I just have to start this post out with a pet peeve of mine. I started seeing Christmas stuff in the stores around the end of September. What happened to enjoying the fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving before we started worrying about Christmas? I hate the consumerism society we live in now. It used to be the few sacred days a year when people didn’t have to work and we enjoyed good food, friends, family and the season before we rushed in the Season of Getting. Yes, I know it’s suppose to be the Season of Giving but it really doesn’t seem that way anymore. And Halloween and Thanksgiving are all forgotten holidays. So with all that in mind, I really set out this year to ignore Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving, when I start thinking about finding a tree and putting out the holiday decorations.
We just finished celebrating Halloween. It was so much fun to dress up this year and go out to a fun concert. I finally got to be Sally from the Nightmare before Christmas and Hubby made a fine Jack. Both of us had never done the couple’s costume before but it turned out fun and we had a blast. I have to thank the photographer from the Westword for not only capturing my hubby up to his tricks but also for posting it for the world to see. LOL!
Now that we’ve enjoyed Halloween, I’m turning my focus to the yummies of the fall and Thanksgiving. Today I thought I would share my recipe for a freshly made Cranberry Relish. I guess you could also call it a salad but something about thoughts of cranberry salads makes me cringe because I’ve had so many bad ones including my Grandmother’s (I’m sorry Grandma. Stop turning in your grave but it really was horrible with the little marshmallows, carrots, and raisins in it). There’s just some things that shouldn’t be included or done with cranberries such as how my Grandmother murdered it or putting in a can as something that resembles cranberry jelly.
This is the real stuff. It has fresh (or frozen) cranberries, apples, pears, dried fruit and nuts. And it goes great with everything! I love using it on a pork tenderloin or pork chops, with turkey, over roasted butternut squash or just by itself. It’s a wonderful mix of cinnamon, nutmeg and fruit that is beautifully balanced with sweet and sour fruity goodness. It’s also easy to make and very much worth the effort, that you’ll find yourself making it several times instead of just for the holidays 🙂
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
12 oz. cranberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup orange juice
1 cup apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 cup pear, peeled, cored and diced
1 1/2 cups mixed dried fruit, chopped (I like apples, apricots, cranberries and peaches, but use what makes you happy)
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
Add water and sugar to a large saucepan, stirring over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the rest of the ingredients. Cover with a lid and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally (cranberries will burst). Remove from heat and serve at room temperature.
Makes about 5 cups of relish.
More cranberry recipes for the season: