December 18, 2011
My Favorite Things -- My Favorite Holiday Recipe
For Christmas I make a gift to you of my favorite holiday recipe. It's not "my" recipe as in something I came up with. The part that is really my gift is what you can do with it.
Cranberry Orange Relish
1 bag of whole cranberries
½ to 1 cup sugar (Depends on your taste. Use less sugar for a more tart relish. I use ¾ cup.)
Put the cranberries and orange (peel and all) into a food processor and finely chop.
Stir in the sugar, mixing well.
Refrigerate overnight. (This gives the sugar time to breakdown the orange peel.)
This makes a delicious relish to accompany a traditional holiday meal. But I only have traditional holiday meals twice a year. The reason my freezer has bags of cranberries stored in it is because of everything else you can do with this recipe.
This relish is fantastic as a dressing for a simple green salad. You can serve it cold on a bed of leaves. Or, if you prefer a warm salad of wilted greens, you can stir it into the greens as you cook them.
I've even tried this in soup --- tomato soup. The tomato, cranberry and orange flavors really complemented, and it was very piquant.
It's also fantastic in cereal. If you're eating a plain cold cereal like corn flakes or Cheerios or anything where the flavors won't clash, top it off with a couple of spoonfuls.
My absolute favorite thing to do with this relish is hot cereal, specifically oatmeal (though cream of wheat would also work).
I decided to switch to the plain oatmeal and try flavoring it myself. That's caused me to have a lot of respect for Quaker. I don't know how they manage to get such strong flavor out of that little bit of powder they add to the oatmeal. Because it turns out oatmeal destroys flavor like black holes destroy matter. I can add a cup of applesauce and pour on the cinnamon to a bowl of oatmeal and still barely taste any flavor. Maple syrup and brown sugar equates to blah. A teaspoon of strawberry extract will turn the oatmeal pink, but not make it taste much like strawberries.
But two heaping spoonfuls of this cranberry orange relish added to a bowl of uncooked oats and you may have the best thing to ever happen to oatmeal. Each mouthful bursts with flavor.
I keep a container of the cranberry orange relish in the refrigerator as it will last for weeks.
So make a batch of my favorite holiday recipe and experiment with it yourself.
In the spirit of Christmas, I suggest some other "happy" pieces:
"The Devotion of a Cat" is a heart-warming tale
"Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show"
"The Sounds of Pensacola: The Seductive Stylings of Songstress Holly Shelton"
Check out the Archive for the rest of my works.