November 17, 2012

Cranberry & Apple Salad

I really miss family holidays. I fondly remember going to my grandma & grandpa's house in Mt. Olive, Illinois, the night before Thanksgiving. We get up really early in the morning to put the turkey in the oven, then Grandpa would make eggs-in-a-cup (coddled eggs in coffee cups) for breakfast. They'd let me drink coffee, before I was even ten years old.

Grandma Martin, circa 1940s in Florida (?)
Grandpa Martin, United States Marine

I'd watch my grandma make dressing with lots of torn-up white bread, celery, onions, sage, and turkey broth. I'd help pop cranberries in the old metal grinder for her infamous cranberry salad. These two dishes were my favorites, and I usually still make them each year.

This year is no exception. I've been invited to The Mom's house for Thanksgiving dinner (first time meeting her...eeeeek!). I'm bringing a Bailey's caramel chocolate pie and Grandma Martin's cranberry salad.

Cranberry & Apple Salad 

 Grandma's recipe looks just like this one from The Food Channel, even though they have different ingredients.

 It simply doesn't seem like Thanksgiving without this side dish. 
More like a relish than a salad, this is what my family always served instead of cranberry sauce.

1 bag fresh cranberries
2 red-skinned apples (like Jonathans), cored & cut into wedges
1/2 cup sugar (or more to taste)
1 cup pecans, chopped
  • Pop the cranberries & mush the apples by running them through a meat grinder. Grandma always used the old fashioned metal kind that attached to the counter (in fact, I don't remember her using it for anything else!). If you don't have a meat grinder, pulse the cranberries in a food processor just to pop them. You want this to be fairly chunky.
  • Mix in the sugar & pecans. Taste. Add more sugar until it's sweet enough for you.
  • Serve as a side dish with Thanksgiving dinner.
This also makes a great relish for turkey sandwiches...and you can make some tasty cranberry muffins with the leftovers!

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