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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

holiday favorites: cranberry sauce

We had a quiet little family Thanksgiving with some of the kids and our granddaughter, Madi. It was wonderful.

For Family Night we made another gratitude garland. We took turns choosing a leaf and telling what we were thankful for. Ella sounded out each word and wrote them on the leaves. This year's list:
  • food
  • Jesus
  • family
  • Kate
  • our home
  • Madi
  • Mom
  • Dad
  • Patrick & Ashlee
  • Santa
  • the temple
  • Ella
A simple activity, but always a favorite. I purchased the pre-cut leaves at Pebbles in my Pocket, punched holes at the top of each with a micro circle punch and threaded them onto crochet thread.

A couple of weeks ago, Ella went to her friend David's house to play. I'm pretty sure the entire neighborhood was there. Later, David's mother told me they played house and Ella was the mom and David was the dad. They had family night, and each child had to tell one thing they were thankful for--so sweet.

Then Ella and David kissed. What? (Tawnie was laughing as she was telling me this.) I apologized and told her I'd talk to Ella. She said she told the little love birds they had a "no kissing" rule. Ella explained, "But my mom and dad kiss all the time!" Okay, kinda sweet.

Speaking of sweet things, my favorite thing about Thanksgiving (and Christmas) dinner is the cranberry sauce. I've found either you're a cranberry person or you're not. If you're not, this recipe could possibly change your mind. And if you already are, you'll never purchase a can of it again.

Years and years ago, our Relief Society had a professional chef, Glen Pincock, teach us how to make a complete holiday dinner, fancy schmancy-style. It was inspiring. I remember feeling so "Martha-ish" as I put herbs under the skin of the turkey and added orange slices to the cavity before cooking it. I still use many of the other tips and tricks, and this cranberry sauce recipe:


12 oz. fresh cranberries
11 oz. can  mandarin oranges
1 3/4 c. sugar (I use less, about 1 1/2 c., which makes it a little more tart)
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

Combine cranberries, spices, sugar and liquid from mandarin oranges in a saucepan. Simmer on low. When cranberries begin to break down, add mandarin orange segments. Stir and cook to desired texture. Chill.

So simple to make and an absolute must for turkey sandwiches. It can be made early and kept in the fridge, just in case you decide to go see Breaking Dawn and have lunch with your girlfriends the day before Thanksgiving, instead of preparing food. Just in case. ;)

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