When I was growing up, each year my family planned a vacation around history and food, two subjects I always loved. On these road trips, I started collecting regional cookbooks and what every boy my age obsessed over, Matchbox Cars.
As the Thanksgiving holiday nears, I anticipate the wonderful Cranberry Sauce with Lemon and Maple Syrup I’m soon to make. And I fondly look back on an autumn family trip to historic Plymouth, Massachusetts. Here we visited the Pilgrim settlements and toured a replica of the Mayflower…boy, those folks were short, even at my youthful age, I would have had a problem squeezing into one of those bunks! But my favorite stop on this particular adventure was at the Cranberry Bog. We had finished the history portion of our trip and now for the food segment…hooray!
Seeing cranberries in their natural state was impressive. I was amazed at these red little gems that floated in swamp-like ponds or bogs and was thrilled when they gave me a rake to harvest a handful. The natural color was beautiful and of course, I popped a few into my mouth surprised by their crazy tartness. I grew to know the cranberry very well. Over the years I strung miles and miles of them with popcorn which were used for garlands around the holidays. And of course, cranberries always made an appearance at the Thanksgiving table.
Enough looking back on my boyhood cranberry moments; Here are the moments ahead. This recipe is a great addition to your Thanksgiving table. And when you’re considering big bird leftovers take a bit of cranberry sauce and butter––a 2/3 to 1/3 ratio––and make a rich smear. This is the perfect accompaniment for a cold turkey sandwich the next day! You may never use mustard again.
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- Pinch of salt
- 1 (12-oz.) bag fresh cranberries (washed well and drained)
- 1 In a heavy, medium sized saucepan, heat the water, lemon juice, zest, sugar, maple syrup and salt over medium heat.
- 2 Stir for 3-4 minutes until the sugar dissolves.
- 3 Add the washed cranberries and bring to a boil.
- 4 Lower the heat and simmer until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens.
- 5 Cool and taste; add more sugar if desired.
- 6 Serve chilled or at room temperature.