I make it no secret that I am a little particular about what kind of food I generally serve. I wouldn’t call myself a total food snob, because I still enjoy a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese as much as the next person. It’s just that when I cook, I rarely use processed or convenience items.
This morning I bought both Cream of Mushroom soup and Pillsbury Crescent Rolls.
Sometimes tradition wins out. And sometimes it’s OK that you serve Green Bean Casserole and don’t make rolls from scratch. Our Thanksgiving meal has a certain set of necessary items … anything “experimental” is fine, but you will not replace my grandmother’s Creamed Corn with Quinoa Salad. Or decide that you are going to try something “new” with the stuffing — our table can only have my grandmother-in-law’s Portuguese Stuffing on it. The mashed potatoes must be made from yukon golds and the gravy will be laced with Marsala. You just don’t mess with the memories.
The one exception to that is the cranberry sauce, because no one in my family cares about it in the least. They will take an obligatory bite, but I will eat it with a spoon. This year I made a version with orange zest, Marsala, and sage (to meld with my Marsala-laced gravy). If I thought anyone cared enough, I’d try to form it in the shape of a tin can, with the requisite ridges we all grew up with.
And I haven’t ventured to look at the ingredients on the Crescent Rolls yet, but what is Thanksgiving without some good old petroleum by-products in your bread?
Orange Marsala Cranberry Sauce with Sage
Make about 3 1/2 cups
1 quart of fresh cranberries, rinsed
3/4 cup Sweet Marsala, plus 1-2 T
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
Healthy pinch of salt
Zest of two oranges, finely chopped
2 t fresh sage, finely chopped
1. In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, 3/4 cup Marsala, orange juice, brown sugar, and salt over medium heat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes until all cranberries have popped and mixture is thick. Remove from heat.
2. Stir in additional 1-2 T of Marsala, chopped orange zest, and chopped sage. Store in refrigerator. (Can be made 2-3 days ahead)
As a Thanksgiving treat, we’ve established a partnership with, Cuizoo. Cuizoo is a local food and photography blog by Kristin Camplese. For the rest of the week (and maybe in the future) The Bloomsburg Daily will be featuring recipes to help round out your table. The goal of Cuizoo is to get parents back in the kitchen and to do so in a way that makes families develop an appreciation for real food. Creative marketing has led us to believe that families don’t have time to cook, that we need processed food to provide short cuts, that cooking from scratch is hard, and that kids don’t eat vegetables. They tell us we are so busy that we don’t even have time to squeeze a lemon (so wouldn’t you rather buy some Real Lemon lemon juice-esque product?) and we are so incapable in the kitchen that we cannot make a ham sandwich for our child’s lunch (so wouldn’t you rather buy a Lunchable?). Each recipe we feature here has been carefully selected to help make your Thanksgiving even more delicious than it usually is.