DMD Kitchen: Cranberry Sauce

I love cranberries. When I was little, I would see them growing among the pines in the Estonian forest, but in the summer they weren't ready to be picked yet. They were always so pretty - shiny and bright red with deep green leaves. Now there is always a bag of dried cranberries in my pantry and cranberry juice in my fridge. As I shopped for Thanksgiving dinner this week, I grabbed a bag of fresh cranberries and decided to make the sauce this year to go with our turkey breast. It's the easiest Thanksgiving food item to make, I don't know why some people are so scared of it. 15 minutes and poof! you've got gorgeous sauce on your hands. And the best part, it can be made in days in advance. The first thing to make should always be the cranberry sauce, just in case the turkey dries out or the gravy separates - there is a gorgeous and delicious sauce ready to save the day.

Cranberry Sauce.

Cranberry Sauce

12 oz bag of fresh cranberries (check the bag to make sure you're getting good dark red berries and none of them are broken)
1 large orange
1/2 Cup and 3T light brown sugar
Cold water

Cranberry Sauce.

Wash the cranberries. The berries float (call the kids over, it's very cool!) so I use a colander. Zest the orange, then juice it into a measuring cup. Your total liquid needs to be 1 Cup, add water to the juice to make up the difference. Bring liquid, sugar, and zest to a boil on medium-high heat. Carefully add the berries and stir. Bring the heat down to low and cook covered until all the berries are popped (they make a cool popping sound, similar to popcorn) and it looks like sauce, about 10-15 minutes. Make sure you stir several times as it cooks so all the berries cook evenly. Take off the heat and let it cool. Sauce will thicken as it cools. Put it into a very pretty dish, cover, and stick it in the fridge. Done!