In just one week from today, the United States will be celebrating Thanksgiving; a time for looking around at all we have (friends, family, homes, and, hopefully, health) and giving thanks that we should be so fortunate. During 2020, a lot of us were hesitant or unable to visit with friends and family the way we had in the past. I think many of us realized how much we took for granted that we could just go and see people whenever we wanted, pre-pandemic.
This year, while we aren’t out of the pandemic woods yet, I know a lot of us are ready to get back to some of our more comforting traditions: traveling, over-indulging in delicious foods, taking food coma naps, and enjoying the company of our loved ones. Myself included. A couple of the things I’m looking forward to are cranberry sauce over cheesecake and tabletop games. We play all manner of games including dice, cards, and board games, while indulging in desserts and drinks. My favorite Thanksgiving dessert is cheesecake. It’s also my Thanksgiving specialty. Rich, thick New York-style cheesecake. (Sorry, I can’t give out the recipe. It’s a family secret.) But then top that with a bright, tart cranberry-orange sauce and you have the makings of heaven. And that is a recipe I can share. I hope you love it as much as I do, and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-12oz bag fresh cranberries (if you are using frozen cranberries, don’t thaw them, and add about 2 minutes to the simmering time.)
2 Tablespoons orange liqueur (I prefer Gran Marnier)
Bring sugar, water, orange zest, and salt to boil in a medium nonreactive pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally to help dissolve the sugar. Stir in the cranberries and simmer until slightly thickened and the berries begin to pop, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add the orange liqueur. Cool to room temperature before serving, about 1 hour. (Personally, I prefer to let the flavors marinate a little longer and make this a day or two in advance.)