bright and zingy in the dreariness of autumn and winter (and a confused pseudo-spring) ::::
My holiday and New Years were encompassed, no, engulfed by work as I was on call. When December 30 hit and I was officially off call to a normal clinic schedule, my body finally relaxed. The cool weather was welcomed, even the almost freezing despite my croton plants shriveling last month. Now the weather is so warm in January and getting spring-like rain, a smattering of my spring bulbs’ leaves (I planted 350!) are peeking through the dirt in confusion.
That’s what this post feels like too, some off-put, misplaced recipe for the wrong time of year. I have a lengthy list of Thanksgiving recipes that I’ve intended to post just before November every year since 2017 — then get wrapped up something else and forget. My solution is to speckle them into the year just like those confused January daffodils and tulips.
This pop of red is the spirit of the holidays (and a confused early spring if the flower buds open). This is our typical go-to raw cranberry-orange relish for Thanksgiving, with sweet, tart, and a little chew, flavors and textures that go well with turkey, mushroom dressing, and a sweet potato-swiss chard gratin. I love the tart and sweet with the hint of orange. Versatile, too: top cakes and unflavored yogurts with leftovers. Leftovers also freeze beautifully for months and months, if you ever need a flavor and color pop in a pinch. People will wonder how you found fresh cranberries in the middle of April (though these days, there is no such thing as seasonal produce if you look hard enough and pay enough money). I like a little seasonal confusion by squirreling it away in the freezer. A nice surprise.
One year ago: marbled pound cake
Two years ago: chimichurri sauce
Three years ago: salmon salad with roasted beets
Five years ago: crockpot spinach dip
- 12 ounces of fresh cranberries
- 1 large orange, organic preferable
- ½ cup sugar (though you may want to add more, to taste)
- Rinse the cranberries well and drain. Pick through to remove any brown ones.
- Peel the orange with a vegetable peeler -- this helps avoid getting too much of the bitter pith into the dish. Roughly chop the peeled skin and set aside. Remove the with pith from the orange and discard. Section the cleaned orange and roughly chop. (No need to remove all the membrane, just the thicker pith.)
- Put the prepared orange slices, peel, cranberries, and sugar into a food processor and pulse to a chunky consistency. Watch carefully -- you don't want it too juicy!
- Chill or serve right away. This freezes great for months. I've actually frozen this relish well-wrapped in glass and foil for a YEAR without taste issues. Thaw in the fridge before using, then allow to stand at room temperature for a couple of hours in a warm kitchen to avoid ice crystals.
- Other great options for use after Thanksgiving: use as a topper for plain yogurt, stir into smoothies, use as a finisher for a lemony cake topping.