Thanksgiving Day Side Dish Homemade Cranberry Relish

Turkey Dinner at our house is served with a freshly homemade side dish of Cranberry Relish.

Cranberry Orange Walnut Relish

Cranberry Orange Walnut Relish

My recipe differs a little bit from most.  I like to wash the cranberries in cold water and then blanch them in boiling sugar water for about 8 minutes.  Blanching brings out the ruby red color of the cranberry and adds color to the table setting.  This recipe makes about 10-two tablespoon sized servings depending on the size of the fruit used…I also do not remove the seeds.

List of ingredients:

16 ounces fresh Ocean Spray Cranberries

1 large seedless navel orange and zest (separated)

1 cup of chopped walnuts

1 very large cored crisp apple (or 2 medium)

1 cup of sugar

1 Tbsp lemon juice (to prevent apples from browning)

Preparation Instructions:

Start by zesting the entire navel orange until about 1 Tbsp of zest is made and then set aside and keep chilled.

Peel the orange, removing the seeds and outer white pith

Peel and core the apple

Boil the cranberries in 2 cups of water mixed with one cup of sugar for 7-8 minutes

If you have a food grinder, use it on the coarse grind setting.  If not, use a food processor. Place the cranberries and orange in a food processor and pulse chop until cut into uniform pieces,  Most food processors do not have speed settings, but the objective is to grind the ingredients rather than puree them, so pulsing is the best method in a food processor.  A blender on a pulse setting achieves close to the same result as a grinder.

Dice the apple into small pieces, sprinkle some lemon juice over the apples to prevent browning.

Chop the walnuts into small pieces or use chopped walnuts

Combine all ingredients (except the orange peel zest) and stir to mix thoroughly.

Refrigerate until chilled.  Transfer to serving dish, and add the orange zest just before serving… Tart and tangy.

More Thanksgiving Day Dinner Recipes:

Gravy From Scratch,

Homemade Stuffing,

Moist Turkey Recipe,


Green Bean Casserole,

Sweet Potato Casserole,

Parker House Dinner Rolls,

Shopping List For Thanksgiving Dinner

Simple Ambrosia: A Quick 3 Ingredient Thanksgiving Dinner Side Dish

A Simple Ambrosia

A Simple Ambrosia

Add a quick and really simple Ambrosia to any holiday dinner menu – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, 4th of July.

It can not be any easier than combining:

1 – 15 ounce can of chilled fruit cocktail with the juices drained

1 – 16 ounce container of cold sour cream

1 – 16 ounce bag of mini-marshmallows.

Stir to coat all ingredients evenly, then serve.


More Holiday Dinner Recipes:

Gravy From Scratch ,

Homemade Stuffing ,

Moist Turkey Recipe,

Cranberry Relish,

Green Bean Casserole,

Sweet Potato Casserole,

Parker House Dinner Rolls,

Shopping List For Thanksgiving Dinner

Ham Gravy Recipe-How To Make Gravy From Baked Ham

Last year’s Easter Dinner included a Ham Gravy that was gone after the first pass around the table.

I never made a gravy from ham juices before 2011, but the one I did make is now on everyone’s request list.  Here is how I make it.

I start with a half ham, shank portion…(does not really matter what cut the ham is)…

Score the outside surfaces about 3/8 to 1/2 inches deep in a criss-crossed pattern.

Cut a fresh pineapple into 1 inch thick chunks

Fresh Cut 1" Thick Pineapple Slices

Fresh Cut One Inch Thick Pineapple Slices

about 1-1/2 inches by 1-1/2 inches

Fasten them to each square block of the scored ham with a tooth pick.  I used about 16 to 20 tooth picks to cover all the outside exposed surfaces; (of course not where the ham was resting on the pan surface.)

I then fastened maraschino cherries in between the pineapple chunks using an entire 4 ounce bottle of cherries and about another 20 tooth picks.

Next I inserted clove stems everywhere possible using about 1/4 container of clove stems (about 28 pieces).

Next I poured about one liter of Vernor’s sugar sweetened Ginger Ale over the ham and baked it in a 325 degree oven for 3-1/2 hours.  If you can’t find Vernor’s, add 1/4 teaspoon of dried ginger to a liter of any dry ginger ale.

The baking process yielded about 3 quarts of liquid with an aroma of ginger, cloves and of course ham.  The secret seemed to be in what was done next.

Pour off the liquid, including scrapings into a large enough saucepan, and boil to reduce to thicker sweet syrupy mixture.  Thicken more by using corn starch, food starch or your favorite thickener. You can add orange juice soaked raisins or cherries.

Ham Juices Reduced To Delicsious Gravy

Ham Juices Reduced To Delicious Gravy

When poured over the top of ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes or squash, this ham gravy garnered many, many compliments.  

Other side dishes:

Sweet Potato Casserole Like Cracker Barrel

Green Bean Casserole