Where to being? Maybe at the beginning…In my mission to make products from Oregon farms, I learned about a small pocket of cranberry farms on the southern coast of Oregon. In Oregon tradition, Bandon, OR has an annual cranberry festival, complete with parade and people dressed up like cranberries. I promise, I am not making this up. Oregon loves festivals!
It took a while to find a farm that was willing to sell to a small jam-maker as most OR cranberry farms sell to large manufacturers. Cape Blanco Cranberries sent 40 lbs. of cranberries overnight. These are truly the biggest cranberries I have ever seen; they’re ginormous! Mary from Cape Blanco Cranberries sent me a long email with information about the cranberries and suggestions for use and storage. Once again, an Oregon farmer has proved Oregon farmers are awesome!
The berries arrive in perfect condition. Most were transferred to the freezer for later sauces and jams. Two huge bowls went into the fridge for today’s batches. First, I made traditional cranberry sauce. I love cranberry sauce and Thanksgiving so much, it’s hard to describe. A couple examples…My brother and I made Thanksgiving dinner on Halloween this year. I usually make the whole thing at least once. Although I make a huge meal just for me, don’t worry, I definitely don’t eat it all in one sitting. Small containers go in the freezer for lunches throughout the fall and winter.
Home-made cranberry sauce is so very easy to make that I’ve include the recipe below. It may seem like I’m doing myself a disservice since I’m selling cranberry sauce, but I feel like it’s a public service. If you don’t buy Aunt Becky’s Cranberry Sauce, please don’t eat the cranberry jelly from the can with the ridges in it after it oozes out. I know it’s fun and reminds you of childhood, but I’m begging you. Make you own. You won’t be sorry. If you want to feel like a kid, buy the can of jumbo olives and put them on your adult-sized fingers. Maybe I’m the only one who does that?
Back to the cranberry sauce, it’s…well…traditional, sweet-tart cranberry sauce. For fun, I made a smaller batch with quince paste. Hey, why not. Since quince has an uber sweet honey flavor and is naturally thick, I thought it might pair nicely with the tart cranberries. With a fall-like cinnamon stick and vanilla, oh baby, yum! When trying a new recipe, I usually put a small spoonful in the freezer to quick cool and check the consistency before I finish cooking. It’s possible I licked out the freezer dish. Should I say that? Um, well I did. Okay, so this cranberry quince sauce is good. You’ll like it. If you want to make your own cranberry sauce, here you go.
- 8 cups cranberries
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups sugar
- Combine cranberries and water in pot and simmer until the berries are soft. The cranberries float until they literally pop. Once the skins pop, the liquid turns a dark red color. It’s quite fun!
- After the berries are soft, add sugar and bring to a boil
- Boil for 3 minutes
- If you can’t eat the whole batch at once, freeze for up to a year
- Thanksgiving dinner!