Easy Cardamom Cranberry Sauce
This recipe came to me from the knowingest cook in Nashville: Mary C. Stevens.
She also happens to be the mother of my best friend, Henry Gottfried. The Gottfried-Stevens family has a robust cranberry sauce tradition, and this recipe is both the essence of simplicity and solid Thanksgiving gold: raw cranberries, tart dried cherries, light brown sugar, and cardamom. Blitz these together in a food processor and let sit in the fridge for a day so the juices can get to know each other. Easy as that.
- 12 oz raw cranberries
- 1 C tart dried cherries
- 1 C packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- Combine cranberries, cherries, brown sugar, and cardamom in a bowl. (Finger through the cherries to make sure there are no pits in there.)
- Dump half into a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Repeat with the other half.
- Store tightly covered for at least one day.
- Bring to room temperature before serving alongside your vegan stuffing.
Cranberry sauce is very important in my house: my dad has a...you could call it an obsession with the Ocean Spray canned stuff. It is an absolute non negotiable. So we always have the Ocean Spray, and for many years now we would also have the cranberry sauce that we would make—strained through an old school food mill so that it has got the nice smooth consistency. And then we would do a whole berry cranberry sauce, or a cranberry relish, or a raw one with horseradish. You can’t have too many cranberry sauces. And let me also say that I have enjoyed a few post-Thanksgiving meals of just cranberry sauce with a spoon.
What do you miss most about childhood in your mom's kitchen or your mom's cooking? I miss cooking with my mom, and I always want to do it when I’m home. She seems to me to be this infinite wealth of practical cooking knowledge. She has an amazing cookbook library, and she knows some stuff. But it’s less about crazy techniques and more just that she has practical answers for pretty much every kitchen quandary.
It’s a totally relaxed oral tradition. Cooking with her seems like something from a bygone era. It’s not fussy. It’s always tasty, and it’s just a little bit low stakes. I love learning from her in the kitchen, because it feels like such a fundamental way for a parent and child to connect.
Are there any maxims or phrases that you live by (food related or otherwise?)This comes from my mother, which is fitting: "You're only young once, but you can be immature forever."