Made From Scratch: Cranberry Sauce

So around 9 p.m. last night I finally got around to starting the preparations for our Thanksgiving feast. We're keeping things fairly simple this year since our main priority at the moment is packing up the house and prepping for an international trip, for which we leave next Saturday. So, while we won't be feasting on a (organic, free-range, or heritage) turkey this year, we will enjoy a modest Thanksgiving dinner with organic, free-range chicken breasts and some of the traditional Turkey Day sides, including stuffing (dressing, really, since it isn't going to be used to stuff anything), mashed potatoes, and of course, cranberry sauce.

I first made cranberry sauce from scratch for last year's pre-Thanksgiving feast. Making your own cranberry sauce is actually quite simple -- not quite as simple as florping the canned variety out of its steel confines, but rather easy nonetheless. To make the sauce, I simply follow the instructions on the Ocean Spray cranberry bag. This year I made a couple adjustments, including adding in some orange juice and orange zest. More importantly, however, I remembered to cover the boiling saucepot with a splatter guard, thus avoiding pollacking my kitchen walls with the burst innards of cranberries, as happened last year.

{the ingredients, minus the water and plus a gorgeous centerpiece -- thanks Mom and Dad!}

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce (printer-friendly version)
makes 4-6 servings

1 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon orange zest
12 oz cranberries, rinsed

1. Rinse the cranberries in a colander. Set aside.
2. Add the orange juice, water, and sugar into a medium saucepot. Bring the mixture to a boil.
3. Once the mixture begins to boil, add in the cranberries and return to a boil. Then reduce the heat and allow to gently boil for about 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken. Be sure to cover the saucepot with a splatter guard at this point to prevent a mess. Stir the sauce occasionally.

4. Stir in the orange zest.
5. Use a wooden spoon to gently pop any cranberries that are still whole.
6. Pour the sauce into a container with a lid. Let the sauce cool to room temperature, then chill in the fridge (with the lid on) until ready to eat.

(adapted from this recipe)

Best Wishes for A Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours!