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Saturday, November 20. 2021
Cranberry Harvest, reposted
It's the time of year when I stock up on bags of Cranberries and throw them in the freezer.
The canned cranberry "sauce" pictured is garbage. It's just congealed sweetened cranberry juice.
The recipe on the Ocean Spray bags is pretty good, but I cut the sugar they recommend in half. It's nothing but water, fresh or frozen berries, and sugar.
Better yet for Thanksgiving, game, and even chicken, is Cranberry-Orange Relish. Raw berries and an orange. Thanks to the mother-in-law for introducing me to this tangy thing years ago.
A great food, the Cranberry. I love to put them in pancakes (the combination of the sweetness of the maple syrup and the tartness of the cranberries is perfect).
Here's our old post on Cranberry Season and the Heart.
Funny thing about Cranberries: not many animals or birds like to eat them. Maybe bears? I've seen Box Turtles take a bite out of one, but I've never seen anything else eat them. I love Cranberries, as long as they aren't cooked too sweet. Here's a tiny Massachusetts Cranberry bog, flooded for harvest:
Here's how it's done on a larger scale:
Posted by Bird Dog in Food and Drink at 15:39 | Comments (52) | Trackback (1)
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Anyone have any favorite recipes for cranberry sauce? I've only used the canned kind and am not too crazy about it.
Old family recipe, taken from recipe book my mother received as a wedding gift:
3 cups cranberries, washed
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup hot water
Mix cranberries, sugar, and water in saucepan. Let stand for 5 minutes. Boil hard for 5 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes (off stove). Boil for 5 minutes. Set to cool.
The correct way to make cranberry sauce.
Yes. Use the recipe on the bag of fresh cranberries. Sugar and water - that's it.
Although orange-cranberry relish is realy great too. Look it up.
Bird Dog ... We like orange-cranberry relish at our house, and it's amazingly simple to make. Happy thanksgiving in advance, everyone.
Discovered the cranberry-orange relish a few years back, maybe even here. Family loves it although we cut the sugar to 1/2 cup rather than 3/4.
Any favorite brine recipes and techniques?
Amazing how well the flavors of cranberry and turkey complement each other!
Load yall's bird stuffin' with cranberries.
And a shot of Beam.
I'm gonna roast a duck for Ma this year after it's neck and head and feet ar removed and thrown in a pot for to make a mock turtle soup for Pa.
I've created my own Thanksgiving Tradition. Every year I cook up 12-15 pounds of Cranberries and distribute it as a gift. Folks are always amazed at how good it is AND, after I explain it to them, how easy it is to make.
Follow the instructions on the bag BUT substitute orange juice for half of the water in the recipe. Sometimes I add a bit of chopped Walnuts. This year I'm going to try pieces of dried Mango.
BTW BirdDog.....This Website RULES!
We use the orange cranberry relish recipe in our house too but we add walnuts and celery to it as well. It comes out very similar to the relish my mother made many years ago.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone on The Farm!
A little off topic. Readers might like to try Crasins (a brand name). I toss them into cereals and other foods.
They apparently are crushed and dried cranberries and resemble red raisins. They are much less sweet.
I don't know the details of their processing and don't care to know. They taste good and are safe enough to market and that is enough for me.
I do know the details, and you would not be disappointed. The ingredients in the original flavor are pretty much just cranberries, sugar, and water, perhaps with some elderberry or choke-cherry concentrate to brighten up the color.
Years ago I took little bags of cranberries to high school for snacking. One officious teacher accosted me and accused me of popping pills, ha! So I generously offered her a share of my favorite snack. She tried one, but wasn't a fan of tart berries, apparently. Her expression was priceless and memorable, as was her shriek. Ha! End of harrassment.
That reminds me of a story told me by someone who had grown up in the international oil field, as his father was an expat hand. He picked up the habit of drinking/sipping yerba mate from childhood time in Argentina. One time he got stopped by a cop out in West TX for speeding, who was sure that he had caught someone drinking marijuana tea. Fortunately, he was able to persuade the cop that the only drug in yerba mate was caffeine.
Had never seen a bog or how the berries are harvested (live way down south), but once I made homemade cranberry (or orange-cran, either is great!) relish as a young adult, I could never go back. My kids have never had the other. :) I enjoyed the video of the harvest....
My Brit mother-in-law uses the recipe on the package but replaces water with oange juice, adds the orange rind, cuts the sugar and add 1/4 cup of brandy just before serving. So much for recipes Her comment,"Taste it"
I have a Thanksgiving tradition of cooking up 15 or so pounds of cranberries and distributing the sauce to friends and colleagues.
I use the recipe on the bag, but substitute orange juice for half of the water.
And Bird Dog..... this site ROCKS.
For some reason nobody has put the Bob and Ray cranberry-grower interview on YouTube.
The grower was surprised to hear that cranberries could be used for sauce; he'd been trying to push cranberry shortcake, and business was terrible.
Can they be used to make glass? He now wonders outside the box, with this new revelation.
'....ly Ballou here in Time Square"
I've got four bags of Ocean Spray cranberries in my freezer. And I'll continue to stock up throughout the holiday season, because I use cranberries throughout the year. I add cranberries to apple pie and blueberry pie, and we eat a lot of pie in my house...mostly for breakfast.
I think the jellied, canned stuff is OK for little kids, especially the kind with raspberries. When I was little, even the canned whole berry sauce was too assertive for me. Cut the ugly log in half, then slice to to make half-rounds, or cut further into wedges. Easy for kids to maneuver to their plates.
I can't stand the canned stuff now, though.
Try adding 1/4 tsp salt (or even less) to the whole berry recipe on the Ocean Spray bag of fresh berries. Changes the flavor more than you would think. I usually like my cranberry sauce "straight", but in those years when the berries are harvested before they are ripe, the salt is a good idea.
I use maple syrup instead of sugar and water. Yummy, but $$$.
Very nice having previous comments with the good Miss Marianne in them.
Ran out of white sugar one year and subbed brown sugar in my homemade cranberry sauce. Have never looked back. Nice addition.
I use the cranberry-orange relish recipe from "The Joy of Cooking". I make it a week or so ahead and keep it in the back of the fridge, good and cold. The day after Thanksgiving, while I'm turning the carcass into stock, I whip up a double batch of cranberry orange tea bread. The pre-made relish goes in perfectly and adds just the right amount of liquid. The slices are almost cake-like in consistency and are perfect with a glass of rosé champagne in the afternoon.
While we're on the subject, I will be doing my annual fat rendering this weekend. Using beef suet instead of pig fat. Anyone have any suggestions from experience? I'm going to try it in the crock pot on low for a full day and see what that does.
I love cranberry orange bread. I never thought of having it with rose' champagne. Sounds delicious. I'm gonna try it.
I agree on cranberry sauce in a can but here in the NJ bog country deer are voracious cranberry eaters. A sign that fall is nigh but rut hasn't started is bucks gathering together after their near solitary summer, the proof is seeing them together in the bogs. The most I've seen at one time is 13 grazing berries in a bog about a half mile from my house. Deer numbers here have declined from the explosion of the '80's and 90's and have mostly stabilized but some growers still cull with depredation permits, after the berries color up a couple slits with a knife yields handfuls of evidence. Spotlighting bogs at night when berries are floating for the next day's harvest often reveals deer belly deep sucking them in like wet vacs.
Our grouse have about vanished but I remember finding cranberries in their crops. And to take the cake, I had a male beagle that liked them, he also ate blackberries and blueberries. And peas .. if I would shuck them.
I worked for a large cranberry company in Central Wisconsin (yeah, that one) for eight years and met many of the growers. The problem with deer is not so much that they eat the berries, but like to eat the new growth off the vines that will produce the next year's fruit.
The smaller growers were a little bit ambivalent to the deer: "we get back in venison what we lose in cranberries" was a quote I heard more than once. The bigger problem is that deer leave behind things that are similar in size and shape to berries that have to be meticulously sorted out of the harvested fruit.
I have a great recipe for apple-cranberry crunch that I found in a church cookbook. It is basically apple crisp with a bag of cranberries added, with pecans in the crispy topping. It is great hot or cold. If anyone would like the whole recipe, just ask.
Used to go picking cranberries and blueberries when my dad was stationed with the USAF at Goose Air Base up in Labrador many years ago. No bogs, just crawling around on hands and knees picking berries from the low-growing plants.
Many great blueberry pies and cranberry sauce the year round (from our frozen berry bounty).
But as for the traditional can-shaped cranberry sauce, both my wife and I still enjoy it and even look forward to it. I view it as a kind of cranberry jello. So, consider me a Philistine if you will, but the festive can-shaped molded Ocean Spray cranberry stuff still brings joy to my heart.
I have no problem with either form of cranberry sauce. It's like the difference between fresh corned beef and the stuff by that name that comes in a can. They're completely different products, but I wouldn't turn down either one.
I always make my own cranberry sauce this time of the year. Freezes well. I always make my own bread and rolls so there is nothing like freshly made rolls and cranberry sauce/jam. How do you eat your with less sugar as they are so sour?
My grandparents who retired to Cape Cod had a cranberry bog across the street. Fond memories. It was Harwich Port MA and there is a type of cranberry called a Harwich.
Just made sugar free jellied cranberry sauce for my diabetic friend coming for dinner. Used pure cranberry juice and splenda to boil, added cranberries til they burst, strained, then added a spoon full of sugar free orange jello powder and a spoon full of pectin. I'm not a fan of sugar free stuff but this isn't bad. Not great but not bad if you're watching your sugar intake.
I usually make cranberry sauce from scratch each year using the recipe on the bag but cutting the sugar in half, and using Dememara / Turbinado raw sugar instead of white.
Thinking about using 50:50 apple cider and water this year as a tweak,any thoughts from the gallery?
Apple cider sounds like a good tweak. I don't know how the recipe on the bag goes, but I add a chopped up orange through the blender with skin cut/chopped fine by hand before the blender. Also some fresh ginger . I pulverize ginger and wine in the blender (maybe a teaspoon of the ginger-wine slurry) , but some scrape off the ginger.
I like the canned, the fresh made sauce, and relish. The relish is good with chopped apples. The sauce is good with a little triple sec and brandy.
At least one serving will have cransberry sauce on the turkey breast instead of gravy.
I start with the Ocean Spray recipe, cut the sugar a bit, use the juice of half a navel orange for most of the water, add the grated rind of the orange, and--the secret ingredient--put in just a pinch of cinnamon (not a quarter-teaspon, a pinch). That last brings out the spicy notes in the cranberries without calling attention to itself.
--- Joanie's Pumpkin Cranberry Bread ---
3 Cups unbleached flour
5 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 Cups sugar
1 can (15 oz.) pure pumpkin
4 large eggs
1 Cups vegetable oil
1/2 Cups orange juice
1 Cup fresh cranberries
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl, combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl, combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil and juice and beat just until blended.
Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until blended. Fold in cranberries and spoon batter into pans.
Bake for 1:30 at 300 degrees, then another 30 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a knife stuck in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in pans for ~10 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.
Try any of the Paleo diet cranberry sauce recipes.
My favorite is Cranberries, Applesauce (I grow my own apples), and dates for sweetness.
Zero sugar added.
Let me be the contrarian. I love canned cranberry sauce. Not for the taste - there are many better - but there is something about seeing that corrugated tube sitting in my great-grandmother’s glass bowl that harkens me back to a better time: when we lived in the greatest country in the world, we loved God and freedom, we were actively fighting godless, enslaving communism, we were off to the moon and the stars.
Silly, I know.
"The canned cranberry "sauce" pictured is garbage. It's just congealed sweetened cranberry juice."
I cannot argue the truth of that statement. But every Thanksgiving growing up it was a key element in the feast. Call it nostalgic, I suppose, we have included it every year since we began hosting the gathering in 1988 or so. My wife's family, much more sophisticated foodies, have a version of Cranberry relish that is delightful, so we serve that too.
To my palate the evening or next day turkey sandwich, with stuffing and the canned cranberry sauch, is sublime.
Hate me if you will.
Ironically, we like TESCO cranberry sauce (that's a British supermarket chain) which we used to purchase when we were living in London. Fortunately, we can still get it here in Ottawa through a British goods shop.
The consistency is more that of a preserve with whole cranberry pieces.
I say "ironically" because the cranberries it's made from probably come from - yep - Canada or the US.
I see that our host BD likes to put uncooked cranberries in pancakes. I do too. I used to make a special version for Independence Day with both cranberries and blueberries in them ("Red White and Blue pancakes").
Blueberries and cranberries are important crops here in South Jersey where I live. They will actually grow with minimal encouragement in our sandy, acid, nutrient-poor Pinelands soil, so they also have the merit of being relatively low-impact from a natural environment point of view.
OK, here's a recipe that I whipped up 20 years ago, and it's become a family favorite:
Bake at 350 for 1 hour, along with your biscuits or whatever.
Why so racist?
None of the hard-working laborers depicted seem to be POC's.
I demand that at least 80% of all cranberry harvesters be Black (based on racial percentages in TV advertising) and they be paid the same wages of the White people in the video.
At least in Wisconsin, the growing industry is dominated by large family-owned businesses. About 8-12 families own most of the crop, and they've intermarried over the years to the point that it can be hard to tell where each family begins and ends.
The flood-and-beat harvest method isn't very labor intensive, and most run harvest crews of 8-12, likely fathers and sons, uncles, and cousins. Very few get hired in off the street, as it were.
Then, there are some of us who like the jellied canned cranberry sauce.
To each their own.
I'll put 1 3/4 cup cranberries, 1/2 cup elderberries, water and 1/4 cup of sugar in a mason jar, water bath for 25 minutes. Wait 4-6 weeks to infuse. Then strain, pressing on the berries to extract as much juice as possible. Love for a beverage or when I feel a cold coming on.
Substitute vodka for the water and you're pretty close to my mother's berry bounce recipe.
Tracked: Nov 24, 11:59