Updated: Jun 24, 2020
At Heirloom Fire, we are always on the hunt for new ways to use seasonal ingredients. When we began discussing the unsung heroes of Thanksgiving dinner, cranberries came to mind.
We can trace the use of cranberries back to the Native Americans, who had many uses for the cranberry, and would eat them fresh, cooked, or preserved. Cranberries were brought on ships to help ward off scurvy, and today we eat them in muffins. They have been a part of Thanksgiving tradition for as long as anyone can remember. Cranberries today are harvested only from September through November. Contrary to popular belief, cranberries do not grow in water. The fields are flooded at harvest time, so ripe berries float to the top, making them easier to harvest from the vine laden evergreen shrubs.
In Massachusetts today, our state berry is the cranberry, so it seemed only fitting that we did some dreaming, recipe testing, and yes, lots of eating, to give you these next two recipes.
We all know that when you first think of cranberry sauce, you don’t picture a sauce that is lovingly made and proudly brought to the table; You picture the can being opened just before dinner is served, hearing it’s loud plop as it drops into the bowl, still very much resembling the vessel from where it came. This first recipe is not that sauce. The cranberries are cooked gently in batches, with equal parts of honey and champagne vinegar. The berries are cooked until just before they burst, remaining whole, but have released some of their juices to mix with the honey making a
lovely sauce worthy of your table.