In my family, I'm considered the baby. Even though I am now 27 years old, my family often doesn't see that I am self-sufficient - including that I have a job (even though its a mess right now), I can feed myself, I rent an apartment and I am in a serious relationship with a man I plan to marry. As such, I was never allowed to do the "grown-up" things to help prepare for Thanksgiving. I was always relegated to the chores, like grating carrots for the stuffing, or peeling potatoes, or washing the spoons. One year about a decade ago, I was finally allowed to prepare one thing. One thing only. One thing that only I liked to eat: The Cranberry Sauce.
As its the only thing that I was ever allowed to make (their fault, because I am actually quite an excellent baker and a fairly decent cook), I have perfected my recipe over the years. I like a basic sauce, made from whole fresh cranberries, with extra fruit cooked in, and walnuts added at the last second. Even though I am not going home this year, I still made the damned cranberry sauce. And its gooooood.
For those interested, get one bag of fresh cranberries. Rise and drain. In a large pot, combine one cup of water, and one cup of sugar. I like to break it up - two-thirds regular sugar and one-third brown sugar. Bring that combo to a boil, making sure to stir and dissolve the sugar, and then add the cranberries. As it comes back to a boil, the cranberries will whistle and pop, which is a lot of fun. Chop/dice two pears and one apple (I like to leave the skin on but that's a matter of preference. Also, I use two pears because they are generally small this time of year) and mix them in so that they get to boil too. Keep it at a light boil for at least ten minutes. Then cool it. I like to add the walnuts in just before serving so that they stay crunchy. Its the perfect blend of sweet and tart and I lilke it a lot.
If you make it, let me know how it comes out!