Image courtesy of Duke University Libraries Digital Collections
Edna: Margie, with Thanksgiving coming up, people's minds seem to be on what they're going to serve for dinner. Why, just the other day, Darcy Hawkins asked me for my cranberry sauce recipe.
Margie: Edna, I hope you didn't give it to her since you're no cook. If you made cranberry sauce you'd only do it to spite me. I hate that stuff.
Edna: More for me, then. And you can just hush up about my cranberry sauce, I'll have you know that it's always in demand at church suppers.
It did give me pause when she asked for the recipe though, since I never wrote it down. I cook like Mama did, from memory and by improvising. Here's what I came up with for Darcy, I hope it turns out well for her.
Edna's Cranberry Sauce
1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries, rinsed
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sugar (more or less to taste)
1 cup grated apple
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
orange zest (if desired)
In Corningware or enamel saucepan, combine the water and OJ. Using medium heat, stir the sugar into the liquid until it's dissolved. Add the washed cranberries to the mixture and turn heat on high. Stirring the berries occasionally, listen for the berries to start popping--this should take about 10 minutes or so. Once the berries begin to pop, stir the mixture occasionally and cook for about 5-10 minutes over high heat. (Cook for longer if you want the berries to break down more and your sauce to be thicker; the less you cook them, the more the berries keep their shape and consistency and the thinner your sauce is. However, if you are going to cook the sauce for more than 10 minutes, reduce the heat to medium to prevent scorching.) After you have cooked the cranberries as long as you want, remove from heat and add the apples and the walnuts (and orange zest, if desired). Let the sauce stand for about an hour before putting it in the refrigerator to chill, preferably overnight. Do not store in a metal container due to the high acid content of the sauce.
Margie: Edna, you sully Mama's memory because she was a wonderful cook. What you call cooking would only be fit for pig slop.
You know what? It's not in demand at church suppers. People are just being mannerly to an old lady by taking some.
Edna: I suppose they were being mannerly by eating it all and coming back for seconds, too? Well that's just fine Margie, you don't have to eat any of my cranberry sauce when I make it for Thanksgiving dinner. Cousin T and will eat it all ourselves. Don't you think I'll share any of that pecan pie I'm making, either.
Margie: Thank you, Edna. That's right kindly of you.