Happy Thanksgiving: Embrace the can

Cranberry sauce as God intended

In these, the final precious moments of calm before the storm, I am taking on the ultimate Thanksgiving taboo. And I’m not talking about what happened in the powder room last year after Uncle Fred found the cooking sherry and Vaseline even after I hid them behind the sofa, grotesquely fascinating though that story most certainly is. In this case, the love that dare not speak its name involves your guests and cranberry sauce.

Let’s all just come clean, shall we? Of course we should prefer homemade cranberry sauce, and every year I make some interesting version of it – with apricots and toasted almonds, orange marmalade and Grand Marnier, or some such – which arrives at the table looking festive and appetizing, then sits right there for the entire meal. Eventually some sympathetic soul, usually me, makes a token gesture and takes a spoonful, but let’s be honest, ninety-five percent of the stuff just loiters in the bowl until the meal is over and it’s scraped down the dispose-all.

courtesy freshcutcook.blogspot.com

When it comes to fruity sides, what really moves is the peeling-free, heavily-sugared Ocean Spray from the can. Everybody loves it, and the only real question is whether you prefer a middle slice or the one that comes imprinted with the bottom of the can. I like the end.

So listen,  save yourself some trouble this year and just go with the flow. Shove the bag of cranberries in the freezer (they keep forever) and dust off the can opener. The sanity you save may be your own.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

About WSW

Writer, wife, mother. Toiler in the bottomless, black, soul-sucking coal mine of domestic life. Thank God for the portable bar.

Posted on November 23, 2011, in Holiday fare and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. I am proudly unable to roast a turkey, much less make a sauce accompaniment that’s better left inside a Cosmopolitan. However, I’m glad to see that all of the ingredients which go into dressing up the turkey can easily be found inside my favorite drinks – Grand Marnier, orange marmalade…toasted almonds.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving Wendie, I was brought up on Ocean Spray. A slice a plate. Yeah, I tried making once but it sucked swamp water. This year no sides, turkey breast, what male can resist a breast? I’ll bone it, stuff it and roast it. Got everything worked out. The fun starts tomorrow when I bone the breast (sounds dirty) and finish the stuffing. I got Wednesday set aside to stuff and tie it up. ( A tad of B&D?) Rub it and let it air dry overnight , Thursday tuck the sucker in the oven and pull it out when it’s done. I was a cook we talk that way about food. Because food is sexy. Oh yeah, I joined a gym. Start next week.

  3. Oh yum. That and a big slice of Spam.

  4. You know I have my cans ready to go.

  5. Easy answer. Don’t have turkey. Then the dilemma simply fades away 🙂

    • Alas, Thanksgiving is a necessary start to the festive holiday season and must be slogged through. I have found, however, that keeping the sherry bottle close to hand makes the whole day more bearable, especially since, when sherry or similar is consumed in adequate quantities I seldom remember clearly, or at all, what went on after about 11 am.

      • Whatever gets you through the day. I really like sherry, and if you’re in the kitchen people don’t look askance at you having a glass on standby.
        Once got absolutely hammered on the stuff, though, and it’s nearly as bad as tequila for making you feel a bit peaky

  6. It’s gotta be ‘Jellied’ Ocean Spray too…..Happy Turkey Day.

  7. Couldn’t agree more! The only fresh cranberry thing I can do and seems to be a hit is to do a cranberry relish.

    Using the RAW whole cranberries and a whole UNPEELED orange and whatever amount of sugar you desire. Throw into a blender or cuisinart. Done.

    It doesn’t pay to cook fresh cranberries and make them into a gooey condiment-

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