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.
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!