Friday, November 22, 2013

"Eat A Cranberry Day" Plus A Recipe Called "Cranberry Sauce With Walnuts"

Thanksgiving is one week away and everyone is planning their meals for “turkey day.” My thoughts go to cranberries. In doing some research on cranberries, I just learned, that every November 23rd there is a holiday that is called “National Eat a Cranberry Day! “ If you really think about it, the month of November is when we eat the most cranberries, since it is a Thanksgiving tradition. Eat a Cranberry Day, was started to encourage everyone to take part in enjoying these little berries. There are no formal proclamations for this day, but it is still described as a “National” day.  Join me, as we have some fun and find out about cranberries.

Cranberry sales in the United States have traditionally been associated with the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas. In certain American states and Canadian provinces, cranberries are their major crop. Cranberries are made into many products such as juice, wine; cranberry sauce, jam, dried sweetened berries, and some are sold fresh to customers. Wisconsin is the leading producer of cranberries, with Massachusetts following as the second largest U.S. producer. A very small production is found in southern Argentina, Chile, the Netherlands, and Eastern Europe.

Cranberries are considered to be sour and bitter if eaten plain or raw. Cranberry juice is a major use of cranberries, but the berry is also used in baking muffins, scones, cakes, and Biscotti. They also can be added to soups and stews which adds tartness to them. Fresh cranberries can be frozen, and will keep up to nine months. You can use them directly in recipes without thawing.

Paul, my son in 1986
As we eat cranberries we are reminded that they are healthy and good for you. Their health benefits include nutrients and antioxidant qualities, giving them the name of a “super fruit”. Other health benefits help the cardiovascular system, immune system, fights off tooth decay, and acts as an anti-cancer agent. Cranberry juice contains a chemical component that helps fight against formation of kidney stones. So, make sure you eat or drink something with cranberries, it will keep you healthy.

I remember when my son was young, and it was Christmas time, we would use cranberries to string on the tree and use as a garland. We would thread each berry through a needle on the string. Sometimes we would put popcorn in-between the cranberries. But most of the time, there would be more cranberries than popcorn, as my son would eat more than he would string. We then would place the garland on the tree and admire our work. It was a fun activity which I will always remember. Then after Christmas, I would place the garland of berries and popcorn outside in the yard, so the birds and little animals could have a wonderful Christmas too.

I have two recipes this week for you to enjoy. “Cranberry Sauce with Walnuts“, is really easy. You will be the most popular person at your Thanksgiving dinner when you place this on your table. Between the tartness, sweetness, and crunch of the walnuts, this will be a wonderful dish to add to your turkey dinner. The second recipe is called “Cran-Limoncello,” a drink that will enhance your holiday party. 

Cranberry Sauce with Walnuts
Prep: 5 minutes Cook: 35 minutes

2 cups of sugar
1 cup of water
1 package (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries 
1/2 cup of apricot preserves
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts, toasted

In a large saucepan over medium heat bring sugar and water to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Stir in the cranberries. Cook until berries pop, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in preserves and lemon juice. Transfer to a bowl. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled. Stir in walnuts just before serving.
Yield: 3 1/2 cups.
Serves: 14

Adapted from, “Every Day with Rachael Ray” 

1/2 cup of seltzer
1/4 cup of Limoncello
2 tablespoons unsweetened cranberry juice
Ice cubes or crushed ice
One small strip of lemon peel, for garnish
3-4 cranberries, for garnish

Stir together the seltzer, Limoncello and cranberry juice. Pour into a glass filled with ice. Garnish with the lemon peel. Serves: 1 glass

Till Next Time……..

Copyright © 2013 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved


  1. Hi Dottie , Girl you got it going on , cranberries is a must have at my house , they are not only healthy for you , but they taste good . I was reading your wonderful post and my oldest girl came in , (reading over my shoulder) asked mama , can we make the cherry sauce for Thanksgiving and we want to make the wine too. I inform her it was not wine but Cran-Limoncello and yes you can make it , out she go looking to see if I had all the ingredients . Thanks for sharing and have a blessed weekend and thanks for sharing :)


  2. Dear Dottie, These are such nice memories of stinging cranberries and popcorn.
    I love all the different and delicious cranberry recipes. I do love cranberry sauce and it is very good for you.
    Blessings dear and hugs, Catherine xo

  3. Dear Nee, Thanks for stopping by..I love the fact that a food that we love is healthy for us! I am glad that your daughter whats you to have (cherry) sauce for Thanksgiving and the (wine)! That is so cute! I hope you do try this, as my family goes for that dish first on the Thanksgiving table! Blessings for a good week, Dottie :)

  4. Dear Catherine,
    Thanks for stopping by for a visit. Yes, those years stringing popcorn and cranberries are from a long time ago, as my son is 38 now! But we did have so much fun, and those memories will last a lifetime! I also love cranberries, juice, etc. They are a favorite of my family. Blessings, have a good week, Dottie :)

  5. Can not wait to try these recipes! Love your blog!

  6. Thanks so much for your comments Teresa and for posting my blog on your both sites. Stay tuned for the holidays are on the way, and I have something planned for special Christmas posts. Thanks again....Dottie :)

  7. Hi Dottie!!!

    I am hysterical laughing right now. I missed Eat A Cranberry Day this year but I just posted a Cranberry post today, lol...

    What sweet memories to have ever instilled in your family tradition. Your son is one handsome young man...Love that smile:) We use to string cranberries too but, we never included the popcorn! My daughter now does the same thing with my grandkids:)

    I love everything about cranberries but I think the best thing is how well they freeze.

    The Cranberry Sauce with Walnuts sounds most interesting, although, the Cran-Limoncello may just be the remedy I need to ease the pressure about getting everything on the table at the same time, lol...

    Thank you so much for sharing, Dottie...

    P.S. I added your link to my post today:)

  8. Hi Dottie,
    I have recently discovered cranberries in my cooking. Since last year when, for the first time, I made a sauce at Christmas to go with chicken I fell in love with their addictive flavour. I simply love their sweetness and sharp flavour and it goes so well with white meat.
    I must try your lovely recipes here. I think in America you are more used to use cranberries in cooking but it is becoming more and more popular in Europe too.
    I love the Italian touch with the Cran-Limoncello! Very inventive Dottie!

  9. Dear Louise, Thanks for stopping by and I guess I beat you to it this time! Yes, I love cranberries. Anyway, shape of form! We always had fun stringing the popcorn and cranberries for our tree, thanks for your comments about my son, he was very young in that photo, he is 38 years old now! I agree with the Cran-Limoncello, I think that may be a wonderful remedy for pressure relief! Thank you, Louise for sharing my blog post on yours. That is very kind of you! I have to go to yours now to read your Sunday post! Blessings, Dottie :)

  10. Dear Alida, So glad that you stopped by. We in America, take for granted that other countries use cranberries as we do. But I am so glad that you have discovered them, they are so addicting as you said! There are so many recipes that you can use cranberries, or cranberry juice. I love the fact that Europe is getting into the cranberry! Yes, I love the Cran-Limoncello, it does give it an Italian twist! Enjoy, and blessings, Dottie :)

  11. Hi Dottie,

    I just wanted to "pop" by to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. It has been wonderful getting to know you in this virtual world of food goodness. May we share many more Thanksgivings through the years. Buon appetito! Louise

  12. Dear Dottie, I wanted to stop by and wish you and your family a beautiful Thanksgiving filled with blessings and happy memories.
    Catherine xo