It’s almost inevitable that a cranberry blog would do an entry about Thanksgiving! It’s a holiday which really is a chance for us here at Pine Island to relax and enjoy the fruits of our labor. (Sorry.) Many traditions in the Haines family come from cranberries, both our own and through the Ocean Spray cooperative. And best of all, they’re usually locally sauced! (Really sorry. We’ll stop now.) CEO Bill Haines goes out every year toward the end of harvest and hand scoops several pounds of berries for family use, using a wooden scoop that’s been in the family for generations.
Huge thanks to our friends at Ocean Spray for allowing us to use the following recipes and photographs, as well as posting the information showing us how these recipes are berry good for both you as well as the environment! (We said we were done. We lied. After all, cranberry farming can be a barrel of laughs.)
To start off, of course, you’ll want a cocktail. Vodka and cranberry is a popular combination, but did you know it actually has a name? To make a Cape Codder, you’ll just need the following:
6 ounces Ocean Spray® Cranberry Juice Cocktail, chilled
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Pour into a tall glass filled with ice. Makes 1 serving.
Of course, you can’t have a turkey without stuffing. Cape Cod Cornbread Stuffing just fits the bill:
2 cups cornbread stuffing cubes
1/2 pound sausage meat, cooked, drained and crumbled
1 cup Ocean Spray® Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
1/2 cup diced onion
1/3 cup chopped pecans
2 teaspoons thyme
1/2 cup chicken broth
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Combine all ingredients, except chicken broth, in a medium casserole dish. Add chicken broth; mix well. Add more chicken broth for a moister stuffing. Cover and bake for 30 minutes or until heated through. Makes 3 cups.
The following is a classic for a reason; it pairs perfectly with a leftover turkey sandwich! (Or, as some first graders we know have done…mix it with mayo and put it on a hamburger. To each her own.)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 12-ounce package Ocean Spray® Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, rinsed and drained
Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil; add cranberries, return to boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time.
Makes 2 1/4 cups.
This side dish doesn’t contain any cranberries, but who’s to say you couldn’t add some Craisins?
1 1/2 pounds fresh brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Salt and pepper
Trim stems of brussels sprouts; remove any damaged leaves.
Place brussels sprouts in 3-quart saucepan; add water to just cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; simmer until brussels sprouts are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain; keep warm.
In the meantime, toast pecans. Place nuts in single layer on baking sheet. Bake in 350° oven 3 to 5 minutes or until light golden brown, watching carefully.
Melt butter in same saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook and stir 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Stir in brussels sprouts and pecans; toss gently to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
Makes 6 servings.
Last but not least, we have dessert: a longtime family favorite is a cranberry nut pie that Bill’s mother used to make.
2 cups cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup melted margarine
2 teaspoons almond extract
Mix the first three ingredients together and spread in the bottom of a greased 10 in pie plate. Mix together the last five ingredients and pour over cranberry mixture. Bake 55-60 minutes in a preheated 325 degree oven. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
No photos of that last one…it usually gets eaten too quickly. Happy Thanksgiving, from all of us to all of you!