Cranberries: Two Delicious Ways to Accompany The Bird

Memories of holiday dinners past float through my mind as we concentrate on the final details of our upcoming Thanksgiving feast.  I think back to those much anticipated meals at Grandpa and Grandma Neve’s home in Walters, a small rural town in southern Minnesota.   As we drove into their driveway late each Thanksgiving morning for the noontime meal the first hint of glorious things to come was the sight of the kitchen window fogged over by  the clouds of steamy moisture being emitted from all of the pots and kettles bubbling on the stove.  The late November air was always cold and crisp so we would walk into the humid warmth of the house with cheeks reddened by the nip of Jack Frost, that elfish creature the personification of crisp, cold, wintry weather and whom we always knew had visited our house when we would awaken to the light of the sun streaming through the frosty crystal patterns he had left on our window panes while we had been asleep!

The kitchen was bustling with activity!  Grandma’s apron whirled around the kitchen at a hectic pace as she moved from pot to pot, lifting the lids, tasting and seasoning each dish as the dinner hour approached.  The big moment, however, was when the lid of the roaster was lifted to check on the turkey! Grandma’s big roaster had a rectangular glass window on top, the purpose of which I could never fully understand since the contents of the roaster could never be clearly seen due to the condensation on the glass!  The unveiling of the bird was a moment sacred to our Thanksgiving tradition.  The family would gather around the kitchen counter as Grandma prepared to lift the lid, all eyes wide with excitement and anticipation.   Then… the moment for which we all had been waiting!  The lid would be lifted with great fanfare and, as the cloud of steam dissipated, the air suddenly reverberated with a chorus of  oohs and aahs at the sight of the magnificent golden brown bird.  Once again Grandma stood triumphant, arm raised as if in victory, roaster lid in hand… with an immense smile on her face and a knowing twinkle in her eye!

The turkey was always accompanied by a hearty stuffing and the traditional cranberry sauce.  Grandma sometimes served a cranberry relish as well as the jellied cranberry from a can.  I was always fascinated by the fact that the canned incarnation could be sliced  into perfect rounds!  That little berry has traveled a long journey from that circular can to the way in which it now appears on the stage of our Thanksgiving buffet.  Following are two recipes, one a chutney and the other a spiced sauce, both of which will accompany our meal.

First of all, what is a chutney?  What makes it differ from a rich, thick cranberry sauce?  By definition a chutney is a condiment made of chopped fruits or vegetables cooked in vinegar and sugar with ginger and spices.  A chutney is tangy, filled with the flavors of exotic spices.  Both of these cranberry dishes are delicious and will beautifully compliment the star of your Thanksgiving feast!

Cranberry Chutney

In a medium saucepan, bring to a boil:

  • 1 1/2 C water
  • 3/4 C white sugar
  • 1/2 C golden brown sugar
  • 1/4 C grated orange rind

Reduce heat and cook at a simmer until liquid becomes thick and syrupy, approximately 15 – 20 minutes.


  • 1/4 C cider vinegar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, coarsely grated
  • 1 C Muscat raisins (golden raisins are a fine substitute)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp mace
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp (heaping) curry powder

Return to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Simmer mixture for 30 minutes.


  • 4 C fresh cranberries (this is equivalent to one 12-oz package)
  • 1 cup craisins
  • 3/4 C freshly squeezed orange juice

Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.  The berries will have popped and the mixture thickened.  Cool and refrigerate if prepared in advance.


Spiced Cranberry Sauce with Mandarin Oranges


Combine in a medium saucepan:

  • 4 C fresh cranberries (1 12-oz package)
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/2 C golden brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 15-oz can Mandarin orange slices, drained
  • 3/4 C Muscat raisins (golden raisins are a fine substitute)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Cook for 25 minutes.  Cool and refrigerate if prepared in advance.

 You now have two  delicious accompaniments to your Thanksgiving turkey.. your choice!  One an exotically spicy chutney

… the other a delightfully tasty, rich and colorful cranberry sauce!

Celebrate the holiday with family and friends… in combination with magnificent dining.  Bon Appetit!

Copyright 2009 Via Aurea Designs, Inc., All Rights Reserved





Categories: Condiments, Sauces

Author:Steve Meyer & Dayton Azevedo

Food and fine cooking have been our passion for many years, fueled by the year-around abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, poultry and meats, as well as aromatic spices and herbs readily available to us here in the San Francisco Bay Area, making adventuresome, creative and delicious 5-star cooking a reality in our kitchen. Our aim is to make it yours as well by utilizing our step by step instructions and serial photographs. Bon Appetit from our kitchen to yours...!


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

One Comment on “Cranberries: Two Delicious Ways to Accompany The Bird”

  1. Sandy quintana
    November 21, 2009 at 5:28 AM #

    I’m going to make these for Thanksgiving!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: