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Cranberry Relish Day

"It has been an unchallengeable American doctrine that cranberry sauce, a pink goo with overtones of sugared tomatoes, is a delectable necessity of the Thanksgiving board and that turkey is uneatable without it."

~ Alistair Cooke (1908-2004)

Disregarding disdainful and scurrilous British rumours about tomato inclusion, if your Thanksgiving turkey is a bit dry, you really do need some cranberry sauce to go along with the gravy to aid proper digestion! Both loathed and loved, cranberry sauce on the Thanksgiving table is for many a necessary and traditional feature, not the least of which for its striking color. Cranberries are grown in peat-rich bogs primarily in the northern part of the US. Because they’re hard to harvest from the vine, the bogs are flooded at harvest time, allowing the cranberries to float to the top, where they can be collected for seasonal sauces and tarts. If a tartan citrusy and sweetly spiced cranberry sauce (homemade or in mid-century modern canned wiggly form) is in your near future, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving celebration! 🦃🍁🌽🥧

Thanksgiving Day in the United States takes place on the last Thursday of November.  One of the dishes most closely associated with Thanksgiving dinner in North America and Canada (and Christmas dinner in the United Kingdom) is the cranberry sauce.   Loved or loathed, many people have a fond memory of inclusion of this traditional accompaniment to roast turkey or other main dishes.  There are differences in flavor depending on the geography of where the sauce is made: in Europe it is generally slightly sour-tasting, while in North America it is sweetened.

By designer Carol A.L. Martin, this tartan brings in all the colors of a deep rich cranberry sauce.

The most basic cranberry sauce consists of cranberries boiled in sugar water until the berries pop and the mixture thickens.  Recipes often include other ingredients such as slivered almondsorange juicezestgingermaple syrupport, or cinnamon.

In North America, the Wampanoag People across southeastern Massachusetts enjoyed the annual harvest of sasumuneash - wild cranberries - for 12,000 years. Some ate the berries fresh while others dried them to make nasampe (grits) or pemmican - a mix of berries, dried meat and animal fat which could last for months. Medicine men, or powwows, used cranberries in traditional healing rituals to fight fever, swelling, and even seasickness.

Europeans exploring and settling New England in the 16th and 17th centuries were familiar with the cranberry varieties which grew in the boggy regions of southern England and in the low-lying Netherlands. The English had many names for the fruit, but “craneberries” was the most common because many thought the flower resembled the head of a Sandhill crane.

Cultivation of the cranberry in the United States began in 1816, shortly after Captain Henry Hall, a Revolutionary War veteran, of Dennis, Massachusetts, noticed that the wild cranberries in his bogs grew better when sand blew over them. Captain Hall began transplanting cranberry vines and cultivating them with sand layering.

Since everyone has their own favourite sauce recipe, click the cranberries for a set of beautiful photos for other recipes using cranberries, from Nougat With Pistachios And Dried Cranberries to Cranberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake!