Crazy for Cranberries!

With Thanksgiving just a couple of days away, I thought it would be a great to share a quick recipe that should be on every kitchen table!

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A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the Plimoth Plantation Farmers Market. At the market, I was set up in the same room as the cooking demonstration, so I learned how to make a quick and easy cranberry sauce. Melissa from Fresh Meadows Farm put on the demonstration. Fresh Meadow Farm is located in Carver and one of the only certified organic cranberry growers in the state. Although Melissa’s farm stand is closed for the season, you can still find her berries through several local restaurants, markets, CSAs, and bakeries or you can call her to place an order . Not in Carver? Cranberries can be found all over the state. Massachusetts is the 2nd largest producer in the USA aside from Wisconsin.  With almost 12,000 acres of bogs in Plymouth county alone, it’s easy to find farm fresh berries around here!

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I’ve cooked with cranberries before, but I’ve never made a cranberry sauce. If I had known it was so easy, it would have become a staple on my table years ago. I started with 2 cups of cranberries. These cranberries were placed in a saucepan with ½ cup of sugar (white or brown are both tasty), a few tablespoons of water, and the juice of ½ a lemon. Keep this on medium to high heat for several minutes, stirring occasionally. The cranberries will begin to burst after a few minutes. Just keep cooking and stirring as the cranberries are bursting and the sauce will begin to thicken. Once the sauce had reached a good consistency, you can remove from the heat. I didn’t use exact measurements, and my sauce came out a little thin. This is easily fixed by adding more cranberries or even just a little bit of flour. I found that this is a recipe that can be played with. Some people like cranberry sauce really sweet, and others prefer something a little more tart. This is all controlled by you! Feel free to change things to suit your family’s taste buds. Maybe add some fresh orange juice instead of lemon or a little bit of cinnamon for a nice spicy taste. There are plenty of different recipes out there. Not a fan of whole berry sauce? Jellied is simple enough to make too.

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I hope you’ll take advantage of the abundance of cranberries grown right in our backyard. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

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