Parts of the Whole

Monday, November 28, 2011

**Meatless Monday** A Cranberry Tale

In high school I discovered my drink of choice, cranberry juice. Not sure why Maternal Unit started buying it but it soon became very difficult to keep in the house. If given the opportunity, I would drink the entire carton, which would then end in misery as cranberry juice is not cheap and Maternal Unit would get heated that she had not even gotten a sip (once she discovered how many carbs are actually in the juice, however, the issue was dropped and I got the juice all to myself).

Now while I love the tart and sweet nectar of the gods, especially when conjoined with vodka, I had a hatred of cranberry sauce, that all too well known staple of holiday tables, most identifiable in its cylindrical shape. This is how it appeared on our table for many years, until one day, in the midst of one of Maternal Unit's rages against the carb, she discovered she could make it herself. Not only was it better for you, it was way cost effective, as generally the only thing she had to purchase was the cranberries themselves. Add a cup of water and a cup of sugar, boil, and voila! cranberry sauce.

This year we were invited by our neighbors to share Thanksgiving dinner with them. Thrilled as always to not have to cook, I asked what we could bring. After some deliberation, cranberry sauce and rolls were decided upon. Now, bread I've been working on since my sophomore year of college, when Middle Brother and wife bought me a bread maker. Fast forward almost six years and the machine looks like it is the last survivor of the kitchenware apocalypse but until it gives up the dough, so to speak, it will remain my most beloved appliance, inching out the crock pot only because of it's ability to give me that which my heart desires most.

Any who, with the rolls already decided upon, I sent off a quick text to Maternal just to verify her sauce recipe and she replied with what I already knew. I must say that what I managed to produce was indeed so delicious that even I partook in it. Color, taste and texture were so perfect that even our neighbors' son, Favorite Redhead, ate it, which may have had a hand in making him my favorite redhead; that and the fact that he's a perfectly delightful cuddler.

Look ma! Cranberry sauce!
How 'bout yourself? What was the one thing you made this year that came out better than anything else? Or was everything equally astounding?