Monday, November 21, 2011

Easy Cranberry Sauce

Cheap Eat Challenge, Part 2: Watch as our family of 6 eats on less than $10/day.

Although I have more than my share of homemade Thanksgiving memories, our family never made cranberry sauce. As I recall, most of us didn't like it and those who did preferred theirs from a can. Consequently, cranberry sauce is something I had to marry into. Last year my mother-in-law walked me through it. It was sort of embarrassingly easy--like simpler than getting my 75-year-old can opener into (and then around) one of those cans. It's also so so good. Like a nice, incredibly pretty, non-gelatinous homemade jam.

Easy Delicious Cranberry Sauce
Makes a couple cups
Cook time: 5-10 minutes
Cost: $1.15
(cranberries: 1.00, sugar: .12, other stuff: .03)

12-16 oz. bag cranberries
1 C water
3/4 C sugar
1/4-1/2 tsp lemon juice
a grate of lemon zest (optional)

Put cranberries and water in a pot and let cook on medium, stirring here and there, until they pop open (some of them actually make a popping sound--how thrilling) and get kind of mushy-like.

From this...

To this...

Then mash them to the consistency you like (I use a potato masher).

You can even run them through the blender if you like, though I like more texture. Add sugar. Spoon out a bit and taste. If it's not sweet enough for you add more sugar by the tablespoon-full until it is. Then add a wee bit of lemon juice to brighten it up and bring out the flavor. And a scrape of zest if you've got an actual lemon lying around and if you like lemon.

Let it cool and you're done.

The other awesome thing about this is that you can do it on a Monday and by Thursday it'll still be just as good. As long as you can keep your paws out of it, that is.


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