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moms really do know best

November 23, 2011

Keith’s sister is hosting Thanksgiving this year.

I love this because it means it is going to be a casual affair centered around family, food and most importantly (in my mind) football.

The annual (and final) A&M/UT game is on Thanksgiving Day. As the lone Aggie in the family I plan to represent.

And I plan to represent BIG.

I digress.

Back to Thanksgiving at Keith’s sister’s house.

We do a pot luck affair where everyone brings a dish. Keep in mind Keith has a huge family and there will be probably around 45-50 people at this shin dig.

That’s a lot of food.

I got stuck paired with cranberry sauce.


I have never made cranberry sauce.

Come to think of it I am not sure I have even tasted cranberry sauce.

It just never looked like my thing. You know?

So knowing that I need to make said untried and untasted cranberry sauce where do I turn?


I am firm believer that when all else fails go to mom. They always know best.

And in my case I skipped the “when all else fails” part and just went there first.

Smart move, Kelly, smart move.

My mom gives me her tried and true cranberry sauce. Four ingredients. Ten minutes of work. What could do wrong?

Famous. Last. Words.

Let me set the scene for you.

[Kelly’s kitchen, take 1]

Kelly calls her mom: Uh mom…when you say simmer the cranberries until the sauce thickens? How thick is it supposed to get?

Mom: Well you know, honey, thick.

Kelly: Well mine is really soupy. Is this right?

Mom: Well what kind of soup?

Kelly: [frustrated and PMSing]: I don’t know mom. It’s liquid, okay, not thick. Give me some sort of visual reference here! I haven’t ever made cranberry sauce before so saying it should be thick isn’t helping!

Mom: Kelly calm down. It just needs be to thick like a stew.

Kelly: Forget it I am going to Luby’s to buy cranberry sauce for damn Thanksgiving.

Mom: [always level-headed]: Has it been 10 minutes?

Kelly: Yes.

Mom: Then, sweetheart, just take it off the heat and let is cool. It will thicken. Just calm down and take a deep breath.

Kelly: Nope! It’s ruined. I am going to Luby’s

[And scene]

I did go to Luby’s. I bought 2 pints of cranberry sauce.

Then I came home and found this waiting for me:

Moms really do know best.

My Mom’s Cranberry Sauce [that WILL thicken]

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

zest of one orange (enough for 1 tsp)

12 oz fresh cranberries

Mix the water and sugar together and bring to a boil.

Add cranberries and orange zest and return to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and let cool on stove top.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

What are you making for Thanksgiving this year?

19 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2011 8:36 am

    lol…always that calm voice of reason. You really want to hate that voice sometimes, but it knows best! 😉

  2. November 23, 2011 8:36 am

    I’m not sure if I’ve ever had Cranberry Sauce either. I feel like it’s the Thanksgiving dish that’s always there but that no one really eats! Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. November 23, 2011 8:52 am

    I’ve never made cranberry sauce either. Its always been my dads specialty. Pretty sure I would have had the same reaction you did.

  4. Jen permalink
    November 23, 2011 8:57 am

    Ahhh your mom rocks! Sweet 🙂 (and great job on the sauce).

  5. November 23, 2011 9:43 am

    I’m the only child in my entire family so I am never given anything to make or bring. I’m sure I’ll whip up something, but we shall see.

    I probably would have just taken some canned cranberry sauce. I like that best anyway! 😉

  6. November 23, 2011 10:04 am

    Haha the only cranberry sauce I’ve ever eaten has come out of a can, but that looks much better!

  7. November 23, 2011 10:17 am

    Hahaha… I have no idea what your voice sounds like, but I totally heard that scene with you and your mom! Mom’s really do know best!

  8. November 23, 2011 10:24 am

    Oh my gosh, I laughed so hard at that. So funny! I could totally picture it in my mind.

    • November 23, 2011 11:12 am

      I knew you would laugh…and even better because you know both mine and my mom’s voices and inflections. ha!

  9. November 23, 2011 11:05 am

    I don’t like cranberry sauce at all. No one in my extended family does. My mom would make fruit salad and that would be our cranberry sauce. But this is no ordinary fruit salad. It’s thick and juicy and great with angel food cake. I’m making it for my boyfriend’s mom’s Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow and I’m hoping they will love it as much as I do.

  10. November 23, 2011 2:12 pm

    I’m still on the fence with this cranberry thing… I’ve been tainted by the jiggly stuff from the can!! What is cranberry sauce for actually? Topping the turkey?

  11. November 24, 2011 1:09 pm

    Gig em! We’ll be watching today too.
    I am bringing a quinoa dish, a pumpkin ice cream pie and a salad with the Cranberry Orange viniagrette from Oh She Glows,

  12. November 26, 2011 12:21 pm

    Hahaha, I love you.

    Cranberry sauce is my 2nd favorite thing at Thanksgiving! Mmm, I bet it was delicious!

  13. November 27, 2011 9:52 pm

    Ha what a cute story! I actually love cranberry sauce- if it’s made right!

  14. November 29, 2011 1:54 am

    We both know that Thanksgiving has to have the real deal homemade cranberry sauce. This sounds like a really great tasting real deal homemade cranberry sauce.
    Thanks for the recipe.


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