the contents down several times before it takes and starts getting smooth. Add liqueur and blend one last time to combine. Pour into a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving.