Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cranberries -- Texas Style

If your family is like most, you have 1.5 members who actually like cranberries with all those holiday meals, and one person who eats fruitcake. My husband actually likes fruitcake. I know. I married him anyway. And my mother is our lone cranberry eater. Or rather, she was.

Christmas day (yes, it's a really late post), my mother laid out a spread of snacks to keep us from getting too famished (with all that unwrapping, and playing and so on). On that table was a glorious bowl of ruby red, glistening....something. With chips on the side. Could you resist?

We didn't. We dug in, and experienced a spicy, sweet, tangy concoction that was soon habit-forming. My mother had plates set out, but I didn't need one. I simply stood my ground by the bowl and dug in my heels.

My mom's friend Jackie -- a fun-loving blond from Texas -- made this glorious dish and shared the recipe. Try'll like it. Really! No holiday required.

Jackie's Cranberry Salsa (straight from Texas!)

1 package fresh cranberries; rinsed, cleaned and chopped in a food processor.

(I have an unofficial rule about using my food processor. If the job takes less time to complete than it would take to clean the food processor, I tend to use my immersion blender. Note to self -- break that rule next time.)

1 cup sugar

Mix together, and chill for 2-3 hours. Then add:

1 bunch green onions, finely chopped

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1 - 2 jalepenos, finely chopped

Mix it all up, and enjoy!

Okay -- confession time:

Mine wasn't as good as Jackie's. I called her up to chide her for keeping something from me -- or perhaps to correct a typo. Husband and I both thought that this post-holiday salsa was much sweeter than that the one we had originally fallen in love with. And no, it wasn't the margaritas.

Jackie and I surmised that my cranberries were riper. After all, mine were on sale (you now, the mad rush to rid the groceries of all holiday-related produce before it goes bad) and though I added a squeeze of lime to balance it a bit, it was too late.

Our advice to you -- add half a cup of sugar, taste after an hour, and then adjust as needed. And what the heck -- a margarita can't hurt!

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