Friday, December 4, 2009

Cranberry Crazy

Okay, I'll admit it.  I've gone a little overboard in my love of all things cranberry.  But let me explain.  As with all true addictions, there was a very good reason to get started.  My cranberry experimentation began in part because of my allergies to grapes.  There are some things that need just a bit of sweet-tart to spice things up.  I can't have grapes, so why not cranberries?  

But before I go into that, I'd better back up a bit.  It all started with the wonderful cranberry relish that my stepmom makes every year.  It's a given.  Marilyn will bring the cranberry relish for Thanksgiving.  It's not a fancy dish.  In fact, the recipe was at one time on the bag of cranberries itself.  Into your food processor dump the bag of cranberrys and a cut-up orange (rind and all) and some sugar.   Process until it's combined.  There...done. 

The problem is (not for me) that I'm the only one that will eat the leftovers.  So I ate it with all the Thanksgiving leftovers ~ you know, the turkey sandwiches, pot pies and stuff.   But this year, there were a lot of leftovers.  So I began to get creative with it.  I have stumbled upon two outstanding indulgences.

I first added it to my homemade yogurt.  That was terrific, but as with most addictions, moderation just wont do.  So the next day, I added it to oatmeal. That was great.  Today, I added both yogurt and oatmeal to the cranberry relish.  Now I really had something.  That stuff sticks to your ribs.  I wasn't hungry for a good 3 hours.... *;)

I would love to have had a picture for you, but I had to eat my breakfast in the car while taking Steph to her piano lesson today....  No hands left for the camera...

Now, what does any of this have to do with grapes?  Well, that brings me to lunch.  I have an old recipe for tuna with curry that is so wonderful.  The challenge for me is that it called for grapes to be added for the sweet balance of the dish.  I haven't been able to eat grapes for awhile, so I just had to leave it out.  That really changed the flavor of the dish and I couldn't find another replacement for it....until the leftover cranberry relish!  It's a perfect substitute.  I used all the self-control I could to capture a picture of my masterpiece before I inhaled it...

It even looks festive.  To make this lovely snack (or lunch) take one tin of tuna, drain.  Add a spoonful of mayo (to taste), a couple teaspoons of curry powder (again, to taste), and a tablespoon of Marilyn's cranberry relish.  Spead crackers with cream cheese and top with tuna mixture.  Yum!  If I had them, I'd even add a bit of chopped pine nuts for more texture.

So there it is.  I'm addicted and I don't care who knows it.

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