This Underutilized Holiday Side Dish Needs More Limelight!

As if there haven’t been enough topics this year to be firmly planted on one side of the fence or the other—what the heck, I’m gonna add one more :) I am hereby declaring that homemade cranberry sauce deserves to be used many, MANY times a year, not just Thanksgiving! I feel it is highly underrated and should be utilized and appreciated much more often. I firmly believe that if you’ve got a little side of that with a nice meal and dip into it every once a while to get a bit of tartness in with your other variety of flavors--that will make any meal better.

As I was working my way through eating the leftover gallons of mashed potatoes I made for Thanksgiving —the thing that really made them divine was pairing it with the leftover cranberry sauce I had. It made these leftover mashed potatoes, which are pretty much at the bottom of the totem pole of leftovers, taste like a million bucks!

As I was enthusiastically telling my husband how I really think I’m onto something, I was shocked when he was firmly planted on the other side of the fence. He feels that having cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving is lovely and all, but is perfectly plenty once a year, thank you very much. I was in utter shock. For one thing, my husband is Mr. King Sandwich himself and was just telling me how perfect the real cranberry sauce is on his favorite leftover turkey sandwiches.  So how could he, of all people, not want to have this beautiful, tart-but-sweet little dish more often throughout the year? He feels that the part of the beauty of it is thoroughly enjoying it the one day and waiting patiently to enjoy it again a year later.

So the real question is…... which side of the fence are you on with this topic of utmost importance? 

Would you consider making cranberry sauce far more often throughout the year? Perhaps you do already. I certainly plan to, even if I am the only one in my family who appreciates it for what it is!

Or do you feel that once a year is plenty? {If you have never tried homemade cranberry sauce and have only had the canned stuff, which is still perfectly delicious, I would dare say that you cannot form a solid opinion until you have tried homemade cranberry sauce.} It is SO good and I have always felt it is worth the extra effort to make from scratch.

I'm clearly not the only one who uses fancy cranberry sauce more often than just Thanksgiving. As I was browsing Rachael Ray's website, she was just making a nice lovely Sunday roast with potatoes and had cranberry sauce on the side. Her recipe adds in sliced honey crisp apples and lemon that cook down with the cranberries. That combination of flavors sounds absolutely lovely together. The apples would definitely add some more texture to the dish and enhance it even more.

I will post my favorite cranberry sauce recipe at the bottom which has all the juice and zest from an orange and simmers with a cinnamon stick. It is truly so easy to make and I hope that you’ll give it a try! If nothing else, you should try making it for your Thanksgiving meal next year and I think you’ll find it is worth the extra effort. 

Feel free to share your impassioned thoughts about cranberry sauce and its proper usage in the comments below. I’m prepared to be a lone wolf over on this {much greener} side of the fence ;)

Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Cinnamon

Easy homemade cranberry sauce made with just 4 ingredients and in 20 minutes. Author: The Chunky Chef

Prep time:
Cook time:
Serving size: 8
Calories per serving: 257

16 ounces cranberries fresh cranberries
1 orange orange
3/4 cup granulated sugar granulated sugar
1 stick cinnamon cinnamon

Add cranberries and sugar to a saucepan and stir.

Zest orange, then juice, and add both to the saucepan.

Add cinnamon stick and cook over MED-LOW for 15 minutes, or until the cranberries burst and mixture thickens to your liking.

Remove cinnamon stick and serve at room temperature or chilled.


Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.

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    Mary Richardson
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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