Countdown To Thanksgiving
The Short (dis)Order Cook, blogging on The Essential Rhubarb Pie, got me to thinking. She's all worried because she's hosting Thanksgiving for the first time. She'll be fine, I know it, but, aaahhh, the sweet apprehension of youth!
I remember when I, too, was new at this... Now TWENTY!!! years later, I feel as if I could cook Thanksgiving dinner with one hand tied behind my back. I'm not bragging (well, I guess I am), but my ease comes, not from being the greatest cook on earth, but from doing it for all these years.
I've had my disasters. And, no, I'm going to list them now...I'm not crazy...but the thing about Thanksgiving is that there is SO MUCH food that one imperfect dish or another isn't going to be noticed in the onslaught of food to come.
I'm going to post some of my favorite Thanksgiving tips or recipes in the days leading up to Thanksgiving (in addition to regular posts). It won't be an exhaustive list, but I guarantee that taken together, it will provide you with lots of help for the cooking marathon of the year. Note: Some of them won't be food-related, but guest and hosting related. As I post new ones, I'll collate the old ones into a single list, which I'll give you the link for. Ok, here goes:
Admittedly, Cranberry Sauce is the one of the few things that’s decent out of a can. BUT these are THE MOST INCREDIBLE CRANBERRIES IN THE UNIVERSE. There’s no excuse NOT to make them, since they can be frozen. Have a can or two of regular cranberries available for the non-boozing folks.
Suzanne’s Cranberries (serves 8-10 as a side dish)
From my wonderful friend, Suzanne, these award-worthy cranberries are perfect for Thanksgiving, because they can be made in advance and frozen.
3 tbls. orange flavored liqueur - Grand Marnier or Cointreau
1 envelope plain gelatin
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
4 cups (1 lb.) fresh cranberries
grated rind of 1 orange
juice of ½ lemon
Pour orange liqueur into a small glass bowl. Sprinkle over gelatin. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Combine sugar and water in large saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 5 minutes. Add cranberries. Boil 5 minutes longer. (The cranberries will pop). Remove from heat.
Add gelatin mixture to hot cranberries. Stir to dissolve. Stir in grated orange rind and lemon juice.
Pour into serving container and chill overnight. Or pour into plastic containers and freeze for up to a month. Thaw overnight in refrigerator and pour into serving dish.