Cranberries will always and forever remind me of my mom and Thanksgiving. That’s actually a very odd thing if you think about it, because my mother doesn’t have a drop of U.S. blood in her bones.
For those who are curious, yes, she is a citizen of the U.S. and she’s darn proud of it. I base her bloodline by what language she reverts to when she’s mad. Trust me, it’s not English.
Cranberries remind me of my mom because they remind me of Thanksgiving and the amazing spread she put on the table year after year. The laden table was much like mother; very American, right up until you stopped and took a good look (or listen, as the case may be).
We had turkey. I’ve yet to meet a single person that doesn’t think my mom’s turkey is the best they’ve had. Ever. We also had mashed potatoes and green bean casserole.
It’s only after you do the once over that you’d have noticed the lack of bread stuffing (though that did change after my sister-in-law joined the family). My mom did stuff the turkey, yes, but she used a seasoned rice in the main cavity and a meat stuffing in the back end. Odd, yes, but yummy, nonetheless.
You’d have also realized that there was a marked lack of orange on the table. Sweet potatoes; not a European thing. Especially not when covered sugared up and topped with gooey marshmallows. She did try a few times [cue sweet potato casserole forgotten in the microwave story] but it never took.
The final thing that’ll catch your eye isn’t even on the dining room table. It’s the stack of cans of cranberry sauce on the counter in the kitchen. Never just one. Never again. Multiple cans of the jellied, use-the-can-opener sauce.
Mom realized she didn’t have any cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving morning. Once. Dad was sent on a wild goose chase to multiple grocery stores in search of an elusive can. Since then, Mom has never and will never run out of cranberry sauce. She just loves it too much.
These days, things are a little different because Mom was diagnosed with diabetes a couple of years ago. Luckily, she’s been able to keep it under control with moderation and diet change, but the change is there.
(The cranberry sauce slice on Mom’s plate is a little thinner than it used to be.)
My mom is the reason that I agreed without hesitation when Carolyn from All Day I Dream About Food asked me if I’d be a part of her efforts to raise awareness of diabetes on November 14, National Diabetes Awareness Day. How could I not?
In fact, most of what I’ve learned about diabetes, I’ve learned from Carolyn because she is a diabetic. Once she found out, instead of retreating into herself, Carolyn flung her arms out wide and embraced diabetes and the world with gusto. She has taken any sugar and gluten filled recipe that has been thrown her way and revamped it into a sleek and sexy diabetic-friendly food. I stand in awe of her every time I visit her blog.
So, today I share a recipe that I created for my mom. I’m hoping to move her away from the canned, jellied sauce and toward something lighter, fresher and sugar-free. I’ve added a hint of booze to entice her into giving it a try. Would she if she were at my table? I doubt it. She loves her cranberry sauce. But the thought is there.
- ¼ cup hot water
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- ½ cup golden raisins
- 3 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 tart, firm apple, cored, peeled and chopped
- ½ cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
- ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
- ½ cup Stevia in the Raw (Cup for Cup variety)
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- Place the hot water, brandy and raisins in a small bowl and let sit for an hour until raisins are plump.
- Combine all ingredients (including brandy water) in a large non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook chutney, uncovered, until the cranberries burst and the apples are soft, approximately 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Store the chutney in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Did you know that I have a giveaway going on? Head over and enter to win Cooking Light’s ‘The New Way To Cook Light Cookbook.’ It’s a hard bound book with 500 pages of delicious, healthy recipes.