I love this time of year – mostly as friends gather with the one purpose of enjoying a meal together – the food is at the center of the celebration. One of the highlights for me is creating a beautiful table for us all to gather around and this year is no different.
For placements I like these paper placemats – which I rubber stamp “I’m grateful for” on the center – and then I’ve spray painted a few autumnal leaves and Minty has written everyone’s name on a leaf.
And then there’s the cranberry sauce!!! This is an easy recipe and one that will pair well with the food – and also the rich red decor!
This should be prepared a couple of days before the festivities to allow the flavor to develop. It’s sweet, tart, warm and spicy. The inspiration for this recipe came from Russ Parsons in the LA Times – I’ve adapted and added to what is a Thanksgiving staple.
Makes 2 1/2 cups
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons brandy or cognac
Grated zest of 1 orange
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1. Bring the sugar, water, cloves, allspice and cinnamon sticks to boil in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved and the syrup is clear, about 3 minutes. Add cranberries and cook just until they begin to pop, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to over cook the cranberries.
2. Remove from heat, stir in the brandy and add grated orange and lemon zest. Let cool and transfer to serving bowl.
3. Refrigerate 1 to 3 days before serving. Remove cloves and cinnamon sticks before serving.