Although you may have repressed the memory, if you try hard you can probably remember a time, probably at an otherwise lovely holiday meal, when a reddish purple, gelatinous, can-shaped abomination was presented as food by someone who ostensibly cared for you. Your first reaction was probably confusion (what is this?), followed by revulsion (I am NOT eating that mess), and finally horror (OMFG I’m going to have to eat it). Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about canned cranberry sauce. I’m quite sure that until the around the age of 20 I thought that cranberries were grown directly in the can so they could have that nice, industrial, ridged shape when they were served. I’m not sure who first decided that this disgusting, jiggling mass was food….as far as I am concerned it is most certainly NOT. Thankfully homemade cranberry sauce is totally different. It is absolutely delicious. Below is my favorite recipe for a cranberry sauce with hints of rosemary and orange. It is combines the tartness of cranberries, the sweetness of orange, and an herbal note from the rosemary to make a complex accompaniment for almost any meal.
12 oz. fresh cranberries
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c orange juice
1 spring fresh rosemary
1 pinch salt
1. Mix cranberries, sugar, orange juice, rosemary, and salt in a saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. (optional) Remove from heat, leave the cover on, and allow the sauce to sit for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
4. Discard the rosemary, taste for seasoning/sweetness, and serve!