Isn’t it strange when you get to an age where you realize you have “classic” recipes? In order to be classic, something has to have stood the test of time and held up through various fads and diet changes. Which implies that the recipe has been around a while. Which in turn implies that I’ve been around a while. And I just feel too young to have anything in my repertoire described as “classic”. Anyway….

Whether or not I’m classic, these cranberries are. I pulled the recipe out of a passed-down issue of Taste of Home when I was in college, because I knew that the Sweetie Pie loved cranberry sauce. Being newly engaged, I was looking to my future of cooking for my husband and family.

These cranberries were a perfect dish for me as a young cook–super easy, keeps in the fridge forever, and with all that sweetener how can you really mess it up?? These, by the way, are also the things that make it the perfect dish for Thanksgiving. If you’re looking to lower your stress level, but still want to have a fresh and tasty dinner table, this dish is for you.

The recipe has evolved over the years. The sugar got replaced with honey, and then with agave syrup, and then I reduced the quantity by half altogether. Sometimes I throw in apples, or clementine wedges or candied ginger. Sometimes I simmer it with cinnamon sticks, or star anise. Every year it’s on the table, but it’s never quite the same. This, by the way, drives the Sweetie Pie crazy. Because he knows that although it’s “the best cranberry sauce ever”, he’s never going to taste it exactly the same way again–partly because I didn’t write down what I did to it, and partly because even if I had, I wouldn’t follow my own directions anyway.

The recipe says it makes 10 servings. That must be for people who like their cranberries as a condiment. My family eats cranberries out of a bowl, with a spoon…preferably a big spoon. If I’m making these berries for my family of six, I have to double it. This feeds us well and leaves us just a bit for leftovers.

I’m posting the original recipe here, and you can let loose your own creativity on it. If you come up with any stellar improvements, be sure to share about it in the comments. I could use a few fresh ideas for this year’s Thanksgiving table.

Classic Orange Ginger Cranberries

Source: Taste of Home magazine

Ingredients

  • 16 oz fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups sugar (or honey, or agave syrup)
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 Tbs organic orange rind grated
  • 1 Tbs fresh ginger finely minced

Method

  1. Combine everything in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the berries pop open, about 10 minutes. Cool.
  2. Cover and refrigerate.

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