• 3 12oz bags of cranberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups ruby port
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 3 envelopes of gelatin
  • 1 cup of water

every year i post my horror story…my first thanksgiving, the bag i forgot to take out…the 8 hours it took to cook the bird.

every year i am reminded…no one let’s me forget…last night…i started the brine process. the first words out of my husbands mouth, “well, you know, don’t forget the bag”.

it’s one of those moments where you just want to scream duh…yeah, i scream duh.

and then they eat and i never hear anything about it till the next year

until i spill something because the week before any holiday i turn into a complete idiot. i spill, i drop, i break things. i just can’t help it. i also ruin dinners, i’m a pro at that, just to much going on to think of real cooking.

anyway, the cooking starts today.

today i bake. yes, bake…first on my list, this chocolate silk pie. there will be pumpkin (I use an old recipe that is taken right out of an old williams-sonoma recipe card box i received as an engagement gift), there will be banana bread and of course something with apples.

then after the baking is done i think of apps…what to serve when people come in. this years list: a simple cheese platter with crackers and fig jam. olives. there are chips for the kids and some mushroom curry borekas for me (oh, i mean everyone).  in the past i’ve gone all out however…mezze platters full of eggplant, hummus, roasted red peppers, pita and baba ganoush. dips, mushroom bruschetta, this year, it’s a quiet year.

and then the sides…oye vey. this year i am going to try something new with my mashed potatoes…cream…garlic, herbs…think infusion and wait for the recipe (wink). then you have string beans…to casserole or not? this year no, we go simple. lightly steamed with garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper after it’s cooked. can’t go wrong. and then there is the brussels sprouts. au gratin? oh yeah.

wait, stuffing. oh my gosh. simple herb stuffing this year. carrots, celery, onions and garlic. some stock and bam, your done.

and then turkey…the star. brinned, roasted with butter and sage.

am i cooking enough?

did i forget the cranberry sauce?

this year i am making a ruby port cranberry jelly. trust me, rachel ray has it going on with this recipe.

 ruby port cranberry sauce    courtesy of rachel ray

  1. in a large pot add everything but the gelatin. cook on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes or until cranberries have popped.
  2. strain mixture through a cheese cloth or colander (a food-mill works too) for a smooth sauce (of if you like lumps go for it).
  3. in a small pot add a cup of cold water. mix in gelatin. let it soften, for about 1 minute and then heat the gelatin and water mixture over medium heat, stirring, until dissolved, about 2 minutes.
  4. pour gelatin into cranberries, mix. pour into mold, bowl or jars (if using a mold spray with cooking spray). let chill at least 6 hours.

i like to serve this cranberry sauce in little jelly jars. perfect with turkey and perfect as leftovers in sandwiches.



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