There's nothing wrong with slicing cranberry sauce into discs straight out of a can that makes that "schloop" sound when you slide it out.  But if you're looking for a fresh option, this is a good one.

Growing up in rural Nebraska, we had canned cranberry sauce at every Thanksgiving.  That's just how Grandma did it, and it wasn't until I went off to college that I actually saw a fresh, round, whole cranberry for the first time.  Seriously!  Up until that point, I thought cranberries only came from cans and looked like a cross between jello, red wine, and a piece of velvet.  The idea of making cranberry sauce from scratch was completely foreign to me.

And then I ran across this recipe for Perfect Cranberry Sauce from Food Network with a difficulty level of "easy."  Good.  Complicated sends us straight toward the jellied kind anyway.  In fact, the can is probably proof that cranberry sauce is an afterthought and not a focal point because buying it usually follows the realization that we completely spaced it.  Quick, go buy a can!

According, to the Food Network recipe, this is an easy dish to ace.

Perfect Cranberry Sauce from Food Network Magazine

"Empty a 12-ounce bag of fresh or frozen cranberries into a saucepan and transfer 1/2 cup to a small bowl. Add 1 cup sugar, 1 strip orange or lemon zest and 2 tablespoons water to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries are soft, about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and cook until the cranberries burst, about 12 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the reserved cranberries. Add sugar, salt, and pepper to taste and cool to room temperature before serving."

Anybody else ever wonder why we don't eat cranberry sauce all year long?  It's always been a mystery to me.  But it doesn't quite taste as good in July.

Canned or fresh or none at all, have a Happy Thanksgiving!  Now on to the pie.

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