Cranberries and Grandpa


It occurred to me recently that I write several posts in one day, often ignoring to state the date that everything happened…. I’m working on that!


Happy National Cranberry Day!

I love cranberries.  Like deep in my gut love them.  They’re beautiful, they’re tart and delicious, they keep your pee from stinging, they’re magic.

Cranberries also take me back to my childhood – eating Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner at my grandparent’s house.  My grandma – my dad’s mom – made two cranberry dishes every year for the holidays: a fluffy jello thing with cranberries in it that always freaked me out, and a traditional one for my grandpa and I.  She spoiled us.  I never appreciated the loving gesture of her making that cranberry sauce until my Grandpa passed away and my Grandma began to succumb to Alzheimer’s.  She slowly handed over the reigns of holiday cooking to my Aunt – and the cranberry sauce was no more. Now every year, as Thanksgiving approaches, I find myself buying a bag of cranberries and attempting to make it myself to satisfy the nostalgic feeling.

Being that I’m still the only one in my house who enjoys cranberries, I felt lucky that this fell on a night that Ryan was working late and Nick was with his dad.  I didn’t feel as guilty about making and eating an entire package of cranberries when it was just Maggie and I anyway.  (It’s okay, I can’t really explain the logic behind that either…)

In the past, cranberry sauce hasn’t gone very well for me….

Apparently you have to stir it often and “watch it” or the sugar and cranberries will burn and stick onto the bottom of the pan… and your husband will be furious and you’ll have to throw away the whole pan…



Using the recipe on the back of the Ocean Spray bag (it’s what my mom said to do…) I got to work!

The first step was combining a cup of sugar with a  cup of water in a pot and heating it until the sugar dissolved.

I’m not sure if I dissolved the sugar all the way.. but it started to bubble  a little and I panicked with the thought that it might start to burn… so I skipped ahead to the next step: add cranberries and heat to a boil.

Done.  I’ve got this.  I even remembered to turn the heat down and stir frequently so the cranberries didn’t burn!  This is my favorite pot and I was not willing to risk throwing it out!


At this point, I started to feel extra confident in my abilities and decided I should add two more pans to the stove… most of which needed to be stirred frequently…


I’m not sure why I think I’m some sort of kitchen professional, but when left unattended in the kitchen I start to think that I’m the cute blonde on America’s Test Kitchen… just educating the world on the proper way to cook things.  By “think” I mean that I may or may not pretend I’m hosting a PBS cooking show when no one is around…

That’s totally normal, right?


Lucky for me, everything turned out great!  I didn’t burn the cranberries, and the gnocchi and edamame I made turned out mostly fine!

Had Ryan been at home, the kitchen would have erupted in flames and at least two pans would have needed to be thrown away… maybe I’m just bad at cooking when he’s watching?


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