For the Love of Cranberries!!

When I was growing up we always had the usual can of jellied cranberry sauce with our Thanksgiving dinner.  It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without the jellied cylinder that has little rings (indentations) around it...I remember being sent to the store and coming back with whole cranberry would think that the world was coming to an end...we had to eat the "wrong kind". Dad was rather particular, I guess.

Things didn't vary much....when I got married and had my first Thanksgiving dinner away from home, we had cranberry sauce made from a bag of fresh cranberries. I remember thinking how great it tasted....of course, they also served the jellied cranberry sauce as there was another dad who was particular.

When it was my turn to host Thanksgiving dinner I knew that I was going to be a bit more adventurous...I actually made two different kinds of cranberry sauce and a chutney....and, yes, a small can of jelled cranberry sauce for those who are not adventurous!

Today, I realized that I have only posted one my tried and true, old favorite cranberry sauces and chutneys....and guess what? Since there were no pictures of them, they won't be posted this year, either!

BUT, I did just finish making a new cranberry sauce recipe and I am happy to share it.  I found it on Sam's blog, My Carolina Kitchen.  She posted a collection of cranberry and chutney recipes...I made her "go to, favorite" recipe that she dubs My Carolina Kitchen's "French" Cranberry Sauce.  I have been sampling all morning so I know why it is her favorite!!  Sam has an excellent blog with super recipes...I have made many of her dishes and they are always perfect!!  If you haven't paid Sam a visit, you will want to....soon!

I am not certain that what I did is very French....there was no French wine in the house except for a bottle of Pouilly Fuisse....not the best choice for cranberry sauce.  I decided that a fruity Zinfandel would be perfect and Mr. T. got home just in time to select a bottle for me....(I selected a Zin on my own was I to know that I was cooking with a very expensive bottle of wine....)  I should add that he cringed when I asked him to select a Zin for me.  It is his favorite wine and I don't think cooking with it was what he had in mind.  Thank you, Babe....

I think I should change the name to "California" Cranberry Sauce based on the wine location...but I want Sam to have full credit for her recipe!!  So here is the California "French" Cranberry Sauce!!

"French" Cranberry Sauce
adapted from My Carolina Kitchen

1 (12 oz) package of fresh or frozen cranberries
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup dry red wine (I used a fruity Zinfandel.)
3/4 to 1 1/2 cups sugar (I used 1 cup.)
2 navel oranges, zested and juiced

Put the cranberries (fresh or frozen) in a sauce pan with the cinnamon sticks, red wine, and sugar. Zest and juice the oranges.  Reserve half of the zest for garnish.  Add the remaining zest and the juice from both oranges to the cranberry mixture.

Stir the cranberry mixture and bring to a boil.  Let the mixture simmer (about 15 minutes) until the cranberries have burst.  Remove from the heat, let cool, and discard the cinnamon sticks.  The sauce will set as it cools.  It can be refrigerated, covered from up to five days.

Just before serving, garnish with the remaining fresh citrus zest.  Serve at room temperature.


I do want to share the two other cranberry recipes that I have posted.

Spiced Cranberry Chutney with Oranges  above, is the perfect balance between sweet and tart.  It does make a large amount so count on feeding the neighbors or consider cutting the recipe in half.

Last year I tried this Orange Maple Cranberry Sauce.  It was one that I sampled all morning long...I wasn't disappointed in this simple addition to our Thanksgiving table.

I am so thankful for all of the wonderful men and women I have met through my blogging experience.  Thank you all for your visits, comments, and help!  I hope each of you has a very Happy Thanksgiving!

I am sharing today at Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's Country Cottage and Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Rattlebridge Farm.


  1. I love that there are a zillion different ways to do cranberries. All of yours sound great Kate! I just did a fresh cranberry relish tonight for the first time, no cooking. It is quite different from most but I think it will be good. Have a great Thanksgiving, I know for sure the cranberry sauce will be wonderful :)

  2. Yum! I love 'em any way they're prepared! Happy Thanksgiving Kate-enjoy:@)

  3. I am so honored and pleased that you like my "French" cranberry sauce. I dubbed it French because of the red wine and I'm so glad that you like it too. Your presentation is gorgeous. I am fascinated with cranberries and will definitely have to try yours, especially the one with maple for my Northern relatives. Wishing you and Mr. T and happy & blessed Thanksgiving dear Kate.

    P.S. Thanks Mr. T for "donating" your favorite wine :)

  4. Happy Thanksgiving! I pinned Sam's recipe for cranberry sauce a while back. I didn't cook this year, so didn't use the recipe. It looks fantastic.

  5. I made a cranberry relish this year (and had the canned stuff for my husband--LOL). I too, love to play around and make new and different cranberry sauces. I'm off to check out Sam's blog. Hope your day was nice!


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