Sunday, October 27, 2013


Cranberries are an American native fruit and a favorite seasonal ingredient found in traditional holiday recipes.
By November, nearly all of the cranberry crop has been harvested. Millions and millions of the little hard, tart ruby berries grown in the bogs of Cape Cod (Massachusetts), New Jersey, Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon, and the Maritime Provinces of Canada have been bagged fresh or earmarked for juice or canned sauce.

The Pilgrims and those who followed appreciated the wild berries but did not start to cultivate them until 1816, when a bog was planted and tended in Dennis on Cape Cod. By then, American and Canadian sailors on long voyages knew they could eat cranberries to protect themselves from scurvy—making them a cranberry counterpart to British "limeys."
Cranberry Trivia 
  1. There are small pockets of air inside cranberries that cause them to bounce. Air also makes the berries float in water. 
  2. There are approximately 440 cranberries in one pound.
  3. Cranberries are 90 % water.
  4. Fresh cranberries can be frozen up to one year in an airtight container.
  5. Massachusetts is the leading producer of cranberries. 
  6. Cranberries do not grow in water but on low running vines in sandy bogs and marshes.
  7. Americans consume 5,062,500 gallons of jellied cranberry sauce every Thanksgiving. More than 94% of Thanksgiving dinners include some type of cranberry sauce.
Cranberry-Dried Cherry Sauce
Cook's notes:This sauce would be perfect for any dinner. It is quite tasty served over turkey. chicken, pork or salmon. It can be made a few days in advance and kept refrigerated. It also can be used as a basting sauce for grilled meats. Don't skip the wine part. For some inexplicable reason it really enhances the sauce flavor :)
  • 12 oz. cran-cherry juice
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large cinnamon sticks broken in half
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 2 TB. cornstarch-1/4 cup cran-cherry juice
  • 1-5 oz package dried tart cherries
  • 1-12 oz bag fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine like a Merlot, Cabernet or Malbec
  • Whisk 2 TB. cornstarch into 1/4 cup cran-cherry juice and set aside
  • In a saucepan add 12 oz. cran-cherry juice, 1 cup of water, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon sticks
  • Bring mixture to boil over medium heat stirring till sugar is dissolved, add cherries and reserved cornstarch mixture and cook 2 minutes till slightly thickened 
  • Add cranberries and cook till berries pop about 7 minutes over medium heat
  • Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl, stir in wine 
  • Cool and remove cinnamon sticks
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate
Cranberry Pumpkin Nut Bread
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened canned pumpkin (not pie filing)
  • 2 TB orange zest
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1-1/4 cup white flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • scant ground cloves
  • scant nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup orange flavored cranberries or regular (coarsely chopped)
  • 2 TB. granulated sugar
        Preheat oven 350
  • Grease one large loaf pan or use two-three mini loaf pans
  • Toss coarsely chopped cranberries in 2 TB. sugar, set aside
  • Cream butter, sugar and 1 egg.  Add in second egg, pumpkin, orange zest and orange juice and beat all ingredients together
  • In another bowl add flours, spices, baking soda, baking powder, cranberries and nuts
  • Add to pumpkin mixture but stir only to moisten ingredients
  • Bake 40 minutes or until center comes out clean using a toothpick
  • Cool in pan 10 minutes, invert to a cooling rack

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