Growing up, Thanksgiving was never one of my favorite holidays. The traditional foods never interested me and I couldn’t figure out what all the hype was about. Sure, it’s a day where overeating is glorified, but with turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and green beans? Pass. Why couldn’t it be a holiday for overeating chocolate, candy and cake? That’s something I could celebrate.
Eventually my taste buds came around and I started to absolutely love sweet potatoes, discovered pumpkin pie and figured out that if you just cover everything in homemade cranberry sauce, it tastes great.
Considering cranberry sauce my main ally, I knew I better learn to make it myself. A few years ago, I threw together a few recipes I found online and came up with the one I’ve been making ever since. Now, I hate to do it, but I must insist: NO SUBSTITUTIONS. Yeah, yeah, I know I do it all the time, but I’m telling you this for your own good. I’ve already tried subbing out several ingredients in this recipe in a feeble attempt to make it “healthier” and they pretty much all resulted in disaster. I’m sure there are 1,000 other healthy cranberry sauce recipes out there on the internet, but this ain’t one of them. The worst by far was when I attempted to substitute Splenda brown sugar for the real thing. Oh. my. god. It was like licking plastic with a metallic aftertaste.
I’m traveling for Thanksgiving this year and haven’t made it yet, so I don’t have any pictures. I could have sworn that there were some on facebook of the first time I made it, however after searching for longer than I want to admit, I couldn’t find them. All I have is the recipe – which I realize I’m posting the day before Thanksgiving – so if you’ve got the big feast already all prepared, just keep in mind it’s great for Christmas, too!
Katelyn’s Kranberry Sauce*
2 pounds cranberries
2 cups water
1 pint orange juice
2 tbsp orange zest
2 cups packed brown sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
1 package walnuts
Add everything to a large pot, bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook for about an hour, or until it’s the desired thickness. Add the walnuts toward the end so they keep a slight crunch.
*Obnoxious Kardashian K replacement at special request of my friend…Kim.