I’ve been a vegetarian for quite a while now, so Thanksgiving has a bit of a different ring to it for me. The truth is, even before I became one, turkey was never a very big draw. So this holiday was never about the turkey for me.
Other than turkey, there were some key dishes that my family had every year. Granted, the menu has changed recently as the family has expanded, but growing up, we always had my aunt’s stuffing, that sweet potato and marshmallow casserole thing (you know what I’m talking about), my mom’s cranberry relish, and of course, pumpkin pie.
As much as I love my aunt’s stuffing, that was never the thing that made me crave Thanksgiving. And the sweet potato marshmallow thing was always waaaaaay too sweet for my taste (luckily, this item has been taken off the menu). And pumpkin pie….well, pumpkin pie is delicious and definitely Thanksgiving-y, but it still wasn’t the thing I waited all year for.
No, for me, it was always all about the cranberry relish. I know, what a bizarre thing to crave and to salivate over, of all the delicious things that go into a Thanksgiving dinner. I just couldn’t help it. There’s something about that tart, fruity relish that my mom always made. I would pile it high on my plate and eat it plain and be oh so happy with life.
Of course, years later, I found out that it’s pretty much the simplest thing ever to make. Sweet! So, this Thanksgiving, I’m sharing this wondrously delicious, amazingly simple dish. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have over the years.
Super Simple Cranberry Relish
Serves 25-30 (yes, our dinners are that big, but you can definitely enjoy this relish with your leftovers)
3 bags of frozen cranberries
3-4 medium sized apples, peeled and chopped
1 orange, chopped (but leave the peel on)
1.5 cups water
1 cup sugar (or more, depending on your taste)
1 cinnamon stick
1. Bring water and sugar to a boil in a small pot or saucepan.
2. Rinse the cranberries and pick out any bad ones. Add the clean cranberries into the boiling water and partially cover the pot. Allow the cranberries to cook for about 5 minutes, until you hear them popping.
3. Stir in the apples and cinnamon stick and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the cranberries have mostly broken down.
4. Stir in the orange chunks and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Adjust the sugar levels at this time.
5. After 2-3 minutes, take the relish off the stove and allow to cool. Serve warm, cold, or room temperature with your favorite Thanksgiving dishes (or be like me and just eat a bowl full).