Lemon, Spice (and everything nice!) Cranberry Sauce

So I think we all know where things are going by now.  The focus on Thanksgiving is real.  It’s almost 2 weeks away and it’s high time to start organizing.  I’m trying to do the same and I have several recipes I want to share with you all but I really gotta start cranking them out ’cause posting a recipe a few days before Thanksgiving won’t do anyone any good, I’m quite sure!

Last year around this time I had a lot on my plate and was feeling pretty stressed.  Instead of going through the added stress of traveling out of the city to visit family while I was knee-deep in tests and projects for classes Mr. C and I opted to do Thanksgiving in Brooklyn with some close friends of ours.  It was somewhat of a potluck style but I enjoyed contributing a lot of the dishes and had a ton of fun – it was a very relaxed get-together.

This year we will be visiting family in Pittsburgh and I’m excited because my cousin who lives in Manchester had a baby this summer and will be flying in spend it with us.  She and her husband won’t be able to come for Christmas this year so we’ll also be doing a mini Christmas gift exchange as well.

This year I won’t be able to contribute as much in the kitchen (my family has a pretty set list of recipes and dishes and doesn’t like stray too far from them) but I have already mentioned several times to everyone that I will be supplying the cranberry sauce.

I love the sweet, tangy, spiced flavor of a good cranberry sauce.  It’s a great flavor add-in to a lot of different dishes.  And best yet: it stores well and can be made in advance.

So let’s continue along with the quintessential cranberry sauce!

Standard cranberry sauce recipes call for a pretty substantial amount of sugar and your standard spices and some zest.  I wanted to change things up a bit so instead of zest and water I used a natural lemonade and skipped the sugar in favor of some local honey.

Lemon, Spice (and everything nice!) Cranberry Sauce

1 TBSP Butter

12 oz Cranberries (fresh, or defrosted)

1 1/2 Cup Natural Lemonade

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/8 tsp Ground Cloves

1/4 tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/4 Cup Honey

Heat butter on medium heat in small pot until melted.  Add the remaining ingredients except the vanilla extract and honey.  Turn heat up to medium high and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add extract and honey and cook for 10 minutes longer or until sauce has thickened and reduced by about half.

Allow sauce to cool before serving (or better yet, make it a day in advance- it sets up nicely overnight!).

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