Cranberry recipes set course toward Christmas

The Halloween candy is gone, except for two snack size Almond Joys hidden in the freezer by a certain coconut lover (my husband, Fred).

Little pilgrims are appearing on the mantel now with fall leaves and little pumpkins, minus one.

Among the silk fall leaves, one live mini-pumpkin played a trick on me. It rotted, unnoticed, and left an ugly, black stain on the oak mantel. Let’s just say I won’t say anything about hidden candy if my husband doesn’t say much while he’s sanding the mantel.

Enough said.

Did you notice fresh cranberries making their appearance a couple weeks ago? You know what that means!

I may not be the tomato queen, but I definitely am the cranberry queen, according to family, friends and you. For the recent Sentinel Senior Fair, I did a Cranberry Pineapple Spread recipe suggested by my friend Lauren DeVine from Jarden Home Brands, makers of Ball and Kerr Home Preserving Products. We got rave reviews.

I added a couple touches (you know me) and came up with some spread ideas for holiday entertaining.

Yes, three weeks from tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and then it’s on to Christmas!

Cranberry Pineapple Spread

1 1/2 cups sugar   1 1.59-ounce package Ball Simple Creations Freezer Jam Fruit Pectin

2 cups fresh or frozen coarsely chopped cranberries

1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple with juice   2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice   1 tablespoon grated orange zest

4 plastic Ball (8-ounce) freezer jars 1. Stir sugar and contents of pectin package in bowl until well blended.  2. Add cranberries, pineapple and juice, lemon juice and orange zest. Stir 3 minutes.  3. Ladle jam into clean jars to fill line. Twist on lids. Let stand until thickened, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate up to 3 weeks or freeze up to 1 year.

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Serving suggestions for Cranberry Pineapple Spread:

Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey Sandwich with Oroweat Sandwich Thins.

Dinner rolls, hot biscuits, any poultry, beef, pork or vegetarian dish and a sandwich.

Blend in blender. Add balsamic vinegar and olive oil to make a great salad dressing. I’m serious!

Use as a spread for spice or pumpkin muffins/bread. Mix spread with a bit of cream cheese.

Francis Blackwelder, my helper at the fair, and I were talking ideas for the spread. She tried baking a two layer white cake with the spread between layers. The cake was covered with white frosting and topped with sugared fresh cranberries. She put a frosting wall around the edge of the bottom layer to hold in spread. It was beautiful and delicious.

I once interviewed a food specialist from Ocean Spray. We talked about recipe ideas, fun facts and health benefits of cranberries. I think I convinced her that I am the cranberry queen or at least cranberry crazy.

I found Ocean Spray’s cranberry twist on stuffing and my husband likes it. (Stuffing/sausage anything gets his attention.)

Cape Cod Cornbread Stuffing

2 cups cornbread stuffing cubes

1/2 pound sausage meat, cooked, drained and crumbled

1 cup Ocean Spray fresh or frozen cranberries

1/2 cup diced onion

1/3 cup chopped pecans

2 teaspoons thyme

1/2 cup chicken broth (more for a moister stuffing)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients, except chicken broth, in medium casserole dish. Add chicken broth; mix well. Cover and bake for 30 minutes (heated through) Makes 3 cups.


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