11/25/15

Happy Thanksgiving

My day started out pretty well yesterday when the grocery store was surprisingly calm. I was in and out in less time than it took to find a parking space! It kind of went down hill from there thanks to my efforts at quilting the Doors of Ireland. It actually kept me awake last night.

I've come to some conclusions about what I can and can't accomplish with Eliza; mainly, I'm going to have to use the same thread top and bottom or I'm going to continue to feel frustrated by it. I could go on and on about this, but I'll spare both of us a tiresome litany of whining.

It's going to be a busy day here. I didn't do any cooking yesterday, partly because of quilting woes, but also because I decided it was too soon to do what I'd intended. I think I'll get better results for having waited a day. It seems a good time for sharing an article from last year out of the New York Times, entitled "The United States of Thanksgiving". It contains recipes from all 50 states. Check out your state and see if you agree.

For Oregon, the recipe was Cranberry Sauce with Pinot Noir. It was a good choice for our state since cranberries are grown in Bandon, Oregon. We've driven by the bogs at this time of year, and they are beautiful when they are full of the red berries. Here's a little video from the Oregon State University Extension Service that shows the cranberry harvest in Bandon.


If you can't see the video, then click right here.

And of course, we are very proud of our Oregon Pinot Noirs. So, this was a good choice for Oregon, and I tried it last year.

(photo credit: Leah Nash for The New York Times)

At this point, I can't even remember how it tasted, but I typed it into my recipe database, so it must have been worth the effort. Here are the notes I wrote about it at the time:
This was a little runny even after cooking it down for 25 minutes. It was worth trying again, but I would reduce the amounts of liquid next time around. This is the original recipe, as written. Try reducing all liquids by 1/4 cup.
Also, I would strip the rosemary sprigs and chop the rosemary. I was not able to remove all the "needles" of rosemary after this was cooked down, and I didn't like the look or texture in my finished sauce.
This is best made a few days ahead to allow the flavors to blend. It was delicious, and definitely worth making again with the suggested changes.

That's all well and good, but I'm back to my old standby this year, and it's a good one. It's quick to make and the addition of dried cherries means that you get a little surprise in most mouthfuls. The cherries are very nice with the tartness of the cranberries. I found the recipe in our local newspaper a long time ago. I looked for it online, but couldn't find it anywhere, and so I'm going to share it here:

Cranberry Cherry Marmalade

1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup dried cherries
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 whole cinnamon stick -- broken in half
2 teaspoons grated orange zest

Combine water and granulated sugar in medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.  Stir until sugar is dissolved, then bring to a boil without stirring.

Add cranberries, cherries, vinegar, brown sugar, ginger and cinnamon.  Stir to mix, then bring to a simmer, lower heat slightly and cook until mixture is thickened, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in orange zest.  Carefully, with tongs or a slotted spoon, remove and discard cinnamon stick halves.  Cool mixture to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate.

NOTES : Marmalade can be prepared 5 days ahead; bring to room temperature 15-20 minutes before serving.  It can also be frozen; defrost in the refrigerator a day ahead.

And before I leave this topic, let me just say that Thanksgiving isn't Thanksgiving without the jellied cranberry sauce from the can. Just sayin'...


* * * * *

Usually I've already done my stitching for the day before I sit down to write this "letter to friends". Today I'm letting you know I'm taking the Thanksgiving weekend off from blogging. There's just too much to do, and if I do any quilting, I know my posts will consist mainly of complaining. I'm just going to give thanks for the immense privilege I enjoy at being retired and having the resources I need to enjoy my passion.

This morning I enjoyed reading Kathy Matthews' post about First World Quilter Problems, and it put everything in perspective. Take a look at that link I've given you and see if you don't agree.

For now...have a very Happy Thanksgiving. I'll be right back here on Monday, hopefully with a finished quilt.



11 comments from clever and witty friends:

Valerie Reynolds said...

Happy Thanksgiving Barbara.

Quilting Babcia said...

And a Happy Thanksgiving to you Barbara. I'm off to cook my pumpkins and make cranberry salsa. Pies will come later this evening or tomorrow morning.

Teresa in Music City said...

Oh I laughed at your post today! Good luck with Eliza - remind her of all she has to be thankful for. After all, you gave her a good home and keep her warm and dry and well oiled, and feed her lots of yummy colorful threads. And mom and I were laughing about the cranberry-in-a-can just yesterday. We were going over our list, and she said she had bought the cranberry. I said, well, no one eats it, but it's not Thanksgiving without it on the table! And that's a deep truth!!! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours - looking forward to seeing that finished quilt top :-)

Kate said...

Have a great holiday.

Renee said...

I read your post right after making a cranberry sauce with fresh squeezed orange juice and sweetened with maple syrup, and a cranberry-apple ginger relish from a Cooking Light magazine. When I bought my cranberries at Costco, the bag said they were grown here, in Oregon, and I wondered where. Now I know! Happy Thanksgiving!

Cath said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family Barbara! Your post is exactly what I am looking for people to link up at my What's for Dinner Linky....I know, I know...you don't much like linky's! but pleeeeeeeeze! http://cathathome.blogspot.com.au/2015/11/whats-for-dinner-wednesday-7-bolognaise.html or click Cath@Home you may have to scroll down a wee bit! I have just one question Barbara.....why do they float the cranberries on water? We don't get fresh or frozen ones here...only dried and the juice.

Barbara said...

Regarding the cranberries...that's how they grow. They are grown in a cranberry bog and the fruit floats to the surface. Weird, huh? We don't ordinarily have fresh cranberries in our produce sections. Really, the only time people eat them fresh like that is for the Thanksgiving holiday and then through Christmas. They are available frozen year-round, but they are very much a seasonal dish.

Cath said...

Thank you for linking up, you're the best! I am going to have to research this cranberry thing a bit more....I am really intrigued now!

Lou said...

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!
I always use the same thread on top and bobbin! Takes so much frustration out of the equation! And I quilt for the public with a long arm:)

Barb H said...

Happy T Day to you, Barbara, and your family. Wisconsin is the country's biggest producer of cranberries and we can get them here almost all year. They grow in damp areas and when the fruit is ripe, the bogs are flooded so the berries will float on the surface--much easier to harvest that way. Over the years, I've tried many, many different recipes for homemade cranberry sauce and my favorite remains the jellied kind in the can. I mean, the cutting lines are already there for you!

Lana Ku said...

Haha yes we have to have the jellied cranberry. Had to show my daughter how to get it out of the can so its still in the shape of the can. Lol
But I may need to try out that marmalade recipe. Sounds yummy.