Saturday, November 24, 2012

Spiced cranberry and zinfandel sauce

Where'd all the bloggers go?  Or more precisely, where are the elves who post the weekend puzzles?  There's a Rows Garden in my print copy of the Wall Street Journal, and the Times has a cryptic by Jeffrey Harris, but neither of them are posted online yet.

The elves must still be at Grandma's house, or on the train home.  Amtrak expects to carry three quarters of a million passengers this week.  While we wait for the rest of the puzzles to be posted online, you can spend some time cooking.

US solvers might be contemplating their puzzle over a turkey sandwich or some other serving of leftovers.  In my humble opinion, no hot turkey sandwich is complete without a couple spoonfuls of this cranberry sauce, which The Other Doctor Mitchell has been making for a decade or so and got absolutely perfect this time.  Here's how she did it:

2 cups zinfandel wine (inexpensive zin is fine, maybe even better for this recipe)
3/4 cup sugar
5 two-inch strips of orange peel
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
6 whole cloves
4 slices fresh ginger, peeled
2 cinnamon sticks
12 oz fresh cranberries

Make a syrup by combining everything but the cranberries in a medium saucepan.  Bring it to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken, stirring occasionally. Strain the mixture into a bowl so you can remove the cloves and other solids.  Return the mixture to the pan and add cranberries.  Cook over high heat 10 minutes or until berries pop.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.  Pour into a bowl and let cool.  Best made a day or two before serving: keep refrigerated.

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