For a Thanksgiving meal to be complete, cranberries are just as important as the turkey, in my opinion. Aunt Ruby’s Fresh Cranberry Salad is one of my all-time favorites. It was on the holiday table at most of our Bolton family Thanksgiving dinners when I was growing up.
When I was old enough to be interested in the recipe, I pretty much had to take an oath that I would never share the recipe. As it turns out my aunt had given it to my mother in confidence, and my mother made me promise, just as she once had, never to share it.
Time has gone by, and my aunt passed several years ago. I think I’m safe in sharing it now. In fact, I think it would make her smile to know that I was sharing it with my readers now. Preparing this recipe and many others passed down through the years is just one way to keep their memories close.
Our holiday dinner table seems to be missing a few more every year. I miss each of them terribly, but the memories I have of our wonderful times together warms my heart year-round. Give thanks for those you love most of all, and I wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving!
Fresh Cranberry Salad
- 1 c. boiling water
- 2 (3-oz.) boxes strawberry Jello
- 1 c. granulated sugar
- zest of 2 lg. oranges
- 2 lg. oranges
- 1 (20-oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
- 2 c. cranberries, ground in food processor or blender
- 1 crisp, red apples, finely chopped
- 1 c. pecans, finely chopped
- In a large bowl pour boiling water over Jello and sugar, mix to dissolve.
- Zest oranges and add to Jello mixture.
- Place the oranges horizontally on the cutting board. Slice off both ends of the oranges. Stand the orange up on one of the cut ends. Cut the orange peel and pith off around the entire orange, from top to bottom, so the fruit is exposed. Hold the orange over a bowl to collect juice. Place your knife in between the segments of the oranges and cut each section away from the membranes, so no pith or membrane remains on the pieces of fruit. Squeeze all juice from remaining orange. Chop orange pieces finely and add to Jello mixture.
- Stir in pineapple, ground cranberries, apple, and pecans. Mix well and refrigerate.
Cranberries are finally available! I have been looking forward to this for months now. Cranberries are a seasonal treat that I enjoy. I try to freeze a few bags when they are in season, but apparently, I forgot to do that last year.
I always say that my best recipes were passed to me by friends and family! This family gem is no different. Cranberry Bread with Cranberry Butter is one of my favorites. It’s delicious warm out of the oven, but my favorite way to have it myself is lightly toasted and served warm with this flavorful butter.
With many planning for Christmas already, this bread makes a thoughtful and lovely gift. It’s also wonderful to take to parties and gatherings during the holiday season.
Aunt Sara's Cranberry Bread with Cranberry Butter
- ¾ c. orange juice
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- ¾ c. sugar
- 1½ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 1 c. chopped fresh cranberries
- ½ c. chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1 c. fresh cranberries
- 1 c. sugar
- ½ c. butter
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- For the bread: Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease and flour a 4 x 8-inch loaf pan and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together orange juice, egg, and oil. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until moist. Fold in the cranberries and nuts. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Serve with Cranberry Butter.
- For the butter: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the sugar and cranberries until chopped well. Add butter and lemon juice and pulse just enough to mix well.
Holidays are the times that I feel most nostalgic. At Thanksgiving that means I like to see certain dishes on the table. Turkey, of course, with dressing and cranberries in some form, sweet potato casserole, and always a broccoli casserole! Until recently it was about the only time of the year that I made casseroles.
As a young cook I always made a broccoli casserole to take to family dinners. Broccoli casseroles and Five Cup Salads were my specialities back then.
Many broccoli casseroles call for frozen broccoli. I prefer fresh broccoli. Don’t cook the broccoli to mushy, but cook it slightly past tender crisp. I always tend to be heavy handed on the cheese, and the end result is delicious!
- 1 lb. fresh broccoli florets
- 1 c. mayonnaise
- 1 small onion, finely minced
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
- ¼ c. butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 325℉. Spray baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Chop broccoli into large bite-size pieces. Steam broccoli to just past tender-crisp, set aside.
- Combine the mayonnaise, onion, mushroom soup, and eggs until blended. Stir in the broccoli and cheese and pour into prepared baking dish.
- Mix crushed crackers with melted butter. Sprinkle over the casserole.
- Bake at 325℉ for 30 minutes or until brown.