Topping off Thanksgiving Traditions: Turkey with Cranberry Sauce

By Sabrina Völz

ThanksgivingThanks­giv­ing is a day for spend­ing time with fam­i­ly and friends as well as shar­ing culi­nary delights, such as turkey, dress­ing (a Mid-West­ern word for stuff­ing), mashed pota­toes, sweet pota­toes, corn, rel­ish trays, sal­ads, cran­ber­ry sauce, and pie for dessert. I still have nos­tal­gic feel­ings for the days when Thanks­giv­ing was about the only hol­i­day that hadn’t been ruined by commercialization.

I like the hol­i­day and cher­ish child­hood mem­o­ries. In my fam­i­ly, there was nev­er talk of the Pil­grims or any nation­al Thanks­giv­ing folk­lore, as it was more or less cel­e­brat­ed as a reli­gious hol­i­day, as a day to give thanks for all of life’s many bless­ings. After eat­ing a Thanks­giv­ing feast, the major­i­ty of the fam­i­ly on my mother’s side played 500 (a card game) lit­er­al­ly for hours, while oth­ers watched foot­ball games and Thanks­giv­ing parades. But each fam­i­ly who cel­e­brates Thanks­giv­ing will have their own traditions.

Anoth­er great aspect about Thanks­giv­ing is that you don’t have to be Amer­i­can, of course, to enjoy a good Thanks­giv­ing meal. If you need some tips for mak­ing the per­fect bird and the trim­mings, you’ll find a wealth of infor­ma­tion on the home­page of one of America’s favorite cooks. Believe it or not, on Martha Stewart’s home­page, you’ll find thir­teen ways to cook a turkey and 30 meat­less Thanks­giv­ing recipes for our veg­e­tar­i­an friends. And for those of you who find her recipes some­what intim­i­dat­ing, I’d like to share a sim­ple recipe for cran­ber­ry sauce with you. After all, plac­ing cran­ber­ry sauce from a tin can on the Thanks­giv­ing din­ner table is sac­ri­le­gious, almost as bad as wear­ing white shoes after Labor Day.

For the cran­ber­ry sauce, you’ll need:


250 g fresh cranberries

150 g sugar

200 ml water

a hand­ful of chopped wal­nuts (option­al)


Pour the sug­ar and water into a saucepan. Stir the mix­ture until the sug­ar has dis­solved and then bring it to a boil. Add the washed cran­ber­ries and cook them for 10 min­utes until they are soft. Increase the heat slight­ly and cook for anoth­er two min­utes or until the cran­ber­ries burst. Then reduce the tem­per­a­ture until the mix­ture begins to thick­en. Remove the saucepan from the stove and add a hand­ful of wal­nuts, if you wish. Pour the cran­ber­ry sauce into a dec­o­ra­tive bowl, and allow it to cool to room tem­per­a­ture before plac­ing it in the refrig­er­a­tor. This dish can also be served with vanil­la sauce, ice-cream, or yoghurt as a dessert.


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