The 4th day of Thanksgiving

We’re getting closer. I know I’m a day behind, but I had to go to the doctor over the weekend so we could figure out why my head is taking on the curious shape of a soccer ball. I’m like Camilla in A Bad Case of Stripes – too much soccer and not enough lima beans.  Onward. 

– three fancy breads
– two turkeys brining
– and a pork shoulder of carnitas

Get it? “Four calling birds” vs. “four colanders”. All right, let’s get into the details. One colander is for rinsing the green beans to put into the casserole I’ll share in a few days. Another colander is for cleaning the peeled potatoes we’ll mash on Thursday for Jo’s Famous Garlic Mashed Potatoes. The remaining two colanders are for washing off the two bags of cranberries used for a simple cranberry relish and sugared cranberries that can be served in place of, or in addition to, a bowl of nuts.

Let’s be brutally honest for a moment. If you’re in charge of the cranberry side for the Thanksgiving meal and you bring a few cans of the stuff, you should never be invited back. It shows a lack of character. Any food that can be slipped onto a plate and served while retaining the shape of the can it came in is a food item that should be reconsidered. And if you’re going to use the excuse of time, or lack thereof, here’s a recipe that will take you about one minute prep and ten minutes to cook.

Cranberry Relish
16 oz. cranberries
½ cup cranberry juice (use the unsweetened stuff if you can find it)
½ cup sugar
½ cup orange juice
1 Tablespoon orange zest
½ teaspoon ground ginger

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook on medium heat, covered, for about 10 minutes or until the cranberries pop open. I then use a masher to break apart the cranberries and create a relish consistency. Remove from heat and bring to room temperature before refrigerating. 

For the sugared cranberries, I’m sending you to because the picture of the product is so pretty.

Remember, kids usually like to help in the kitchen so let them! Measuring is the best way to get them safely involved. You can also keep them busy with easy Thanksgiving crafts. I and Disney’s Thanksgiving bingo, crossword puzzles, coloring sheets, placemats. You’re sure to find something.

Next: 5 decorative gourds

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