Monday, November 21, 2011

English Spiced Cranberry for an all American Thanksgiving

It seems to be forever since I posted anything... Life has been crazy, I was busy job hunting. Finally I have a better idea what I would like to do for my work life, I am putting some time back into my cooking.

Thanksgiving is this Thursday, the most all American family gather! Ever since I had a family, I made my English Spiced cranberry every year. The house smells so wonderful while it is cooking on the stove. It is the first sign of the Holiday season each year.

I discovered cooking when I was 14 or 15. My parents was separated and my father didn't know how to cook. Our housekeeper had Sundays off and Dad and I were left to fend for ourselves. Since my father had no idea what to do with me. He gave me 1/4 of a watermelon for dinner in the summer... or we had "rubber" chicken, some rotisserie chicken he would pick up. I first learned to cook in Home Ed classes and I did a few experiments on my father on those Sundays. I was also close to my Aunt Kathy, who was married to an Englishman. She learned cooking from reading. I used to her helper after school.

I found the recipe in a cookbook my father gave me on 17th birthday. English had turkey or duck for Christmas. I used to make this for our family Christmas dinner at Aunt Kathy's.  It was modified though the years. Now this is my household traditional that Holidays is not the same without Spiced Cranberry...
(By the way, the photo you see in this posting was tripled since I ususally make a big batch to share with friends.)

English Spiced Cranberry
1 12oz package fresh Cranberry, washed and remove any bad berries.
 1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/4" slice of Ginger, Peeled
1/2 tsp whole clove
1/2 tsp whole allspice
1.5" piece of whole cinnemon
1/2 tsp dried onion peel
3/4 cup sugar
Prepare the spice packet. Combine, ginger, clove, allspice, cinnamon stick and orange peel. You can use a piece of muslin, place the mixture in the middle and tie the corners together to form a spice ball. I am using a tea diffuser here, Just place the mixture into the ball and set aside
Place all the cranberries in a large non-corrosive sauce pan (I am using a dutch oven). Add a cup of vinegar.
Place the spice ball into the berries mixture, hook the chain to the side of the pot.
Bring the mixture to a boil over med-high heat
Once you notice the berries starts to burst, lower heat to med low and cover
 Stir occanionally, cook till the berries become saucy, thick and jam like, about 20 mins.

Add sugar and taste. Depending on the berries and your taste, you may need more sugar.
Bring to a boil again and cook for additional 5 min till the mixture is jam like
Remove the spice ball. Spoon into glass jars and store in the fridge. Use within 2 weeks. You can also can the sauce in a water bath or store in the freezer.

Great with poultry or pork. My father actually loves this on toast. I also use it as a topping over a wheel of brie for Holiday parties. It's very festive! You will love the color!



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