Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays as the focus is not in the procurement of more but rather focused on the appreciation of the ways we are already richly blessed.
In the spirit of sharing, I wanted to provide the recipe for Cranberry Sauce from At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn. Before doing that, I must confess that for the bulk of my time in the kitchen in prep for the Thanksgiving holiday I, like countless others, relied on Ocean Spray to supply my cranberry sauce needs. Hey, good sauce. For today though, we are not discussing "good" sauce-We are discussing "great sauce."
My conversion began with a simple discussion with my friend Kim regarding our upcoming Thanksgiving prep duties in which she mentioned making her own cranberry sauce. I must confess my thoughts drifted to what complete insanity would drive someone to make more work for herself on a day when the entire day is already dedicated to cooking. Then she shared a small container of her sauce and the reason was crystal clear. It was delicious!
The Cranberry Sauce Extraordinaire:
Wash 3 sacs of whole cranberry (12 oz.) -Wash them well and pick out anything that is other than cranberries. You will not want to cook that.
Put all the cranberries into a drainer allowing them to dry.
Get medium sized saucepan.
Add 1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice. If I can find blood oranges, I use them. They are not always available. Second choice would be Valencia.
Add 1 cup of red wine or white wine.
Here is where you are going to need "personal taste" tweaking.
If you are more of a sweet-but tart connoisseur you will lend more toward the white wine. If you are looking for a deeper and sweeter rendition, I found this better accomplished with the red wines. I do not use cooking wine. I also do not choose the most expensive wine but somewhere nicely in the middle.
1-1.5 cups brown sugar (Very personal preference as to adding more but think everyone will want at least this much.)
The choice of dry or sweeter wine will also play into how much sugar you want to add. Before adding the cranberries to the sauce pan try and make solute of the sugar, the wine and the freshly squeezed orange juice.
Lime, lemon and orange zest to taste. You may also want to use some of this juice to get just the taste you want for your family.
2 tsp. vanilla
Place cranberries in pan.
Boil the cranberries in this mixture cooking about 10 mins. As the berries heat you will begin to hear popping sounds. Taste as you go to ensure that the product at the end is a good mix for you. When this mixture cools, it thickens so for you first time cranberry sauce makers, don't stress if it doesn't look thick enough! In cooling, all those delightful additions to merge into cranberry sauce heaven and the results, I promise, will delight you.
Happy, Happy Thanksgiving from Patti and Gary-with luxurious accommodations at our B&B in Asheville.
Patti and Gary Wiles
Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn
Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast