November brings fresh cranberries to market, out of the northeastern cranberry bogs and into our mind-taste for something tart and traditional. I could not resist three 12-oz. bags at ALDI this week: 99¢ per bag. What could one hermit do with 36 ounces of fresh cranberries?
First I rinsed and chopped about half and combined them with a chopped orange, apple and ground almonds. A tablespoon or two of honey (per taste bud preference), stirred in, makes for an eye-opening breakfast starter after Green Glop [read: Healthy Green Glop post] or a refreshing side dish for lunch, snack or supper. Remember to eat fruits first as they metabolize best in our bodies before heavier foods are ingested.
This crisp November morning (Feast of St. Elizabeth of Hungary) I decided to make brandied cranberries. The task is hermit-simple and the results gloriously exquisite. These berries remain usable, refrigerated, for a couple of years…maybe longer…if not eaten sooner. Small jars of the condiment make gracious gifts this time of year; but you will want to have some on reserve to perk your palate.
Directions: Rinse, drain and let dry 16 ounces fresh cranberries. Place in shallow baking dish. Add and stir into the berries, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 Tbsp. chopped orange rind, and 1/2 cup Triple Sec liqueur. Cover and bake 40 minutes in a preheated 325° oven. Remove and spoon into small jars, making sure to include some of the syrup that forms with the cranberries. Lid and let cool before refrigerating, and keep refrigerated until served.
Brandied Cranberries brighten up the winter months’ waffles and pancakes, make an advantageous change from the typical cranberry fare with turkey and other meats, and even brighten an otherwise glum plate upon which a sandwich or serving of casserole begs for a snap of color and taste sensation. This hermit on occasion imbibes in a spoonful, mid-morning, for sheer joy.