Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I'm making our newly traditional Shepherd's Pie for Thanksgiving this year. We decided last year that it was a keeper. It's got all the comforting components of a our childhood turkey dinners, and it's wonderful with a side of fresh homemade cranberries. To be honest, if it was just for me, and I'm glad it isn't, I'd be happy with mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, and lots and lots of cranberries. To me they're a side dish, not a condiment.

Cooking fresh cranberries is fast, easy, versatile, and infinitely better tasting than the canned kind. I make mine with orange zest and juice. Sometimes I add a little got pepper. And I have a friend who made hers this year with chipotle and ginger. I use half as much sugar as the recipe on the bag calls for, and if you want to reduce it even more, try cooking your cranberries in apple juice. I make a big batch and freeze some for those months when fresh cranberries can't be found.


2 bags fresh cranberries (You can find organic, but Oceanspray is the most common brand in most places)
1 cup organic sugar
zest and juice of 1 orange, plus more juice to fill to 1 cup
1 cup water

Rinse the cranberries and pick out any ugly ones.
Place all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes.
The berries will first pop open, then soften and turn bright red. After a few minutes they begin to thicken. At that point you can let them cool. They'll continue to thicken in the refrigerator.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!