They replaced the baseball with an orange to add zest to the game

Thanksgiving!!  This is one of dear husband’s favorite holidays (although I would wonder as we approach every holiday he might think that as he anticipates the yummy food he’ll get).  Previous years, my sister-in-law and I were like a symphony in the kitchen, but last year I took it on all myself.  It was delicious and fun.  Here’s why.

I’ve mentioned about reading the preamble to one of Ina Garten’s book (Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients).  One particular paragraph has really stuck with me and influenced my approach to cooking.

“I want an easy recipe that I can hopefully make in advance, and when friends arrive, I want the house to smell wonderful.  (And I wouldn’t mind if they thought I was a great cook, too.)”

The part I want to focus on here is doing as much in advance to really enjoy friends/family when they arrive.  As I start to prepare our Thanksgiving food (I’m only making a portion of the meal as we’ll be traveling to spend Thanksgiving with my family), I’ll be sure to share the make ahead food that I use.  Starting with the cranberry sauce.

IMG_3814[1]The recipe for this cranberry sauce comes from my parents’ neighbor, Joyce.  She, neighborly, passed some along to my parents for Christmas, nearly making my sister and I wrestle for the last bites (very Christmasly).  I harassed and harassed my mom to get the recipe from her.  I even emailed Joyce.  Finally, she passed it along to my mom.

One of the benefits of this cranberry sauce is the sweeter taste.  And the ability to make it and freeze it, cutting one more thing out of the last two day dash before the holiday.  It makes a ton as well.

IMG_3811[1]It’s one of those recipes where it is mostly in her head and she wrote it down the best way she could.  If you’d like to follow it exactly, I took a picture of it and you are welcome to it.

Otherwise, based on my experience with it, here is the recipe:


Joyce’s Cranberry Sauce

2 bags whole cranberries

1-1/2 cups sugar

3 apples (rome or macintosh)

1 orange

4 packages strawberry jello

3 cups boiling water

2 cups cold water


1. Put both bags of cranberries in food processor and mash up well.  Put in a separate bowl, stir in the sugar.  Let sit.

2. Zest the entire orange.  Chop the zest into small bits.  Chop the rest of the orange into segments and mash up in the food processor.  Put in another separate bowl.  Chop (don’t peel) the apples away from the core.  Mash up in the food processor and combine with the orange.

3. Pour the 4 strawberry jello packets into a very large bowl.  Add the 3 cups boiling water.  Stir.

4.  Add the 2 cups cold water.  Allow jello to begin to gel.

5. Once jello has begun to gel, add the cranberries, orange and apples.  Stir really well to combine.

Can be served within the next couple days or frozen.

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