When I think of cranberries, I always think of my dear friend Jo. She worked with my father and instantly became a member of our family. Everything about Jo was extravagant. As a child, mom would fry us 2 strips of bacon. When Jo was in the kitchen, I would have 15. She was always the life of the party. After my parents died, she took on the chore of cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I was assigned to bring the cranberry sauce. Every year, I would make a new recipe, always using fresh cranberries. Her family really did not like the sauce and it became a big joke every year. But the year I brought this recipe, things changed.
My other memory of cranberries was in 1959. They discovered some deadly weed killer that was used on the crops and all cranberry products disappeared from the shelves. My mother only served that cranberry jelly, but it took several years before she would try it again.
We only see fresh cranberries this time of year. They say you can freeze them, but I have never tried that. Cranberry sauce is great with turkey or ham. There are so many recipes for making sauce that involve oranges, nuts and sugar, of course.
This recipe has dates, almonds and currants. I never seem to have currants on hand, so I substitute them with golden raisins. The instructions are a bit tricky, but no matter how it turns out, you can adjust it. If it is too tart, add more sugar. If it is too thick, add a bit of water.
This makes lots of sauce. But why cut the recipe in half since you will have to buy a full bag of cranberries anyway. This sauce will last 6 weeks refrigerated.
If you make this recipe now, you will have plenty of wonderful cranberry sauce to go with all your holiday meals. My guess is Jo has this already in her refrigerator.
1 cup sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 ½ cups water
One 12 ounce bag fresh cranberries, washed and picked over
½ cup moist dried currants or raisins
½ cup finely chopped pitted dates
½ cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
Combine the sugar and spices in a large saucepan. Add the water and stir until somewhat dissolved. Cover and set over low heat and cook undisturbed until the sugar has dissolved and the water is hot. Uncover the pan, raise the heat and bring the water mixture to a boil. Add the cranberries and stirring constantly, cook until they pop and soften. Lower the heat and stir in the currants and dates and cook for about 5 minutes until thick. Add almonds and place in a sturdy container and let it completely cool. Then refrigerate.
Susan Lang makes greeting cards which are for sale at Stephen's Hair & Boutique located at 312 W. Mesquite Blvd. #12 in the Bull Dog Shopping Center. Each card is different and has a message sure to make you laugh and some also come with recipe cards. While you are there, grab a new outfit for dinner!