We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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:
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.
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'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 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.