So, Dan and I flew up to Massachusetts last week to spend Thanksgiving with his family. It was…super stressful. Not because of the family time — Dan’s family is awesome, and I love hanging out with them. No, the trip was stressful because of the traveling. Man, I hate traveling.
Our flight was at 10:30am on Thursday, and we got to the airport around 10am. We figured that since we’d already checked in online, 30 minutes would be plenty of time to grab our tickets from the kiosk, go through security, and walk to our gate before the plane started boarding. We were wrong.
First, we had trouble getting our boarding passes, then when we lost precious time by mistakenly getting in line with the slowest, most-thorough TSA agent on the planet. Then, after sprinting through the terminal, we get to our gate just in time to see the door close right in our faces. For the next 9 hours, we wandered around the quickly emptying airport, drank beer, watched other people pile onto airplanes headed for family + friends + food, and moped. It sucked. We were cranky and stressed, and by the time we got to Dan’s uncle’s house, all we wanted to do was drink. That, of course, led to the mother of all hangovers the next day…
Luckily, things got better from there, and we ended up having a great weekend. And, there was so much food leftover from the night before that we got to eat Thanksgiving dinner after all. Let me tell you, Dan’s family puts on a fantastic spread. Mmm, stuffing…mashed potatoes…gravy…
So, this year I am thankful that our families are happy and healthy, that our cats are fat and friendly, and that Dan and I didn’t murder each other at the airport on Thanksgiving. I’m also thankful for cranberry sauce, which, let’s face it, is the best part of Thanksgiving dinner. It’s sweet and tangy, and super delicious. Just give me a big bowl of cranberry sauce and a spoon, and I’m good to go.
These sugared cranberries are a fun spin-off of the classic Thanksgiving side dish, and can be eaten year round. Like candied pecans, they’re delicious and super easy to make. More importantly, it’s easy to pretend that they’re good for you (cranberries are full of vitamins and antioxidants, and sugar gives you energy). Eat up!
Sugared Cranberries (Adapted from Olives for Dinner’s recipe)
– 3 cups fresh, ripe cranberries
– 3 cups sugar + 1 cup for dusting
– 3 cups water
– Spices (optional — I left them out)
(1) Combine water and 3 cups sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
(2) Stir until the sugar is totally dissolved.
(3) Allow the mixture to come to a full boil, then pour into a large bowl.
(4) Immediately add cranberries to the bowl.
(5) Cover and place into the refrigerator to soak for about 8 hours.
(6) Drain the cranberries.
(7) Line a cookie sheet with paper towels and spread the cranberries on top to dry.
(8) In a food processor, blend remaining 1 cup sugar until it’s super fine. Transfer sugar to a large bowl.
(9) Add cranberries to the bowl, and gently toss until they’re well coated.
(10) Put the cranberries back on the cookie sheet to dry.
** The original recipe says they can be dried for 2 hours or up to 2 days. I couldn’t wait to eat them, so I just started popping them in my mouth after I tossed them in sugar.