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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)

For shame, Alistair! Gentle readers, please disregard all such disdainful remarks and scurrilous rumours about tomatoes! Cranberry sauce is a traditional and requisite Thanksgiving side dish, considered by many a necessity on a Thanksgiving table, if for nothing else, but as a bright splash of colour and to put fear in guests to mind the clean tablecloth. And as all turkey roasters know, if your turkey is just a wee bit overdone, you really do need some cranberry sauce (along with the gravy) to aid in proper digestion and prevent any swallowing difficulties! Both loathed and loved, cranberry sauce for many is the equivalent of a Christmas fruitcake, a foodstuff whose absence is missed even if guests are not particularly enthusiastic. Cranberry sauce may have inherited a less than stellar reputation from its 20th century canned form, rolled out for many a mid-century modern Thanksgiving table. And although there are elegant and delicious chutneys and citrusy, brandied, and spiced recipes, for some it just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without opening up that tin of wiggling, jiggling cranberry jello. 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. Enjoy this beautiful rich tartan equivalent which would grace any Thanksgiving celebration and defy any and all cranberry sauce spills. 🦃🍁🌽🥧

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!

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