The week before Thanksgiving, my sister had Tim and me over to her house to watch the Buckeyes play football. We showed up at the door and she greeted us with “I cannot stop eating these cranberries.” After being ushered into the kitchen, we tried a sugared cranberry and they were indeed addicting. Tim went elsewhere in the house and Beth and I stayed in the kitchen, picking at the bowl of cranberries and chatting while she roasted some pumpkin seeds (she even followed the recipe I linked on my blog!). Between the four adults and Beth’s daughter, we made short work of the bowl of cranberries and an obsession was born.
Beth shared the recipe for the sugared cranberries with me and once I saw how easy it was, I couldn’t wait to try them out myself. Then a few days later, I was making a run to the grocery store to pick up a few last minute things, as you do the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. (I had to get an orange to make the pumpkin orange muffins to bring along!) On a whim, I looked around for fresh cranberries to try to make those tasty suckers myself. It took me a solid 4 minutes of wandering the produce area until I spotted literally the last bag of cranberries in a case (or they were really well hidden and the bag I snagged was put there by someone who’d changed their minds). I paused just long enough to wonder whether my impulse-desire to make sugared cranberries was about to deprive some other last-minute shopper the ingredients to make some family-tradition cranberry sauce. Then I got over it, snatched up the bag and gleefully dropped it into my basket.
I am religious about watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but only certain parts. After all of the lovely Broadway performances in the beginning, I gazed at floats and balloons until the cavalcade of unknown pop stars made me realize this part of the parade was skippable. (I always make it back in time for Santa. Even the year that Mom made Mel and I dash out to get stuff from the grocery store before they closed at noon, and we paid for emergency groceries in our pajamas, we rushed back into the house with just enough time to see the jolly man bringing up the tail end of the parade. Traditions are traditions, my friend.) I padded into the kitchen and mixed up the water and honey concoction and soaked the cranberries while I mixed the sugars in a baking dish. Next time I’d use a spoon that was a little more slotted (or shake the cranberries through a collander), because on the next step I got little globules of honey-water in the sugar which made everything a little clumpier than I was looking for. However, with a little extra drying time, soon the cranberries were ready to snack on while we got the rest of the dinner ready.
These ended up being as much a hit with my in-laws as they were at Beth’s house. (Okay, I ate at least a 1/4 of them. They’re really tasty.) They’re enormously easy to prepare, and you can feel “good” about eating fruit during the holidays, even though they’re subsequently dredged in sugar. Anyway, Beth promised to make these for all events we’re attending throughout December, so I look forward to eating them over and over. I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for bags of fresh cranberries I can toss in my freezer to make a half-batch just for our own snacking throughout the rest of the winter. It’s a pretty hands-off snack that can be prepped the day of an event with minimal fuss. My favorite kind of recipe!