Unless you have Hungarian Goulash for Thanksgiving dinner, as my turkey hating daughter in Austin did this year (proving wrong what I said about people wanting turkey on Thanksgiving even if they don't love turkey), cranberry sauce is an essential part of Thanksgiving. And for most of us who like, or even love roast turkey, it is naked without cranberry sauce. I think the best part of the big roast bird is all the leftovers the next day -the plethora of recipes using leftover roast turkey meat; a plate of turkey and cranberry sauce, and stuffing and potatoes, covered with gravy; a pie sampler with a dollop of ice cream; or a sliced potato roll, with mayo, turkey, and cranberry sauce.
Several years ago, my youngest (not the turkey hating) daughter started making our cranberry sauce for Turkey Day. She follows the directions on the bag, and adds a half-pint of orange marmalade at the end of the cooking time. The orange and cranberry flavors go well together to create a sauce that's quite fan-fabulously special. It is a cinch to make -if you have orange marmalade on hand. We depleted our orange marmalade stash this weekend, by making several batches of this amazing cranberry sauce, and so it is time for me to make more orange marmalade, a chore I'm more than happy to do. Oranges and lemons are readily available in the stores now, and there are no other preserving projects on the horizon. Making the orange marmalade is pretty straightforward. Spread out over two or three days, it is a small batch artistic preserving project, rather than my more usual kitchen garden profusion preserving projects, and it fills the kitchen with the most heavenly scent -reason enough for me to make several batches.
4 thin-skinned oranges, preferably organic
2-3 lemons, preferably organic
Wash fruit and slice very thin. Remove and discard seeds and cores.
Measure the sliced fruit and for each cup, add 2 1/2 c. cold water (or just add 6 c. water). Let stand 6-24 hours.
The next day, heat fruit mixture to boiling. Cook until tender, 15-30 minutes. Again let stand 6-24 hours.
On the third day, measure fruit mixture and add an equal amount of sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and cook to jelly stage (about 10-20 minutes, but it can take much longer. Cook and test until it jells on a small plate placed in the freezer for 5 minutes). Pour into 3-4 half-pint jars and seal. Process in water bath for 5-10 minutes.