The eighties were a weird time for food. With mashed potatoes made from dried flakes, gravy from a shelf-stable packet, and canned green beans covered in canned soup, you would think we were living in a post-apocalyptic world where fresh produce didn’t exist. In those days, I only saw cranberries in a gelatinous cylinder, coming out of a tin can with its signature slurp-plop sound.
Truth be told, my ten-year-old self didn’t mind the cranberry log with the aluminum can marks still on its exterior. And I thought green beans were far superior when they were salty and limp Del Monte, as opposed to the kind we picked fresh in the summer.
But nowadays, it seems strange that there were so many shortcuts for food that is simple to make. It’s not difficult to whip up a batch of mashed potatoes straight from the tuber or to spend 15 minutes at the stove making cranberry sauce.
The orange-cranberry sauce I’m sharing with you today uses orange juice for the liquid and maple syrup for sweetness. With a bit of orange zest at the end, the citrus shines but doesn’t overpower. The orange juice and maple syrup mellows the tart cranberries while not being overly sugary.
This sauce is great with chickpea cutlets (above), your favorite veggie roast, or poured onto roasted sweet potatoes during their last five minutes of cooking. (It’s a tasty alternative to marshmallows, that other Thanksgiving curiosity.)
If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope that you have a happy one. And if you don’t, have a lovely Thursday!