by Debra on November 3, 2010

Musical pairing – Linger by The Cranberries

I don’t know about you but I’ve never been a fan of cranberry sauce from a can.  Ever. Every single Thanksgiving holiday you could find some sort of small serving dish with a blob of jiggly, jello-like substance with the texture of sandpaper, sitting somewhere on the table – usually next to the olive and sweet pickle tray.  Who on earth decided this was good eats??

You know exactly what I mean: grab a can opener, remove one end of the can completely, flip the whole thing upside down onto a small serving dish, cut the other end of the can and voila, the entire ruby-red congealed mess slides out all wiggly-like – complete with perfect ring indentations from ridges on the can and a small amount of red liquid oozing onto the plate.  And who can forget that awful sucking sound as the whole log releases from the can – Mmmmm, right?  Am I right? You totally know I’m right.  And then that lump of jigglyness dares you to take a taste. And every single Thanksgiving, I would slice an ever so tiny amount onto my plate thinking this would be the year, this would be the year my tastebuds would finally cross over into adulthood in which I would fall madly in love with cranberry sauce from the can.   People, I am here to tell you that never happened.

Oh yes, I tried different brands, I bought fresh cranberries and made my own, I even thought buying ‘whole cranberry’ sauce in a can would swing me over to the dark side of loving canned cranberry sauce . . . but alas, the love affair was just not meant to be.  Then a couple of years ago, I discovered Trader Joe’s Fresh Cranberry Relish – could this be the answer??  Total score!  No congealed, sandpaper-like yukies in the container; I even picked up extras to have as a salad because this my friends, not only contains fresh cranberries, but oranges as well:  chunky, sweet-tart bites of cranberries and oranges – now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!  I was all set to deconstruct that container when my sister-in-law brought a cranberry dish to Thanksgiving dinner last year – it was almost identical to the recipe I’d fallen in love with from Trader Joe’s.  And now I’m going to share it with you – come on over to the dark side of cranberry orange relish lovers!

Are you a cranberry sauce lover?

You might also like:
Cranberry Applesauce – Simply Recipes
Cranberry Rum-Raisin Sauce – Leite’s Culinaria

© 2010, Debra. All rights reserved.

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Judy Lysczek November 24, 2014 at 4:23 pm

i make this every year minus the apple. Just make sure the Orange is a thin skinned, juice orange. The navels with the thick skin have bitter white pith. Can’t wait for a turkey sandwich with this relish on it. Yummy!


Debra November 26, 2014 at 2:39 pm

I KNOW Judy – the leftovers are the. best!!


Joan Demshock November 15, 2014 at 7:22 pm

I do this too, but I do not use the whole orange. Just use the rind and segments, and usually no apple.
I sweeten lightly, and add anout 1/3 cup of Bristol cream sherry. Needs to sit for several days to marry the flavors. Gets better with time.


Debra November 15, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Joan – i LOVE the addition of cream sherry!! i’m going to try that this year, wow!


Joanne November 24, 2013 at 12:58 pm

I could not find my recipe for cranberry relish i am glad that I was looking on the web for one this is just the kind I make thank you soo much for the recipe. Joanne


Bette Smith December 19, 2010 at 5:25 pm

EEk – I’ve been looking everywhere for this simple recipe. Thank you, thank you. I forgot how to make it – all of 3 ingredients and I forgot. By the way it’s also good on top of turkey or ham (leftover) sandwiches.


jacquie November 10, 2010 at 10:43 pm

love the stuff. though i tend to associate w/ christmas as my great, great uncle tom always made using that is the recipe. so it has been in the family for years. of course that was pre-food processor so it was actually made using one of those old fashioned meat grinders that attached to the table. i believe the recipe came from the back of the ocean spray bag.

enjoy it this thanksgiving :)


Kristen November 10, 2010 at 10:46 am

I could totally get used to this over jiggly cranberry sauce! What a delicious creation!


Brian @ A Thought For Food November 8, 2010 at 11:49 am

Cranberry sauce is my favorite thing during the holidays… but I particularly love relishes. I’d love to try this… looks incredibly refreshing.


Barbara @moderncomfortfood November 8, 2010 at 11:16 am

You and I couldn’t be more on the same wavelength when it comes to the horrors of canned cranberry sauce or the appeal of fresh cranberry relish. My (and my mother’s) traditional accompaniment to Thanksgiving turkey is this same raw cranberry relish, but minus the apples. Frankly it’s my favorite part of the meal, and I am quite happy to sit down with a big bowl of it and eat it on its own as a salad too. I’m making a bunch of cranberry preserves right now, but I’ll NEVER switch away from this relish for T-Day itself. Yum double yum!!!


Kelli November 8, 2010 at 6:43 am

Debra, Debra, Debra….

You have JUST made my day!

I just returned from the grocery…gathering goods for thanksgiving.

There is NO satisfactory cranberry sauce / relish to be had out there. I was just about to leave on a second foray when on a whim, I decided to check email first.

Oooh la la! There was your blog entry in my inbox…with your cranberry relish recipe. And it is so EASY to make!!!!

Have I told you yet today that I love you, man?

Woot! Woot!


Nancy@acommunaltable November 7, 2010 at 11:23 pm

I am a cranberry sauce lover… but not from a can! I’ve never understood why people bought the canned stuff since making your own is so simple and SO much better!!!

Since I a cranberry fan, I love it in all it’s forms and this relish is right up my alley – have bookmarked for future reference!!!


Anna Johnston November 7, 2010 at 5:37 pm

I’ve never seen anything like this little salad relish. Nice one.


Barbara November 6, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Cranberry sauce is so simple to make that it always amazes me anyone buys it in a can. And cranberries freeze well too! Oh well!
I love the cranberry relish recipe…going to try it for certain.


Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle November 5, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Deb, you have been visiting my memories haven’t you. I could have written this post…I just could not STAND that canned stuff; even thinking of it today makes me cringe. But then I starting making my own. And I thank you for including one of them in your list above. I love homemade sauce and this relish: Well, I’ve become a fiend for dishes with fresh cranberries.

But do you remember our first meeting last year about this time? First it was the invisible Twitter icon but we really bonded over cranberry liqueur and I thought of you when I bought my first bag of cranberries last week; no longer satisfied to wait til Christmas; I am making this for Thanksgiving this year!


Tracy November 5, 2010 at 1:12 pm

We always had the canned stuff growing up, and I was like you – always hoping I’d learn to like it (it never happened). Last year however, I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time and I made my own cranberry sauce from scratch…I totally fell in love with it. This relish looks wonderful too!


Monica November 5, 2010 at 11:17 am

I’m a cranberry relish person, too. Tart and crunchy is so much better than that stuff out of the can. I recently made some with pears, crystallized ginger, and pecans added to the cranberries and orange–another tasty combination.


Nancy @SensitivePantry November 4, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Cranberries. Apples. Orange. So simple. I know I’m going to love this one.


Tickled Red November 4, 2010 at 9:37 pm

You know I have never really eaten cranberry sauce and it is exactly for the reasons you mentioned. I tried for years to get my family to make real cranberry sauce but they were bounded determined (heavens knows why) to have the jelly version. Honestly I would see it down at the end of the table and think about the cornstarch fake blood goop we would make for theater productions. Uck!
Yours looks and sounds amazing with the addition of orange. I’m making it this year by golly!


heather November 4, 2010 at 5:01 pm

My grandmother always has something like this, as well as the traditional can-shaped cranberry ‘sauce,’ on the Thanksgiving table. Hers has chopped roasted pecans in it, too, and it’s fantastic. It goes fast, while the canned stuff has one or two people pick at it mainly for nostalgia’s sake.




The Rowdy Chowgirl November 4, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Right on, Debra! Your descriptive powers are well-honed today. I just HATE canned cranberry sauce! However, I must admit to sort of liking the “awful sucking sound” as it comes out of the can. Last Thanksgiving my sister made a savory cranberry sauce–yum!


Marla November 4, 2010 at 4:47 pm

I will never go with the canned cranberry sauce-ever. I am working up my version for the holidays right now & I would adore yours! The apple chunks are a great idea!


Marly November 4, 2010 at 2:43 pm

I’m with you, Debra! Never (ever) liked that stuff that sits on the t-giving dinner table. I don’t trust food that wiggles. There’s just something not right about it. But this recipe? This sounds fresh and healthy and tasty. I can tell already I’m gonna set the t-giving dinner table afire with this though. There are some hardcore cranberry sauce from a can people at my family dinner. Bringing this dish will be nothing short of blasphemy. I love it!


megan @ whatmegansmaking November 4, 2010 at 1:06 pm

My dad LOVES that cranberry sauce in a can. He always asked for it when my mom made a roast chicken. I always loved it too, but now that I’ve been a few years without it, I’m starting to agree with you. My mom has since started making a homemade cranberry relish similar to yours that has taken the place of the stuff in a can. My dad is so addicted she pretty much makes it constantly from Thanksgiving to New Year’s :)


Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies November 4, 2010 at 10:57 am

I have a confession to make. I *love* the cranberry sauce in the can. It wasn’t a special occasion thing for us. My nan served it all the time at lunch. Along with fresh sliced tomatoes and cottage cheese. It was one of her go-to sides next to every kind of sandwich you can imagine. On Thanksgiving, we had real cranberry relish or sauce, like what you’ve made here. But nothing takes me back to our family lunches like cottage cheese OR this cranberry sauce.


Debra November 4, 2010 at 11:02 am

Awww Amber – I LOVE this story about you and your Nan – even though it involves my nemesis, the canned sauce!! Just an awesome story and I really do appreciate you sharing!


kat November 4, 2010 at 10:42 am

I am a cranberry relish lover not sauce! My favorite one has horseradish mixed in. So, perfect on the sandwich leftovers.


Amy from She Wears Many Hats November 4, 2010 at 10:25 am

Yummy! I can almost taste it – tangy on the backsides of my tongue. ; )


Elle November 4, 2010 at 10:25 am

When I stated reading this, I was thinking, “She really needs to try Trader Joe’s cranberry sauce!” Haha! Definitely keeping this recipe. If it’s like TJ’s, I’m in!


Lana @ Never Enough Thyme November 4, 2010 at 10:18 am

You are so right about that rude sucking sound the canned cranberry sauce makes. That in itself is enough to turn anyone off from it. I always felt like someone should say “excuse me” after it finally plopped out onto the plate. Blech.

This is very similar to my homemade cranberry sauce recipe, but I never thought about adding walnuts! Delicious! I’ll definitely be trying that this year.


Megan November 4, 2010 at 9:30 am

This sounds so fresh and easy to make. And I like your different variations!


Maria November 4, 2010 at 9:18 am

Great salad for this time of year!


Robyn November 4, 2010 at 9:11 am

I LOVE cranberries. I can’t wait to try this recipe, Debra. It looks like perfection!!!


Renee (Kudos Kitchen) November 4, 2010 at 9:03 am

Your forgot to describe the wonderful sound the cranberry jelly log makes as its being sucked from the can. If that doesn’t work up an appetite, I don’t know what does. LOL Love your recipe for the good stuff. An apple is a nice touch!


RJ Flamingo November 4, 2010 at 8:40 am

Nice! I’ve always loved this combination of flavors – and I’ve got cranberries stashed in the freezer, too! :-)


Jamie November 4, 2010 at 8:36 am

Ha Ha Ha yes you are totally right! I make my own homemade and I love it but now I have to try yours! Apple? Love the addition! Great recipe!


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