Culture / Food

Thanksgiving Sides: Brussels Sprouts and Cranberry Sauce

There is another thing I must admit – I hated cranberry sauce for most of my life. This is easier to explain because my family always had the canned Ocean Spray jellied cranberry sauce. You know, the kind that came out of the can like berry-colored dog food?

Then, I had a fresh cranberry sauce very similar to the one that Liza makes for her family each year.

A note from Liza:

So many Thanksgiving dishes are sweet, heavy, filling, and comforting. I love those things, but sometimes find myself craving a couple of bites that are lighter and more tart. For the last few years, I’ve experimented with cranberry sauce variations, looking for that perfect, refreshing little bite. This is my favorite. It is easy, you can make it a day or two ahead, and there’s an excellent chance your children won’t touch it with a ten foot pole, leaving more for you to use as a sandwich spread or mixed with yogurt or oatmeal for the rest of Thanksgiving weekend.

Fresh Cranberry Sauce 

  • 12 oz bag of fresh Wisconsin cranberries
  • 2 large, seedless oranges (or 3 to 4 small ones)
  • 1 tbsp or more of honey
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, chopped

1. Rinse the cranberries and put them into the food processor. If you are lazy, quarter the oranges and add them to the food processor. If you are less lazy, zest the rind into the food processor, then juice them and add the juice. This will put less of the bitter pith into the sauce, which is a good thing.

2. Pulverize the cranberries and oranges. They don’t need to be completely pureed, but mix them together so that you know you have enough liquid to make a sauce. If this mix is too dry, add another orange, or a little bit of water.

3. Depending on what form of ginger you are using, either chop up a chunk into very small pieces, drop in a cube or two of Dorot frozen ginger, or mix in a spoonful of Ginger People chopped or sliced ginger, or some ginger juice. Fresh is especially delicious, but these alternatives are almost as good and much less work. Also add in a tablespoon of honey. If you aren’t a fan of honey, brown sugar also works.

4. Mix in the food processor again. You are shooting for the flavors being well mixed together, with a rustic texture – think pieces smaller than a quarter-inch square.

5. Taste. That step is critical. You might want more ginger or more sweetener or more orange flavor.

As with so many foods, this will be better after the ingredients have had a few hours to meld together. An added bonus is that, with supervision, kids can help and actually be helpful!


Tags: , , , ,


  1. Here is how to peel and seed a pomegranate:

    I never knew it was so easy. Also, delicious and incredibly healthy!

    Hope you have the gumption to try it yourself.

  2. So, does this mean you aren’t coming over? This is disappointing news, Clare.

  3. I think you just made Pam’s Thanksgiving. Two of her favorite foods together!! I am going to be a goddamn hero.

    • I am excited about the Brussels sprouts. Really excited. I’m exciting about the cranberry sauce but this recipe is almost the same as what we do so it’s not quiet as life-changing as the sprouts.

      Let us know how it goes, Sarah. I have to admit – I’m a little afraid for you. Anytime I declare myself a hero before something, it usually ends badly.

      • Vikki! I am so glad you are excited. After starting to read the intro, I was totally confused as to why you jumped on this when I gave you two recipe choices! Still, glad you are a convert and hope you enjoy. Ask me next year to give my Mustard Brussels Sprouts recipe— that is the one that convinced my spouse that the mini-cabbages were delicious!

    • Yay! I am so happy. Also, I like Pam already as these were top on my list of favorite foods (and I do just people on their taste in foods). I was ecstatic when I found the recipe! Enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.