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A cranberry dish that’s not totally sad

A cranberry dish that’s not totally sad


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.

Cranberry Salad

  • 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


  1. Dissolve Jello in water
  2. Add sugar
  3. Chop or grind (pulse in food processor) apples, orange, and celery
  4. Mix everything together, including nuts
  5. Cover and chill

There you have it, a unique way to bring cranberries to your Thanksgiving table. Give it a try!


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