Gettin’ saucy at Thanksgiving

illustration by mark stivers

It’s almost Thanksgiving, and you may very well have your big meal menu already set and planned. If not, stay tuned for about 150 more words. I assume you’re one of those people who uses canned cranberry sauce at the table and, therefore, are a horrible person with no taste or soul. We’ll give you that the cylindrical burgundy-colored gel is delightfully retro, but it has zero flavor.

Try the following instead: Toss one 12-ounce bag of cranberries, 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup orange juice (or pinot noir, if you’re the boozy type), 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger into a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes. Take off heat and cool. Mix in 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts and 1 cup of raisins. Taste and feel free to add other spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves or a few good grinds of black pepper.

Serve to hungry guests, lay back and soak up the accolades for kicking a bit more ass in the kitchen this year.