Thanksgiving, a time of reflection. I was conjuring up some memories of childhood Thanksgivings and most involved my grandparents on my mother’s side. My only living grandparent was my mother’s father, Harold, and he had remarried to the only grandma I ever knew, Jane. We traveled to see them in Port Townsend, Washington, where skies are grey and the sea is speckled with islands. I always thought of it as a mystical place. My grandfather built the house they lived in and we stayed in the finished A frame attic where my mother and father would curse every morning when they bonked their head on the ceiling. We would leave leftover food out for the racoons to scavenge (I know, really?) and split wood for the fireplace. Since baseball was the only thing my grandpa ever watched on television we found other ways to pass the time. Puzzles, walks, conversation, bickering with my brother. It’s a good thing because otherwise my memories probably would involve sitting glossy eyed in front of the television.
My grandma made the most delectable gravy and rolls. I honestly don’t remember the rest of the food from those days. Just slop that roll in the gravy and enjoy! One dish my mom never made until I was grown was her mother’s Cranberry Relish. Why on earth she chose to slide out the canned rubbery version each Thanksgiving before this is a complete loss to me. This relish has become the highlight of my family’s Thanksgiving meal each year. I delight in knowing that my grandmother I never had the privilege to meet is looking down on me smiling that her recipe lives on. Fresh cranberry relish, it goes with everything! (It really does.)
Grandma’s Cranberry Relish
1 pkg fresh cranberries
one whole orange (rind and all), cut into chunks
juice of one lemon
1 – 1 1/2 C sugar, add more or less depending on how sweet you want it.
Put all ingredients in food processor. Pulse until desired consistency. Let marinate at least one day before serving. Will store for one week refrigerated.