Cranberry Crazy

feastMy in-laws didn’t want me to bring anything to the Thanksgiving dinner. They are gourmet all the way so I wasn’t really all that surprised. “We’re all set. Just bring yourself” they told me. But, that didn’t mean I didn’t offer – Stuffing? Done. Green bean casserole? P has her recipe. Sweet potatoes? Covered. Dessert? Five pies and counting. Mashed potatoes? Check. Finally, finally it was decided I could bring the cranberry sauce. Cranberry sauce! Instantly I thought: citrus, spicy and adult. One of each. Something raw (relish), something cooked (sauce). And…if they all sucked, I could always grab a few cans on the way out of town (hey, I used to eat that stuff straight from the can – STILL love it).

So, the citrus relish was in honor of my husband’s niece. Pineapple, tangerines, lemons, lime, maple syrup, and honey. If I had thought about it I would have added raisins and nuts since this was an uncooked, crunchy relish. Something for next year, maybe?

The spicy sauce was intended just to be a sauce for kisa and I – something a little kicked up. Cranberries, chipotles, Mexican cinnamon, sugar, ancho chili powder, and red wine vinegar. Simmered for a long time on really, really low heat. If I had thought about it I would have added shallots and garlic since this was a savory sauce. Something for next year, maybe?

The adult sauce was intended to be a port – a traditional cranberry sauce that everyone makes. I decided at the last minute to make a tribute to September 18, 2004 with some Tuaca – a vanilla orange liquor. Those of you who attended the festivities on that day will know exactly what I’m talking about! *wink*wink* So, it was a mixture of mustard, cinnamon, cardamon, cranberries and Tuaca. If I had thought about it I would have soaked dried fruit in more Tuaca for a really adult kick. Something for next year, maybe.
But, here’s the thing – they loved the sauces, all of them. Even the spicy sauce disappeared. Who knew?

So, I have officially been put in charge of cranberry sauce from here on out and my husband won’t stop calling me the Queen of the Bog. I’m already thinking of next year – sweet with strawberries? Spicy with jalapenos and tomatoes? Adult with sangria? Any ideas are greatly appreciated!