Thanksgiving preparation has officially started, and I wasn't sure what to expect as I set out to make the cranberry sauce. I'd bought the cranberries last week, and there they sat in the fruit drawer of my fridge. I'd stare at them each time I opened the door, and think "maybe tomorrow the mood will strike to make it".
Well, Thanksgiving is only three days away, and this year I'm blinking in disbelief at how fast this fall has gone by. I go to bed each night thinking of how I found him when I heard he had collapsed. I replay this scene over in my mind before I go to sleep to remind myself that this is really my life, my reality.
I've written about being thankful, and I encourage the girls every day to remember how fortunate we are in spite of this sad truth. For now, my goal is a short term one—get through Thanksgiving. A reader who has also suffered this kind of loss, commented that the anticipation leading up to the "day", be it an anniversary, birthday, or holiday is sometimes harder than the day itself. I've hit two big "days" so far, and I believe that to be true too.
So, I'm glad I didn't turn my back on Thanksgiving this year. As I poured the cranberries into the pot and measured out the spices, I felt normal. I felt like the old "Jennifer". The one who did these things without blinking an eye before August 7th.
Spice Scented Cranberry Sauce
Makes about one quart
A few of you asked about my recipe, so I figured I'd share it with you again. I created it two years ago, and it was featured on the blog I used to write for Relish Magazine last November.
One 12 ounce bag fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark is fine)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Add all the ingredients to a heavy-bottomed 2-quart pot, and stir to combine. Cover pot and bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat (keep a close eye because if it boils over it'll make a mess of your stove—I speak from experience and too much multitasking!).
Remove lid, reduce heat to a simmer and let cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and jam-like, about 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool to room temperature or chill before serving. May be prepared and stored in a glass container 3 to 4 days in advance.