I do not come from a cranberry sauce family.
That visual of dark pink jelly sliding out of the can and landing with a slop on the plate below, still in cylindrical form, is nothing more than a trope. There is never a sauce pan of simmering red berries to be found in the kitchen on Thanksgiving. I’ve never purchased it, I’ve never tasted it, and in fact, I’m honestly a little unclear on what cranberry sauce is supposed to be used for. Do you eat it on a roll? Do you put it…on the turkey?
Cranberries do, however, make an appearance at my family Thanksgiving. Well, a typical Thanksgiving in which people gather, that is. They take the form of zesty cranberry salad, a decades-old recipe that is delightfully unexpected.
Salad may not be the most accurate name for it – I’d call it more of a relish, something that falls somewhere between side dish and dessert. It might not be for everyone, but if you’re in the mood to try something new and different (could there be a better year for that?), you’re in luck, because I’m going to share this treasured family recipe with you.
- 2 Bags of fresh cranberries
- 2 small apples, cored, but not peeled
- 1 orange with peel (gotta have that zest!)
- 1/2 Cup chopped celery
- 1/4 Cup chopped nuts (Walnuts are best)
- 1 Large package of orange Jello
- 3/4 Cup Sugar
- 1 3/4 Cup hot water
- Dissolve Jello in water
- Add sugar
- Chop or grind (pulse in food processor) apples, orange, and celery
- Mix everything together, including nuts
- Cover and chill
There you have it, a unique way to bring cranberries to your Thanksgiving table. Give it a try!