Friday, November 19, 2010

Way up there on my "I Don't Get It" List

For years I was one of those people that didn't like cranberries.
When I was growing up, that jellied cranberry jarred monstrosity was all that I knew.
What in the world are you supposed to do with that stuff?
The consistency alone is enough to send me over the edge,
The "mouth feel" is a punishment.
The taste is simply not tart enough.

Having said that, it is probably still one of the best sellers during the holidays.
 It will forever stay on my "I don't get it " list.

Years later I started tasting the "real deal" or homemade cranberry sauce, with
actual cranberries in the sauce. You could see, taste, and FEEL the cranberries,
and it turned my cranberry world around.

Not only is it the easiest recipe in the world, (my "can't cook" sons could do it in their sleep),
but it is delicious and refreshing.
With added orange zest in a cut crystal bowl, it's not only tasty, but gorgeous to look at.

The recipe I am going to give you is not meant to replace our beloved homemade cranberry
sauce, but is a wonderful addition to the holiday table.
Frankly, this would make a wonderful relish/chutney all year round!

Fresh tasting, with an exotic punch, you'll find it's great not only with turkey, but
baked ham as well.

Served instead of bread and butter pickles, it's a versatile dish, that will "WOW"
your family and guests.
(I myself am a huge fan of the "WOW" factor.)

GIFT IDEA! (Make a batch or two and spoon it into wide mouth jars tied with a pretty ribbon.)
MARTHA would be PROUD!
Kept cold in the refrigerator, this will keep indefinitely.

The year that I made this, there were "oohs and aaahs" a plenty, and as I mentioned earlier,
it was absolutely the bomb on leftover turkey sandwiches. Use it as a relish, or if you wish, eat it
straight out of the bowl!

Pickled Grapes with Ginger and Chilies

(from Salsas, Sambals, Chutneys, and Chowchows)

Makes about 6 cups

1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. crushed coriander seeds
1 tbsp. cinnamon
7 whole cloves
1 tbsp. salt
1 piece ginger the size of your little finger, peeled and cut into dime-size slices.
3 red or green jalapenos, finely diced, with seeds (trust me, it is not too hot)
4 cups seedless red and/or green grapes. (Red is best, I think)

In a large saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugars, coriander seeds, cinnamon,
cloves and salt.

Mix well, and then bring to a boil over moderately high heat.

Remove from heat and add ginger, jalapenos and grapes.

Mix thoroughly, and allow to stand for one hour.

This is a great one to make ahead a day or two, and let the flavor meld together,
but after just one hour, it's fresh tasting, and ready to rock the table...

Again, it keeps a long time kept covered and chilled.
I like to serve it closer to room temperature.

Feedback is always appreciated if you'd care to leave a comment.
I'd especially love to hear from those that give this a whirl...
Another recipe soon....