Tuesday, November 26, 2013

NaBloPoMo Day 26: Best Cranberries Ever!

I had a little rhyme in my head as I was preparing today's post:

Something Old
Something New
Something Borrowed
Something from Honey Baked Ham
cause this girl is almost six months pregnant and refuses to cook all day.

Catchy, huh? But, seriously, we love us some HBH sides over here. Last year featured their Cornbread Dressing and Sweet Potato Souffle. AMAZING. So we're doing that again in 2013.

Our something new this year is Oreo Pie, courtesy of Little K. She loved making pies with my mom last year and really wanted to try a new recipe. She is so excited to make something herself!

Speaking of making things herself, she also wanted to make something for the dinner table, too. Given her love of carbs, Little K has decided to make crescent rolls. From a can, but still all by herself. I just love this girl!!

I would usually put the HBH sides under borrowed but they cost so much that I think we can't leave them in that category. So, instead, I will point you to Alton Brown's Brined Turkey recipe. Made it for the first time last year and fell in love. AB is the man!

Something old is where the fun is for me. Next year I will share our recipe for Mom's Orange Crepes, our traditional Thanksgiving Day breakfast. However, this year is all about something to contrast all of the hot and savory on your plate. Think of it as a palate cleanser, like grenata or sorbet between the second and third course. Cool, sweet, refreshing.

Grandma Pat's Cranberry Relish

  • 2 small or 1 large box cherry jello
  • 1 bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 orange
  • 2-3 stalks celery
  • 1/2 C chopped pecans or Pecan Chips
  • Sugar

  • Food Processor
  • Large Bowl
  • Jello Mold, optional


1. Prepare jello with half the amount of water and place in fridge to begin firming up.

2. Begin prepping your fruits and veggies:

     With peal and pith still on, cube orange into 1" cubes
     Wash celery and cut into 1" ribs

3. Get ready with the food processor. Remember that you're trying to get little crunchies into your relish, not goo - especially the pecans! Think pickle relish texture at this point. Process each ingredient individually and then dump into the large bowl. I work in this order:


4. Fold your fruits and veggies together. Add sugar to taste. I usually end up adding anywhere from 2T to 1/3 sugar, depending on how sweet my orange is and how tart the cranberries are.

5. Remove jello from fridge when wobbly but not fully set. It will look like a ton of crunchies for only a little bit of jello but trust me, it will all fit! Fold everything together and taste again to be sure it's sweet enough.

6. Now comes the fun part! You can let the finished relish set in any container you like. My mom has a real jello mold that makes a beautiful ring, reminiscent of a bunt cake. I, however, do not. Instead, I fill enough of my small china dessert bowls for each person who will be at the table and then let the rest set in a glass bowl or tupperware container. Compote cups would be beautiful for this, too.

7. This needs to set for AT LEAST 6 hours, so it definitely falls in the "make ahead" file. I usually make this on Wednesday afternoon/evening and pat myself on the back for getting one more thing crossed off the list.

This is the perfect dish to bring for a potluck style dinner or to finally convince someone that they really do like cranberries! Travels well and, like I said, wonderfully contrasts with the standard Thanksgiving goodies on your plate. Make it and rejoice in 1950's cooking!


  1. Where are you getting the energy to do this? I'm tired even thinking about planning tonight's dinner!