Okay, I'll admit it: my family always ate Ocean Spray cranberry sauce, the kind that comes in a can. It was fun to open one end, then poke a hole in the other to eliminate the suction and then watch it go "plop" onto the serving dish. Then we sliced it and doled it out, one slice per plate.
The American Indians ate cranberries long before the settlers showed up—the cranberry is one native to this country, just like the turkey. You probably learned about "pemmican" in grade school: mashed up deer meet and cranberries (no, I'm not going to give you a recipe for that!). Still, the cranberry did not become a commercial crop until the nineteenth century and the development of the "wet harvesting" technique, where the bog is flooded and the cranberries float to the top, where they are sucked into…umm, I don't know what. You see, even though I live near a lot of cranberry bogs, I've never managed to watch a harvest. Any year now!
Fall Fruit Relish
2 sweet apples, cored and chopped finely (not peeled)
2 medium pears, peeled, cored and chopped
¾ cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
½ cup of chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted
½ cup apple juice
1 tsp grated orange zest
½ tsp ground cinnamon (I even grated my own!)
1/8 tsp ground cloves
|Cortland apples, Bosc pears, and cinnamon|
Combine all the ingredients and refrigerate. This will keep for about two weeks in the refrigerator, but it's better eaten fresh. It does provide a nice bright note to go with your turkey and fixings.