My appreciation for Cranberry Relish began the week of Thanksgiving when I was nine. That particular year, my third grade teacher asked each student in our class to bring in a small jar and promised that we’d fill it up with a special Thanksgiving treat for our families. That Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I was beaming from ear to ear when Mama picked me up from school and I got to show off my little jar full of Cranberry Relish. I could hardly wait to see my family’s faces when they tasted my delicious contribution to Thanksgiving Dinner (I was certain this stuff was PRETTY FANCY – much different than the ridged kind in the can we usually ate).
I don’t remember everything from that Thanksgiving Dinner, but I do remember how proud I was to offer each person at the table a spoonful of “my” Cranberry Relish. I have to applaud Mama, as she made me feel that the little jar of Cranberry Relish I’d brought home from school was as equally important to the meal as the Roasted Turkey she’d spent hours on and the Cornbread Dressing she’d so carefully prepared.
When I think back on that Thanksgiving, I’m reminded that it’s the little things we do on holidays (and, in life) that end up being the memories we cherish the most (who knew that I’d be writing about that Cranberry Relish twenty six years later!). And, it makes me think about the kind of parent I want to be – to be like my Mama, and every day remind my children how very much they’re loved and valued.
This Thanksgiving, as you’re scurrying around trying to get everything “done”, remember that each moment is an opportunity to build upon memories and family traditions. You never know what memories or family traditions you’ll be creating when you allow your child to help you out in the kitchen with the Cranberry Relish or the Cornbread for the Dressing. Or, maybe it’ll be setting the table or handing out pieces of paper for everyone to write down what they’re most thankful for. Regardless of what they are, take the time to make the little moments memorable.
Since that Thanksgiving in third grade, one of our family traditions is for me to make the Cranberry Relish each year. Below is my go-to recipe that’s super easy to make (hint, child-friendly!) and only requires a few ingredients. . And, don’t toss it once the turkey’s gone, this Cranberry Relish is also fantastic over a Baked Brie or Goat Cheese with crackers or mixed in with Greek yogurt for a healthy and delicious snack.
So, this Thanksgiving, as you’re building traditions with your family, make sure it’s a day filled with good food, lots of love, and happy times! Enjoy!
16 ounces fresh cranberries
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
½ cup cranberry juice (NOT cranberry juice cocktail)
½ cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
Combine ingredients in large saucepan. Cook over medium heat (stirring often) about 10 minutes or until cranberries pop open. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate, covered, for up to 3 months.
Recipe from www.epicurious.com