Friday, November 30, 2012

Cranberry Orange Sundaes

Photo by James Barker

There are cranberry bogs in west central Minnesota. For several years, a friend brought us cranberry sauce made from berries he had picked himself in the swamps near his house. I don’t have the time in October and November to pull on my knee high boots and slog through the freezing swamps near our house, but I do love cranberries.

Two years ago, we planted four high bush cranberry bushes. They haven’t thrived, but they are still alive, finally outgrowing the weeds that threatened to engulf them. This year, we had ten berries on our bushes – a beginning.

I am eagerly awaiting next fall’s crop because I love cranberries. My favorite cranberry sauce requires a food processor or a meat grinder. I haven’t made it in a long time because and we lost our meat grinder in one of our moves years ago. Every Thanksgiving, I bemoan the loss, but I don’t think of it early enough to order a meat grinder on line and you just can’t find them in stores anymore. This fall, a friend brought a meat grinder converted to a table lamp into the shop where I am a partner. I thought aloud about buying the lamp and reconverting it to a meat grinder. My friend laughed and the next day she brought me a meat grinder.

So this year we had cranberry-orange sauce for Thanksgiving. It tastes bright and fresh with turkey. It’s tart and sweet flavors combine wondrously with plain or vanilla yogurt. But the really magical combination is cranberry-orange sundaes where the sauce complements the cold sweet of vanilla ice cream. Frozen cranberries in the freezer and a meat grinder in my cupboard mean that we can cranberry sundaes (either with yogurt or vanilla ice cream) any month of the year. Perhaps we should plant a few more high bush cranberries next year.

Cranberry – Orange Sundae
1 package fresh cranberries
1 – 2 oranges
¾ cup sugar

Grind the cranberries and oranges (peel included) in a meat grinder or food processor. Mix in the sugar. Refrigerate. This sauce tastes better the next day.
Serve on yogurt or vanilla ice cream.

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