Merry Christmas! Knowing how slow I am with posting, I probably won’t have a chance to post again until waay after Christmas, so, here we go: Merry Christmas!
How many holiday parties, since before Thanksgiving, have you been to already? How many will you have to go to? “Have to” might be the wrong word for some – yes, talking to you, party-whores. I like to go to parties when I’m not expected to bring anything. Bringing stuff on the train is annoying. Also, thinking about what to make that will please everyone at the party, including those that can’t tell the difference between cat food and pate, is stressful. I take criticism just fine, but I criticize myself a lot if someone doesn’t like my food, and at parties you never know who’s gonna be there.
Don’t take me wrong – I do love cooking for people. But most of my friends, either due to self-selection or their own niceness, often like my food, and I like cooking for them. In fact, I made a Thanksgiving dinner for friends who didn’t go home, and it was great. My own personal favorite dish (that I made, adapting various recipes online) was the cranberry chutney. I always thought the canned cranberry sauce was a bit weird, and since we were having tandoori turkey, cranberry chutney seems appropriate.
1 box of cranberry (about 16 oz)
1 knob of ginger, length of a thumb, minced
Salt, to taste (chutney tends to be a bit salty rather than sweet)
Maple syrup, to taste
1 piece of cinnamon, size of an average finger
Pepper flakes, or dried chili pepper, minced
Juice & zest of 1 lemon
Apple cider, enough to cover the cranberry in a medium-small pot
Nutmeg, if you so fancy
I know this sounds like a jerk of a recipe, but it’s so easy that everything can be adjusted to taste. Cook the cranberry with all the ingredients for about 20 minutes until the cranberry becomes soft. Let cool. The next day it should have a dense consistency, but not as jelly as the normal cranberry sauce. It’s chutney!
I also discovered, while trying to use up my red wine that was going bad fast (according to the internet, anyway; I can’t tell bad from good wine), that cooking cranberry with red wine, sugar & lavender, then make it into a jelly with gelatin, or leave as is as a fruit compote, is AWESOME.