Spiced Cranberry Jam

I had the hardest time finding a recipe for cranberry jam. What else could I use the extra frozen cranberries and a bag of liquid pectin for? So I made my own. And it’s wonderful!

Spiced Cranberry Jam
4 cups whole cranberries
6 cups sugar
2 cups cranberry juice
1 pouch liquid pectin
1 teaspoon apple or pumpkin pie spice (optional)

Equipment
1 12-pack 4 ounce glass jars with new lids and rings
canning funnel
canning tongs
ladle
wooden spoon

Wash all the lids and jars and rings in soapy water. Rinse off. Put jars and rings in a 12-quart pot half full of water (the pot, not the jars). Wash your canning funnel and put in water with the jars. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes. The jars are ready to use now. The lids should go in a small pan with boiling water and set aside until you need the lids.

Pulse cranberries in the food processor or chop by hand until they are in large chunks. In a large pot stir together cranberries, juice, sugar and spice if you want it in there. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 full minute stirring constantly. Add pectin and bring back to a boil for another full minute stirring constantly. Turn off heat and using a canning funnel ladle into hot, boiled jars being careful not to fill to more than 1/4 inch of the top. Use a damp paper towel to wipe the rims of the jars before putting on lids and rings. Finger tighten rings on and using canning tongs lower sealed jars into boiling water in the canning pot and let boil for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and use canning tongs to remove jars to a wooden cutting board to cool. Once all the lids seal (to test: once jam is cool press on the center of each lid, if it is down or goes down without popping back up they are sealed. Any that don’t seal can be put in the fridge and used right away) label the jars and store in a dark place. Refrigerate after opening.

Best Oatmeal Cookies Ever!

These are my favorite since I can add pretty much anything I want. Today it was dried raisins and cranberries and fresh nectarine….very yummy!

Best Oatmeal Cookies Ever

1/4 cup butter or vegatable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cups flour
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup raisins
1 large nectarine finely diced

Heat oven to 375. Cream together butter, apple sauce and sugar. Mix in egg and cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. Mix in baking powder and soda. Mix in flour and oats. Mix in cranberries, raisins and nectarine. Spoon out onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are light brown.

Update: Cranberry Relish Recipe

Yesterday I got the actual recipe from my mother. I was pretty close but not quite when trying to recall the recipe. So I updated the post. And I made it last night. I have yet to taste it but I know it’s going to be good.

HERE is the Cranberry Relish Recipe. Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Menu

Ok, so here is what our Thanksgiving menu is looking like:

smoked turkey ^
smoked oyster dressing *
apple cranberry dressing *
mushroom dressing *
cranberry relish *
mashed potatoes and gravy ^
brussel sprouts ^
green bean casserole (from scratch) *
carrot and raisin salad *
2 pumpkin pies ^

^ – Mom is making
* – I am making

Today I am going to make the cranberry relish since it needs to sit a couple days. I am also going to prep all the veggies for the dressings and have them in bags ready to cook so I will have less prep to do before dinner. Plus, I work from midnight to 9 am that day and the less I have to do the better….

What is for Thanksgiving?

We can’t decide what to have for Thanksgiving. Mom asks me what I want and I say I don’t know, and I ask her what she wants and she says she doesn’t know and we are starting to sound like Abbot and Costello with all the round and round we are doing about dinner that night. There are only going to be the five of us, one my one year old son, so we don’t need to go all out.

Two things are for sure, lots and lots of stuffing, preferably at least two different kinds (I love cranberry and apple stuffing, Hubby likes oyster stuffing); and the other thing for sure is the Cranberry Relish my grandmother used to make. Other than that I have no clue.

We have had ham and turkey and lamb for dinner before but none of those sound good. And we have had all kinds of different side dishes and none of those sound good either. I just don’t know what we will have.

So, what do you have for Thanksgiving? What is the main dish? What are the side dishes? Any ideas????

Cranberry Relish

Ok, so since we were talking about Thanksgiving foods and side dishes I thought I would post my Granny’s cranberry relish recipe, as well as I know it anyway.  She never wrote it down but I’ve helped and watched her make it enough times that I’m pretty sure this is how it goes:

Granny’s Cranberry Relish

1 pound fresh ripe red cranberries
1 granny smith apple
1 large navel orange
2 stalks celery
1/2 to 1 cup sugar

Wash the apple and orange, remove stems and seeds but leave the peels on. Cut into chunks. Also clean the celery and chunk it up. Rinse the cranberries and pick through them removing stems, leaves and bad looking ones. Ok, my granny used a old meat grinder but you can use a food processor/blender or cut it all by hand.

(Meat grinder instructions)
Feed everything but the sugar through the meat grinder, mix it up, if it’s not fine enough for you can can put it back through a little more.

(Food processor/blender instructions)
Working in small batches put some of the fruits/veggies into the food processor and pulse until everything is in smallish pieces making sure to scrape down the sides so nothing gets liquefied and there are no large chunks left. Use a potato masher to mush the mixture up a bit so there is some juice out of the mixture. You want it to be kind of like pickle relish, small uniform pieces with some juice.

(Hand chopping instructions)
Mill your knife through the fruit and veggies until they are all in smallish chunks and about the same size. Save juice that is on the cutting board after chopping. This will take a while and please be careful cutting the cranberries, you may want to half them before you start chopping them. Use a potato masher to mush the mixture up a bit so there is some juice out of the mixture. You want it to be kind of like pickle relish, small uniform pieces with some juice.

Add sugar to mixture and let sit in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Taste it after letting it hang out in the fridge and add more sugar if desired. It’s best after a day or two in the fridge, just make sure you stir it up every 12 hours or so so it gets well mixed and the flavors combine. You can keep it in tight sealed containers in the fridge for a long time, I’ve kept some for more than a month and it was fine and still very tasty.