Cranberries are weird when you think about it. They aren’t edible raw ( technically they are but you’d have to be pretty desperate) and until doctored in some way they aren’t all that tasty. They do have great color which is probably how they lured us humans into originally picking them and then figuring out how to eat them. I marvel at those humans the same way I marvel with thankfulness at the person who first eyed an artichoke as food. We humans did eventually figure out that we could elevate the flavor of the cranberry to match its all ready elevated color by adding sweetener and spice into something divine. Most people have their favorite cranberry sauce and for some it is still out of the can into a bowl much like it is for Bart.
Let’s face it, cranberry sauces aren’t that different from recipe to recipe which also makes it an easy sauce to adjust for individual taste. Aside from the nostalgia factor of the canned sauce there is a world of difference, as with most things, between the homemade and the store-bought stuff. In this case difference can happen in less than 45 minutes from start to finish and can be made several days ahead of time. I usually make double batches of the recipe below and jar it for people to use at their leisure. I gave a jar to friends 2 years ago and they told me that the very last of it had just gone off. The cranberry sauce has never lasted that long in my house, but apparently when properly stored this sauce has quite a shelf life. A longer life than these cranberries got.
Ginger Cranberry Sauce with Wild Blueberries
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 packages fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cup frozen blueberries (Try and find the smaller wild blueberries.)
6 large tangerines (or enough for 2 cups tangerine juice.)
3 tablespoons finely grated tangerine peel
Squeeze the tangerines to get 2 cups of juice. Combine tangerine juice, dark brown sugar, tangerine peel, minced ginger, ground cloves and salt in a heavy saucepan. bring the liquid to a boil stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved reduce the heat and simmer the liquid for 5 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook, while stirring often, until the cranberries start to pop, this will also cause the sauce to thicken. Stir the contents often to encourage even popping and cooking, this should take no longer than 10 minutes. When the cranberries have all popped, pull them off the heat and add the blueberries, stirring them through the hot cranberries. Cool the sauce then cover and refrigerate. This sauce can be served warm or cold.