Food Friday- Signs of Fall

I grew up just south of Boston, about an hour north of the cranberry bogs of the Northern Cape. One of the real signs of fall, aside from the crunch of leaves as I walked home from the train station was the new crop of cranberries. Each Friday, my mother would transform a bag of cranberries into a jar of whole cranberry sauce. The sauce would accompany the Shabbat chicken. But during the week, I would eat those cranberries on everything. I love that sweet-tart taste. You could say, that as a child I had a crush on cranberries. Ocean Spray ran a tourist attraction called "Cranberry World" in Carver, Massachusetts. I really wanted to go. My parents never took us. My husband though, made me a very happy woman. He took me to "Cranberry World". I got to soak up all of that cranberry goodness.

When I was little, my mother used to buy jars of Ocean- Spray orange - cranberry relish. I loved the deep magenta color. And there again was that intense sweet tart taste that almost set your teeth on edge. The sour taste of the cranberries was the perfect foil to the greasiness of the chicken.

In my pre-food processor day I had made cranberry relish by chopping oranges and cranberries in my mother's big old wooden bowl. The cranberries though have an unfortunate tendency to jump out of the bowl when chopped. It's a satisfying job, but messy. Now that I have a food processor, making this treat from my childhood is really easy.

Cranberry Orange Relish
Wash a bag of cranberries
Wash a navel orange and cut into 1/4
Put both into the food processor with a chopping blade.

Process until chopped to your liking. Add sugar to taste. I like it on the tart side. You may not.That's it.

If you are a little kid then you may enjoy taking a bite of the relish and then drinking water. The water will taste awful. Repeat until bored.
The other harbingers of fall are the hard winter squashes and pomegranates. As I type this, a squash is cooking in my oven. The cooked squash is perfect with cranberries.
We used to buy or vegetables from Mr. Anastos. He used to have massive Hubbard Squashes the size of a VW beetle for sale. He would hack off sections for customers. I always wondered what that alien looking squash would taste like. My mother didn't like Hubbards, so we never had any.

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  1. When I was a child my grandparents lived on Cape Cod. My dad's folks had a house whose back yard rolled down into... Ocean Spray cranberry bogs!
    After the harvesting machines came through there were always a lot of free floating leftover berries and the company let all the neighborhood come in and clean out the bogs. This was right before Thanksgiving so we always had fresh cranberry relish for the dinner.

  2. Kathleen-

    I can'ttell you how happy it makes me to know that Ocean Spray let the neighbors glean their cranberry bogs.Now I love them even better.

    Thanks so much for sharing your memory.


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