This coming week we celebrate Thanksgiving in the U.S. Though I have lived in Guatemala for the past five Thanksgivings, I still celebrate by making a feast for my family and guests. Though vegan menus are somewhat different from the Thanksgiving meals of my childhood, one dish remains constant: Grandma’s Cherried Cranberries.
When I was young, I spent hours with my Grandma in the kitchen. I was always underfoot as she and my aunt cooked a huge Thanksgiving dinner, as I hoped a few bits of pie crust would come my way. As long as I can remember, the cherried cranberries were a part of our celebration, and I continued the tradition after Grandma died.
These cranberries are called “cherried” because the cooking method causes them to remain mostly whole. The secret is in heating them slowly so only a few of them pop, and they don’t turn into cranberry sauce.
Grandma’s Cherried Cranberries
- 12 oz cranberries washed and stems removed
- 1 cup sugar or less to taste
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 tsp each baking soda and salt
- Mix the water and sugar in a medium saucepan until the sugar is mostly dissolved.
- Add the cranberries, baking soda, and salt, and stir to combine.
- Turn the heat to medium and cook until the mixture comes to a boil. Make sure it’s really boiling: the soda will bubble and can fool you.
- Lower heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes. Don’t remove the lid.
- After 15 minutes of simmering, remove from heat and let cool. Keep covered until cool.
- Let cool, then remove the lid and place in a serving bowl. These can also be made a few days in advance and refrigerated.
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