What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish? Green bean casserole (with those canned fried onions, of course)? Mashed potatoes? Yams? Cranberry sauce?
How do you eat your cranberry sauce? When we were kids, we always had a can of Ocean Spray cranberry sauce on the Thanksgiving table. At the time, they didn’t make a “whole” variety; you just had to buy jellied, and it was usually served on a plate exactly as it came out of the can. We loved it and didn’t know of anything different.
Years later, some marketing genius mixed cranberry and orange flavors together and cranberry relish. Something fancier than gel from a can, to be sure. Cranberry sauce is served on 60% of American Thanksgiving tables, and many families serve both canned and whole-berry sauce to keep everyone happy.
According to recent consumer research of Ocean Spray (is there any other cranberry seller?!), 76% of us opt for store-bought sauce, and most who do like the jellied variety served up in the shape of the can itself. More than half of us serve it sliced along the ridges.
Some research suggests that Southerners are 50% more likely than other Americans to choose canned cranberry sauce. When it comes to styles of cranberry sauce, it seems that Northeasterners favor cranberry relish (made with uncooked berries) while Westerners like a cooked sauce. Southwestern cooks will spice things up with chipotle sauce.
Another tradition Leslie and I love about this time of year is making my mother’s turkey stuffing. Leslie was able to recreate my mother’s recipe years ago and we only make it once a year. Yet when we make it, I’m taken back to my mother’s kitchen and the sights and smells. I can’t think of many aromas that remind me of something specific, but the stuffing ingredients mixed together is a definite thumbs up!
What are you serving later this week?