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Cranberries for Thanksgiving and Beyond

bag of cranberries

I realize that Thanksgiving is mere moments away, but I thought I’d do a quick round-up of my personal cranberry-centric writing, just in case anyone was still searching for a new jam, chutney, or sauce for this year. Additionally, while these preserves are most traditional on the fourth Thursday in November, they also make good accents (and gifts!) throughout the holiday season.

cranberry apple jam

First up are my cranberry-based jams. These spreads can be served on Thanksgiving morning on a toasted scone, or with the turkey later that day. Because cranberries have so much natural pectin, these jams make an excellent filling in thumbprint cookies because they won’t get runny during baking.

molded cranberry sauce

Now for sauces and marmalades. These tend to be a little less sweet than the jams above, but just as delicious

pickled cranberries

The rest of these cranberry items resist being grouped into a single category. There’s my pickled cranberries, which may well be my favorite cranberry preserve ever and pair up best with dark meat. A couple years back, I wrote a piece for Grid Philly that featured cranberries, and the oven-roasted butternut squash and cranberry dish in that article is one I love.

If you prefer cranberries in quick breads, these mini-loaves will please you (of course, they can also be baked in a muffin tin or even a conventional loaf pan).

cranberry clafoutis

Another delicious cranberry treatment is this clafoutis from Yvette Van Boven’s book, Home Made Winter. It works for dessert, or on a brunch buffet.

Finally, I’ve got two Thanksgiving suggestions that don’t involve cranberries, but are so good they require shout-outs. The first is the lentil pate from Kim O’Donnel’s book The Meat Lover’s Meatless Celebrations. It hits all the flavor notes that a batch chopped liver does, but without necessitating that you actually deal with liver.

The second suggestion is the sweet potato puree that I wrote about for Table Matters two years ago. The recipe is adapted from one that Heidi Swanson posted back in 2006 and has been a favorite of mine since I first spotted it.

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Links: Cranberries, Quick Breads, and Winners

Cool vintage jars! If only I had more space!

Last week was the first seven-day period since March when I didn’t have to drive 60+ miles or do a canning demonstration. It was glorious. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love sharing my excitement around food preservation and getting to meet you guys when I’m out and about. I’ve just also found that in order to maintain my appreciation for this work I do, I need some time off from it on occasion. Now, links!

fermentools gear

Big thanks to everyone who took the time to enter last week’s Fermentools giveaway! It was fun to read all about your favorite ferments! The winners are…

And stay tuned. I’ll have a couple different fun giveaways coming this week!

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Links: Apple Butter, Pear Vodka, and Winners

light in the dining room

After nearly two weeks of congestion and exhaustion, the cold fog has finally started to lift. I made some excellent potato soup for dinner late last week, but beyond that, nothing of particular value has come out of my kitchen. I’m trying to clear out an email backlog and finish unpacking from my trip. I have a two pound bag of cranberries in my fridge at the moment, so expect something appropriately seasonal later this week. Now, links.

cuppow gear

A couple weeks back, I hosted a giveaway sponsored by Cuppow. I had five sets of Cuppow lids, BNTO adaptors, CoffeeSocks, and Mason Taps to share with you guys. The winners are:

Thanks to everyone who took the time share how they could envision using the Mason Tap in their kitchens. All those creative solutions just prove that it’s a winner of a product!

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Links: Quick Pickles, Savory Pies, and Winners

Pies in jars!

Last Tuesday, I flew down to Austin to meet my brand new nephew and hang with my sister and her family for a week. I fully intended to keep posting here on the blog (I even had a schedule) but I quickly slipped into the rhythm of their life and lost my grip on my best laid plans.

Instead of writing, I’ve spent countless hours snuggling (and bouncing) a three week old, playing trains and reading books with the three year old, and making food (squash gratin! soup! pasta sauce! granola!). I taught my brother-in-law how to make jam and gave my sister a crash course in homemade sauerkraut. In my book, it has been time very well spent.

Now, links!

Quench cover

The winners in last week’s Quench giveaway are #70/Jen and #298/Kim Murphy. Thanks to all who took the time to enter!

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Links: Seed Saving, Shrubs, and a Winner

Pear and chocolate jam, with some gorgeous bread from Talking Breads.

Last week was the first since March when I didn’t have a book events to do. It was singularly amazing. I made dinner every night and made serious progress in shifting some of the clutter that has built up in the corners around my desk. We even managed to have a few friends over for a little soup potluck earlier tonight. It was nice to experience normal life again.

My time at home is short lived, though. I head for Austin, TX on Tuesday to meet my increasingly alert new nephew and celebrate nephew number one’s third birthday. Now, links!

a kitchen box

The winner of last week’s A Kitchen Box giveaway is #91/Michelle in VA. If you didn’t win and are still curious about these kitchen-themed subscription boxes, don’t forget that they’re offering all Food in Jars readers $10 off the first month of any new AKB Subscription, along with a free Mini Box (while their limited stash lasts). If you want in on the deal, use the code ‘foodinjars’ in the coupon field at check-out.

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Links: Maple, Carrot Tops, and Winners

Harvey Oak Mercantile is Weck Jar heaven.

The days have gotten cool and cloudy here in Philadelphia. The sun is setting earlier and I’m feeling an overwhelming desire to bake quick breads and pear tarts. I’d say that those are all good signs that fall has well and truly arrived. It might even be time to start opening up the strawberry jam! Now, links!

reCAP lids

Time for the winners in last week’s reCAP giveaway. I loved reading all the ways that you guys are using mason jars these days! Such creativity! The winners are…

If you didn’t win and want to get your hands on some reCAP lids, you can either check out their online shop, or contribute to their ongoing Kickstarter campaign to get the hottest and newest lids.

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