I learned how to make cranberry recipes later in my life; it was a taste that I had to learn to acquire. When I was little I tried to eat fresh cranberries before I knew what they were. When Mom bought them for Thanksgiving, I thought I could eat them just like cherries or grapes. Boy was I wrong! I never wanted to try those sour things again; that was before I knew about all the great tasting desserts and salads made with them.
Since early colonial days, learning how to make cranberry recipes was considered to be an essential part of the celebration; certainly so in my family. The production makes up for a major commercial crop here in the United States. This deep red berry is harvested to be used fresh in many recipes or canned into sauces and juice. The size and color makes them very nice to use as Christmas decorations.
When you learn how to make cranberry recipes you will find that without all the added ingredients, the berry itself is very healthy to eat. I say “added ingredients” because most recipes take a lot of sugar to sweeten them up; but oh so delicious. Research has shown that cranberries contain significant amounts of antioxidants that help prevent heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Because of this I have begun throwing cranberries into other recipes which do not require the sweet taste. I have found them to be very good in meat balls, turkey stuffing and in meat loaf.
NOTE: Knowing how bitter cranberries are, I couldn’t figure out how the juice from the grocery store could taste so good. The cranberry recipe for that canned juice was just too good to be true; and it wasn’t. One day when I went to purchase some juice I read the label; in small print it read “may or may not contain cranberries”. Read the labels before you buy cranberry juice; I started buying it from the health food section to get the pure juice. It is very tart and strong and doesn’t taste as good; I dilute it in water or club soda.
The following cranberry punch is delicious cranberry recipe for the holidays, but notice it calls for a diluted form of the cranberry juice from the grocery store. If you choose to use the juice from the health food store you will need to add more water and pineapple juice.
Mix ingredients and add the seltzer water right before serving.
A great treat on a cold winter day is a hot cup of cranberry tea.
Boil the 1 quart water, red hots, sugar and cloves together.
Combine and mix together the 3 quarts water, orange juice, cranberry juice and the lemonade. Add the second mixture to the hot mixture and heat thoroughly before serving.
NOTE: I use 2 Tablespoons of mixture per ball; makes about 40.
Preheat oven at 400F degrees.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well blended. Shape into small balls and bake for 15 minutes.
Reduce oven to 300F degrees.
Drain and place meatballs in a baking dish and cover with the sauce. Bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes uncovered. Serve hot.
Combine onion and chopped parsley with oil in large skillet over medium heat.
Stir mixture until onion is tender; stir in cranberries, cinnamon, salt, pepper and cloves and set aside.
Remove giblets from hens and reserve for other use; rinse hens with cold water and pat dry.
Tuck wings over back of hens; place breast side up on lightly greased rack in roasting pan.
Lightly pack each hen with ¼ cup of cranberry mixture; secure cavities with wooden picks.
Tie leg ends together with string; spread remaining cranberry mixture over hens.
Bake in preheated oven at 350F degrees for 40 minutes.
Pour 1 cup water in pan, brush hens with honey and bake an additional 45 minutes or until done.
Remove hens to serving platter and keep warm while making a sauce.
Place drippings in a saucepan and add enough water to make 1 ¾ cups of liquid.
Combine cornstarch with ¼ cup water; add to drippings mixing well.
Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until mixture thickens.
Spoon over hens and garnish.