A Cranberry Revelation

Everyone knows that cranberries are a mandatory component to Thanksgiving dinner. The bright red not only brings a splash of color, but a zing and an extraordinary punch of flavor to a mostly white plate. Turkey, gravy, dressing, mashed potatoes. And bam, cranberries. Gorgeous.
Truth be told, though, I have never been a fan. I was raised on the cranberries from the can that you just slice along the lines and voila. You had cranberry sauce. My grandmother probably made fresh cranberry sauce as well, but because I despied the canned stuff, I always ignored any type of red concoction on the table. (That is, except for my mother's incredible layered cranberry Jell-o salad, but that's another story.)

Years ago, David introduced me to homemade cranberry sauce, but it still didn't grab me. He cooks the raw cranberries with orange juice and zest and then adds chopped pecans. While it is quite good, it still didn't do it for me.

But I recently had a raw cranberry dish that did do it for me. In fact, that same night I even dreamed about having it with pork chops! Plus, from a nutritional perspective, raw is always better, right?

And when I found out how simple it is to make, I knew I had to add this colorful and raw cranberry concoction to our holiday tradition this year.

No matter what your proclivity to cranberry saucecanned with or without lines, homemade or, like my former self, avoided at all coststhis is one cranberry sauce that changed my holidays forever. And, for that, I am so grateful.

Buen provecho!
Raw Cranberry Relish
The Cowgirl Gourmet (http://www.thecowgirlgourmet.blogspot.com/) got this recipe from the back of the cranberry bag (can you believe it?)

This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled--and it is so good, you probably should at least double it. And it needs to be made in advance so it can meld 24 hours before adding the orange zest and juice. Over the years, I have cut back significantly on the amount of sugar I use in this recipe and have updated it to reflect the exact amounts as of 2015. 

1 bag of fresh cranberries, preferably organic
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup honey
Zest of one orange
Juice of said orange

Rinse the cranberries and drain them well. Pour them into a food processor. Add the sugar and honey and pulse until everything is finely chopped. 
Place in a container and let the flavors meld for 24 hours in the refrigerator.

The next day, remove the cranberry relish from the fridge and taste. Add the zest of one orange and then juice that orange into the bowl. Stir to combine and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables and gravy.
David's plate includes turkey and gravy,
mashed potatoes and gravy, wild rice dressing with
roasted mushrooms and chestnuts, roasted sweet potato
and banana mash, roasted Brussels sprouts and raw cranberry relish.
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