Lingonberries, Goats, and Cranberry Sauce

A friend of mine gave me a two-pound bag of locally grown cranberries this past week. (Did you know that 60 percent of all cranberries in the world come from Wisconsin?) Usually, I would have made cranberry bread or some other baked good with them. I still don’t have an oven, however, so I decided to make some cranberry sauce instead.

I had never made cranberry sauce before, so I turned to my extensive cookbook collection and ended up using a combination of a recipe from the Betty Crocker Cookbook I grew up with and a slightly more elaborate recipe from the 1977 Cranberry Cottage Cook Book from Nova Scotia!

It was very simple.

1.       Take equal parts sugar and water and bring to a boil in a heavy pan.

2.       Continue to boil for 5 minutes.

3.       Add as many cups of cranberries as you have water and sugar and simmer for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently. (I also added minced, frozen orange peel and could have substituted orange juice for some of the water.)

4.       You will hear the cranberries popping as they cook. How thick the sauce gets depends on how long you simmer and stir it. The cranberries are cooked after 5 minutes.

5.       Additional simmering thickens the mixture, and it sets up as it cools. This sauce is chunky, but you could puree it in a food processor at this point if you want smoother sauce. (I used my trusty stick blender.)

I am a lover of lingonberry preserves, but they are very expensive and not easy to find. (They are a type of mountain cranberry that grow in Sweden.)  I first tasted them at Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant and Butik (the one with goats on the grass-covered roof) in Door County, Wisconsin, on their famous Swedish pancakes and have been hooked ever since. ( http://www.aljohnsons.com/ )

What does cranberry sauce have to do with Door County, Lingonberries, and goats? Whole cranberry sauce makes a great substitute for expensive imported lingonberry preserves! (Actually, another neighbor who also got hooked on lingonberries at Al Johnson’s put me on to this idea.) We ate this homemade sauce on pancakes, and it was wonderful. The sauce had a fresh fruit flavor that you don’t get from canned, store-bought sauce.

Cranberries are being harvested now and will go on sale around Thanksgiving. Try making some fresh cranberry sauce this year–it is quick, easy, and delicious. Begonia

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