Saturday, November 14, 2009


Its a cozy cold rainy day in November. I have a cat in my lap and a cat at my feet. The sun is going down and the fire is burning brightly. Jason has a pile of work that he is working on just to my left on the sofa. The clickity clack of him typing faster than humanly possible mixes well with the roar of the Mill River rushing over the dam in my front yard. I am thinking about Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is and has been, my favorite holiday. Its about food for food's sake, and family for family's sake. Its not about presents or gods- its not really even about history. Now don't get me wrong I love history, and gods, and presents; but it is nice that there is an American holiday that honors what we pull out of the earth and feed ourselves with. Yes there is the whole pilgrim/american indian thing and that meal they may or may not have had. But being far removed from elementary school, I haven't thought of that for a while. What I think about is pumpkins and cranberries.

Pumpkins are a thing with me. I went through this phase in high school where almost everything I would bake had pumpkin in it. When I stopped buying canned pumpkin I gained a whole new appreciation for the lovely squash. A small sugar pumpkin is easy to cook- and delicious. Just scoop out the seeds and stringy bits, pour in a cup of water and bake it in a 350 oven until it is fork soft. Puree it up and your pie will be lighter in color, but richer in flavor.

On to the cranberry, the poor mistreated cranberry. Why oh why does everyone torture the cranberry to death? These are a few ways I do not like to eat cranberries: sweetened and dried, added to a juice cocktail, and turned into a congealed clear mass. If I wasn't raised in the family I was raised in- I may have never realized that I love cranberries. They are tart and flavorful so they stand up well in chutney and sausage. A little pure cranberry juice in sparkling water is refreshing and delicious. And a homemade cranberry sauce is worth the extra 10 minutes it takes to make:

Cranberry sauce:
12 ounces cranberries
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice

bring ingredients to a boil- let simmer for 10-20 minutes, let boil about five minutes after the berries pop. At this point you can puree the sauce- but that is opional- Let cool. YUM!

Its dark out now, Jason is done with his work, the cats left and the stove has turned off. Guess its time to go do something else.