Holiday Cranberry Sauce

One of my favorite things I love about Thanksgiving is cranberry sauce. I love how the sweet taste hits your tongue but then the tart bite sneaks up on you. As a kid I practically used to beg my Mother to let me be the one to open up the cranberry sauce in a can. I love the sound it makes as it comes out of the can, once the suction is broken as it slides away from the can. Ffffffwuppp. That sound- I only got to hear it once a year, but it had some magical way of announcing Thanksgiving once you released it from the can. Sure, there was the Macy”s Thanksgiving day parade, sure there was the chop chop sound coming from the kitchen as my Mother chopped vegetables for stuffing, but for me it was always the sound of that cranberry sauce once it slopped out onto the serving plate. I still love the taste of canned cranberry sauce, but given the choice, I now prefer to make my own. I’m sorry I don’t have a picture to share with you this time, as we are getting ready for a major move and my house is in a major state of transition. Trust me though that this sauce is amazing. Is there anything better than the perfect bite of turkey, mashed potatoes mixed with a sweet bite of cranberry sauce? I think not. Okay, actually- I can think of one; a shmear of this sauce on a turkey sandwich with a bit of spicy dijon mustard and swiss cheese is a good second. Happy Thanksgiving!

Holiday Cranberry Sauce

1  1/4 Cup sugar

1/2 Cup water

1/2 Cup orange juice

1 bag fresh cranberries

3/4  Cup finely chopped pecans

1/2 Cup golden raisins

1/2 Cup finely chopped granny smith apple

1/2 Cup drained crushed pineapple

zest of one orange + juice and as much pulp squeezed out as possible

1/2 lemon juiced

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1/3 Cup dried cranberries (optional) [I like the added texture they bring]

1/4 Cup brandy

1 Tbsp. dark rum

In a medium saucepan combine sugar, water, and orange juice. Bring to a boil. Add the fresh cranberries and boil for about 5 minutes, then lower the heat and simmer to allow cranberries to pop and burst. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes. Cool and serve, store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

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