It’s Thanksgiving time here in the United States, which means it’s time to give thanks for all our blessings as we gather around the table. It is also the time to pull out your stretchy pants for the overindulging you will do on all your family and friend’s cooking. Then the big nap that ensues and takes over your body after such a wonderful feast. True relaxation!
In this bit, I share a recipe that has become a kid’s favorite and annual request. It became part of our thanksgiving in its original recipe form around 2003 when we first moved to the state of Tennessee. That year, we had become very self-conscious of our health, and unlike Wisconsin, Tennessee can be quite warm on Thanksgiving, and thus we began cooking our turkey on the grill that year. This year, however, I am taking my dish with me to Vermont, where the kids and I will enjoy family time with my parents.
I love this dish because it is effortless to whip up first thing Thanksgiving morning or can be prepared a day ahead, which makes it a perfect dish to bring to other homes. My current recipe is an adaptation from a South Beach Diet recipe I found back in 2003. Since then, like any good cook, I have modified and tweaked it over time to its current state. I love its freshness with the crisp tart cranberries, sweet, bursting pomegranates, and zesty orange. I sometimes have to make two bowls due to its popularity.
Jellied Cranberries Serves 8
1 envelope (four 1/2-cup servings) sugar-free raspberry gelatin (you can use regular, just cutting calories here. Also, Jell-O brand is gluten-free)
3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
ice cubes ( I use the crushed ice setting on my refrigerator when the time to add)
2 cups fresh cranberries
2 teaspoons orange zest
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (Time saver: buy the ones already seeded in the fruit section of your grocery)
Stir boiling water into gelatin powder in a medium bowl for at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Measure 1/2 cup of cold water and add enough ice cubes to make 1 1/4 cups ice water. Add cold water and ice cubes to gelatin. Stir until slightly thickened. Remove any remaining ice. Set aside.
Add cranberries and orange zest to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until finely chopped (do not puree). Add to dissolved gelatin. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until set (About 3 hours)
On Thanksgiving, this is always one of the first things I make and get put aside. It is a great recipe for the kids to help put together too. I have always loved having my kids in the kitchen since they were toddlers—fond memories of “cook’s helper” in their homemade aprons.
What are your family’s favorites and traditions? I would love to hear.
Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI.
She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds. Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind. She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember. With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.