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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Where's the Cranberry Sauce?

When I was a kid, that canned jellied cranberry sauce (you know the one) was a staple on our holiday table. My mom would bring it home from the store and put it directly into the refrigerator so that it would be chilled on the big day. Usually an hour or so before we sat down to eat she’d open the can on both ends and let the sauce shimmy out, cutting it into slices as it slipped onto the serving dish. Then she would put it back into fridge until dinner time.

When the turkey was ready and the potatoes fluffed, and the shoepeg corn heated and the rolls perfection we’d all sit at the table, say the prayer and dig in. About half way through the meal my mother would look around the table, surveying the devastation, and ask, “Where’s the cranberry sauce?”

Someone would say, “Oops,” and jump up, run into the kitchen and retrieve the sauce and bring it into the dining room. We’d all take a slice and our meal would be complete. Until the next time, and we’d forget all over again.

Then Cranberry Jello Salad came into our lives. My sister gave my mom the recipe and she passed it along to my sister-in-law and my sister-in-law gave it to her sister. Now the only question we ask is, “Who’s bringing the Cranberry Jello this year?”

Cranberry Jello Salad

1 20oz. can crushed pineapple
2 3oz. packages of cherry jello
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups hot water
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups raw cranberries, ground
1 cup diced celery
1 cup chopped walnuts

Drain pineapple and save the juice. Combine the gelatin and sugar Dissolve in hot water Add the cold water, lemon juice, and pineapple juice. Chill until partially set. Add the cranberries, celery, pineapple and nuts. Chill until firm.

Try this once and you’ll never leave the canned jellied cranberry sauce (you know the one) languishing in the fridge again.

Is there a holiday dish that’s always on your table, whether you like it or not?

P.S. Happy holidays to you all!

P.P. S. Thanks to my sister-in-law Debbie who supplied this recipe when I couldn't find my copy!!!


At 9:15 AM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Karen, this sounds delicious!!
One do you grind the raw cranberries?
(I'm so not-a-cook)

At 10:45 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

I agree with Diane. The recipe sounds yummy.

Diane, I'd use a food processor to grind the cranberries!

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Gillian Layne said...

I love cranberries! My favorite is a version of this; I add a layer of cream cheese in the mold. And I would end up using the whole bean sauce instead of grinding them.

At 11:39 AM, Blogger Karen said...

You can grind the cranberries in a food processor, as Mo suggests, or you can do it the Potter way, with an old hand-crank meat grinder that clamps to the edge of the kitchen table.

Now that I think about it, I wonder who got that meat grinder when my mom passed away...

At 1:10 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Thanks, Karen. This looks great! I love cranberries too. We always forget to put something on the table and usually we don't remember until dinner is over. :)

Gillian, my sister uses a layer of cream cheese too!

At 2:06 PM, Blogger Patricia W. said...

Karen, I'm sorry I never noticed you at the table at Christmas. Probably was too busy jumping up for the cranberry sauce.

Not sure I want to adventure. I like my metal-tasting, jelled stuff. But maybe...

At 2:07 PM, Blogger Dianna Love said...

Karen - I've always loved that dish but never really had a recipe until now. I like Gillian's suggestion of adding cream cheese, too. :)

We don't do a lot of conventional meals (other than deep fried turkey at Thanksgiving) so our table always looks different.

At 4:35 PM, Blogger MaryF said...

I lurve cranberry sauce, probably because my mom's turkey is usually pretty dry :)

I make a chutney that's good, with dried apricots, oranges and brown sugar. REALLY good.

At 4:51 PM, Blogger Merrillee said...

I'm not a fan of the jellied stuff, but my husband and one daughter love it. I'd really like to try your recipe. It sounds delicious, but I wonder whether my husband and daughter would fuss if they didn't get that yukky jelly stuff. I make a dish we call watergate salad with pistachio pudding, marshmallows, whipped topping, pineapple and walnuts that we always have at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

At 5:49 PM, Blogger Delle Jacobs said...

I love cranberry sauce. Cranberry bread, cranberry jell-o, cranberry juice-- anything cranberry. My favorite for years was cranberry-orange relish, but I haven't found any for a long time. Currently everyone always wants the jellied cranberry sauce, so we just use that. I know there's a recipe calling for grinding up the cranberries and oranges, but I haven't found it.


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