When it comes to holiday meals, especially Thanksgiving, I have a hard time choosing what I like best. I’m one of those people who, while I normally have the worlds worst appetite and usually have to be forced to eat (go figure… a food blogger who likes to cook but not to eat), loves Thanksgiving dinner and all the different parts of it. Mind you, I don’t actually EAT much of it the day I cook it because I’m too burnt out from cooking the food. But leftovers and I? We’re BFF’s big time.
When it comes to the poultry, I love all of them…. as I am eating them. I eat roast chicken, it’s my favorite. When I eat roast duck, IT’S my favorite. When I am gnawing on the tail of the turkey (don’t judge… it’s tasty. Plus it makes me smile when I eat it and remember how every year my dad would ask for the tail saying “Hon, save that for me. I’m wanting a little bit of tail right now” followed by a lewd snicker. 😛 ), it becomes my favorite.
When I eat stuffing, I love that even though I don’t eat it much the rest of the year. Stove Top and I are NOT BFF’s and I’m too lazy to make homemade except on Thanksgiving.
I mentioned last post my love for sweet taters buried under a pound or five of mini marshmallows.
Mashed potatoes with approximately 37 sticks of butter in them? Yep… love them too.
But I think my favorite part of the meal may just be the cranberry sauce. I love the stuff. Canned and gelatinous with the ridge marks from the can on it, canned and with whole berries in it, home made and prepared with just berries, sugar and water, turned into chutney (one of my favorite ways of making it)… you name it, I’ll eat it… all of it… growling if you get too close and smacking any appendages that venture too near to my bowl of saucy Heaven.
Though I love it plain, I rarely make it plain. It’s too much fun to play around with the basic recipe. Cranberry sauce takes so well to other flavors. Add different fruits, add spices, extracts, booze, trees, raw offal (just making sure you’re paying attention again) and it tastes delicious. So, being me, aka the woman who can never ever follow a recipe, I never make it the same way twice.
I like to make it a few days ahead of time because it just gets better as the flavors have time to meld. So here’s the one we will be having this Thursday. If you’re wanting something a little different, give it a try. It’s sweet, tart, a little boozy :-P, spicy and just flat out delicious!
Brandy Spiked Spiced Cranberry Sauce
- 1 12 ounce package fresh cranberries
- 1 small tangerine, finely ground up in a food processor (peel and all)
- 1/4 cup (give or take; however much you want to add ) orange marmalade
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup brandy (you could sub whiskey or Grand Marnier)
- 3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar (cider vinegar would work but I’m doing something tomorrow with raspberry vinegar so just go buy some 😛 )
- 1 5 ounce bag dried cherries
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Mix all ingredients in a medium heavy bottomed saucepan
- Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat when it boils and continue cooking until the berries pop. If you want a thicker sauce (I like it a little juicy so that when I serve it with turkey, the liquids run into and flavor everything else but I’m weird that way), cook longer until the liquid reduces down some
- Chill for at least 4 hours.
- Store tightly covered in the fridge until ready to serve. It can be stored for up to 2 weeks or so.