Michael and I are having a very low key Thanksgiving this year - my youngest daughter and her fiancee were going to come, but then a combination of scheduling difficulties and bad weather between our home and theirs led to us all agreeing it wasn't the right time for a visit.
Since we'd not yet bought a turkey when plans fell through, we decided to be radical and so on Thanksgiving, we're going out to eat at one of the many DC area restaurants that are having special Thanksgiving Day menus!
The only real downside for us is... no leftovers for sandwiches the next day! My favorite part of Thanksgiving, if I'm going to be honest, is a nice turkey and cranberry sauce sandwich with some crisp lettuce and a bit of mayo and mustard. I know, I know - people either like the whole meal between bread including stuffing, or find this whole leftovers sandwich thing to be a big gross mess.
But that's my sandwich and since I rarely eat bread at all, I want it just the way I want it.
So... we bought a couple turkey breasts to cook on Friday for sandwiches along with a nice loaf pumpernickel-rye bread, and I'm making my special cranberry sauce. (The look of relief on Michael's face when I said I'd make some made me feel very good!)
Orange Cranberry Sauce with Celery & Walnuts
1 12-ounce bag cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 cup orange juice
1 or 2 stalks celery, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 medium seedless orange, zested and then all peel and pith cut away, fruit diced
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Look through the bag of cranberries, removing any debris or bad berries. Place into a medium saucepan.
Mince celery stalk and set aside. Prepare orange by zesting the outside, and then peeling and chopping the fruit inside. Set the fruit aside, and put the zest into the saucepan, along with cranberries.
Add sugar, honey, juice, and spices to the saucepan and stir. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
Lower heat to low simmer. Mix in orange pieces and walnuts. Simmer another 5-10 minutes, until liquid is nearly gone and mixture is thickened. Transfer to bowl. Cover and chill until cold, at least 2 hours - better if you can let it set for a day or two.
NOTES: The form of sweetener can be switched out as desired - I've used brown sugar, turbinado sugar, all honey, maple syrup, etc. Even a little molasses would add an interesting rich flavor, although I'd use it along with something more mild. As long as the total amount adds up to 1 cup, it'll be good.
This year, the honey I used was some sage infused honey, because I had it on hand. Yum!
The result was so tasty, it will be hard to let it settle in the refrigerator for a couple days. I have to confess, I topped a bit of it, still warm, on a little dish of cottage cheese. It was so good!
I believe I'll be making this more than once over the next month.
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