Monday, December 10, 2007

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberries are one of three fruits indigenous to North America. In case you were wondering, the other two are blueberries and concord grapes.

One of my "rules" for defining local is 100 miles. These cranberries come from just under 200 miles away so I'm calling them mezza-local.

This year, something bothered me about the typical fresh whole-berry cranberry sauce recipe: one cup of water, one cup of sugar, a bag of cranberries. Maybe because it was boring, or maybe it was the blatant and singular use of refined white sugar. (Not that I am swearing off refined white sugar--it just doesn't grow near here...other sweetners do.)

So, I thought I'd try a local sweetner: maple syrup. Here's the recipe and I thought it was pretty darn good.

1 - 12 oz bag of cranberries
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup apple cider
1 cinnamon stick

Bring the syrup and cider to a boil. Add the cranberries and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil again until the cranberries stop popping. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick. Serve warm or chill.

Some variations could include dried whole hot pepper along with the cinnamon, more syrup and less cider, maybe nuts...whatever strikes your fancy.

The cider and syrup are local. The cranberries are mezza-local. The cinnamon stick is the Marco Polo exception.

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