Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cranberry Maple Sauce and Thanksgivings Past

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!   What a joyous day to celebrate family, friends and all our blessings.   This morning I was thinking about where I've been for Thanksgiving over the past 5 years.  I usually see my family at Christmas, and the nature of the hotel business is that our office is only closed on Thanksgiving Day, so sometimes I work on Black Friday (better making money than spending money).   It's been quite an adventure the past few years. 

2006 - Baden, Switzerland - My friends had just moved there a few months before and this was their first major American holiday living abroad.   We had Swiss raclette for Thanksgiving dinner.    I just looked at some of the pictures today....we had a great time!
2007 - Denver, Colorado - I cooked an early dinner with a friend who had to work at 2pm.    I think after that I must have started on my holiday baking.

2008 - Monterey, California - Our family decided to take Thanksgiving to the West Coast.   I remember enjoying a great dinner that included turkey...and sushi...and mimosas
2009 - Denver, Colorado - I was adopted by some friends and enjoyed dinner, football and Mario Kart.

2010 - Curacao - We spent the week in Curacao (Dutch Caribbean).   It poured rain in the morning and in the afternoon we went to an aloe plantation and an ostrich farm.   Non-traditional and memorable.
Today - We have been adopted by a family who will make sure we have "greens" in addition to all the other Thanksgiving treats.   We've been warned that dressing up is forbidden and that even jeans with a sweater is too much.

I picked up a fantastic book at the library last week The Southern Living Big Book of Christmas.  I don't even think I have enough time to try all the recipes I bookmarked in the next month.    Today while I was baking the pecan pie that I'm taking to dinner, I had the time to try out the Cranberry Maple Sauce.  It is quick and easy, as promised by the good people at Southern Living.

Adapted from The Southern Living Big Book of Christmas
*The original recipe called for 3/4 cup of maple syrup and 1/4 cup water, but since I only had a 1/2 cup of maple syrup left, I adjusted the measurements and did not feel cheated in any way.

 1 12oz package of fresh cranberries
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar, packet
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of one clementine, plus the juice squeezed into the sauce (in tribute to my Grandma, who made a delicious cranberry relish that was made with ground cranberries and orange zest)

Combine all ingredients into a heavy saucepan.   Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes until the cranberries begin to pop, stirring often.   Let cool. 

What are you thankful for this year?

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