Since we are having a slow food Thanksgiving I’m starting now and one of the earliest things you can make is the cranberry relish.
I’ve been making this for years and was delighted to see a cranberry booth at the UW farmers market a few weeks back. Mt. Rainier Cranberries are grown in Eatonville, and while they are not organic they explained to me that there are no organic cranberry farms around here. They said they had tried to go organic a few years back and ended up losing four out of seven acres to pests.
So I’ll be happy that they are local and eat them sparingly. That’s difficult because this relish is tasty. Last summer I had bought ten pounds of sour cherries from One Storey Farm then pitted and dried them. We’ve been using them in baked goods and they are perfect in this relish as well.
To make the relish I cooked the cranberries and dried cherries in a small amount of water until the cranberries began to open. At that point I added enough organic sugar to make it palatable. They cooked gently for about 20 minutes in total and when they were done I gave them a good splash of rum.
There isn’t really a recipe because it depends on how many cranberries you use and your preference for sweetness. I prefer this slightly tart but not so tart you end up making faces. How do you like your cranberry sauce?