There wasn’t a holiday that went by that Carol didn’t serve her homestead cranberry sauce. Growing up on the homestead by the river, we were surrounded by lingonberries – a low bush berry native to the boreal forest. There were so many lingonberries around us in the woods our street was eventually aptly named Lingonberry Lane.
Carol was an avid cook and always served a wonderful holiday meal. Our Thanksgiving meal tradition was very similar to our Christmas meal and each time we loved it. Standard fare was turkey with stuffing cooked in the turkey for added juices, mashed potatoes and gravy made from the juice of the turkey. Candied yams baked were a hit with a molasses and butter syrup. I do remember a jello molded dish here and there in the 70’s. We had homemade rolls, too. The dinner was a process and a work of art, I learned in later years, after preparing my own holiday meals. I distinctly remember my Mom leaving the lingonberry sauce prep until the end many years and in a rush the lingonberries would be on the stove in a pan too small and a temperature too high and every time they would boil over ~ what a mess that was with an electric stove. Stress was high, but somehow it always worked out. Extra adult and kid hands helped at the last minute stirring the gravy, Dad carved the turkey and the table had long been set. The potatoes were mashed at the last minute and magic – the holiday dinner began. I have so many memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas food comas….I ate so so much and felt just awful for a while. But, somehow I’d manage to sneak in a piece of pumpkin pie with freshly whipped cream hours later. The pumpkin pie was always homemade – perhaps by a guest if Carol was lucky.
The most fun was the chatter and laughter and games at the table after our bellies were full as we waited for the 2nd round. I’ve heard rumors that our dear Alaskan friends whom we share Thanksgiving secured a bag of the precious lingonberries from my cousin for our holiday dinner. I can’t wait to share the lingonberries and chatter with our dear Alaskan friends…the same friends we shared many holidays with in Carol’s kitchen on the homestead. Thanks for the memories, Carol and family. We are making more.
Carol’s Cranberry Sauce
- 4 cups cranberries
- 4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts
- 1/2 cup orange peel and juice
Start with 1/2 cup H2O and cook til done.
(A few more directions: Bring all ingredients to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Cool and serve. Nuts may be omitted.)