Thanksgiving has always and will always be my favorite holiday! Now that I have my own home and family (albeit small) it is time for my own Thanksgiving traditions. We have all the usual guests, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans with the onions and bacon, yeast rolls, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. However, we do some things a little different in my house! Everything is as homemade as humanly possible! Pie crust, of course! What kind of pastry chef would I be if bought premade pie dough? Pumpkin pie filling, don't even think about bringing the stuff from a can into my house! Whip cream? Absolutely! Even my stuffing will be homemade, right down the bread cubes from my own bread!
Thanksgiving's in my home are homemade, no pre-made food, just raw, good ingredients turned into a tasty meal! There is another twist as well! I'm a locavore! Well as much as a locavore as I can be! In my home we try to eat as many locally grown and produced items as we can! It is a simple concept and really started for my family this summer. I had gone to Trader Joes after a workout and had forgotten my water bottle. While I was at Trader Joe's I bought a bottle of Fiji water. I was telling my husband about this and his remark was, "I wonder how much gas and oil they used shipping that water from Fiji to America?" Thus, our local food obsession was born. Not only is it better for your enivornment and sustainability to buy local, it's good for your local economy! I am thankful that I live in a part of the country that is so bountiful with many goods! It isn't always possible, but even one meal a week made with local meat and produce can make a huge impact.
Now, I am going to climb off my soap box and tackle the issue at hand! Cranberry sauce!! I dreamed this little baby up last week! I have never actually made cranberry sauce for my Thanksgivings! This is a first in our household! I wanted it to be simple, different, unique and something that I came up with from my own little brain. Of course it has to be homemade, again, nothing from a can in this house! I remember years of people opening that can and out would plop a can sized mass of cranberry gel, it makes me shutter. Yes, I am a food snob! And dang proud!
Back to the cranberry sauce! I took another seasonal favorite and added it to my cranberry sauce, pomegranate! I really enjoyed the results and I hope you guys will too, so without further ado......
8 ounces of fresh cranberries (lucky me! They grow cranberries on the Washington and Oregon coast!)
1 cup pomegrante juice
seeds from one pomegrante, plus any juice
2/3 cup sugar
1 piece of crystallized ginger
zest of one orange
This is a pretty simple procedure, I never realized how easy cranberry sauce was to make! I put the cranberries, pomegranate juice and sugar in the pot and let it start to get warm and a medium-low setting. Let them start mingling, getting really thick and good. While it was working it's voodoo on the stove I took apart and seeded the pomegranate. I cut the pomegranate in half and then took the seeds out with a spoon, it can be a little tricky! Pomegranates have lots of little cavernous places of seeds! Try and do it over the pot of cranberries as much as possible so the juice from the seeds goes into the pot, but make sure to keep the pulpy membrane out, it doesn't taste real good!
Once you get the pomegrante seeded, cut up your crystallized ginger and add it to the pot! You could probably even add two pieces if you like to taste your ginger! Cut it really small, almost minced!
After that is all done, zest your orange directly over the pot! All those essential oils come out when you zest and orange and they add a lot of flavor as well as the zest itself.
From here you are just going to simmer the cranberries until they start to thicken, I believe it took me about 45 minutes to reach the consistency I want! After you refridgerate them, they get really thick and almost like a jam or preserve!
You can most definitely start this recipe today! It will still be good by Thanksgiving and will be one less thing to do this week!!
Stay tuned, more Thanksgiving goodness to come in the following days!!