The much-aligned cranberry gets a bad wrap – only typically broken out at the holidays in the form of a canned cylinder of fright, these tart lovelies are so much more. A long while back, my paternal grandmother decided to have a more cooperative Thanksgiving and assigned the kids recipes to bring. My sister and I were assigned a Cranberry Relish recipe that she had snipped from a magazine. The recipe itself seemed kind of wacky as we were making it, from the use of a whole orange (peel, pith and all) to the use of crystalized ginger, which we had never heard of at the time and had to look up (and this was well before “Google it” became a catch phrase). Turns out the spicy treats were considered candy in Australia and could be purchased with the other McCormick spices in the baking aisle. Who knew?
Well, knowledge begets power and powerful that first batch of relish was in transforming our opinions of the lowly cranberry. Once an afterthought next to the turkey, potatoes, stuffing and green beans, this relish had star quality. It’s ingenious in its ability to freshen up the heavy meal and enliven your palette. Best of all, it requires not a lick of cooking – just pulse everything in the food processor, pour out into a bowl and put it on the table. Done. For such freshness and flavor with absolutely no work, those cans of cranberry gelatin are looking mighty good for target practice right about now.
1 bag of fresh cranberries
1 small orange
1 tbs. of crystallized ginger (candied ginger) pieces
1/3 to 1/2 c. of sugar, to taste
Cut the orange in half and then into 1 inch pieces. Add all ingredients to the food processor and pulse until it forms a chunky relish. Pour mixture into a bowl and let sit for at least 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Store any leftovers in the fridge.