Ten Days of Thanksgiving: Cranberry Sauce

15 Nov

As a Jew, I experienced the 8 nights of Hanukkah rather than the 12 days of Christmas. I never really felt that I missed out on anything because Hanukkah is superawesome but as an adult who loves to cook, I’ve come to appreciate  the even greater superawesomeness of Thanksgiving . For me, the most fun element of Thanksgiving is figuring out what I’m going to cook on my years (my sister and I alternate hosting years). I have a pretty set menu that I follow and, during the Ten Days of Thanksgiving series, I will be sharing some of those recipes with you.

The first food I make every year is cranberry sauce. I make it first because we like it cold, so it’s prepared two days in advance, giving it sufficient time to chill in the fridge. Since I started making this recipe, canned cranberry sauce has been banned from my house (even though Ocean Spray does a wonderful job  trying to persuade me to think otherwise when it refers to its jellied cranberry sauce as  “that beautiful log of cranberry sauce”. Because a log of food paints such a mouth-watering picture.)

Cranberry Sauce


  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar*
  • 1 cup Splenda*
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

*You can play with the sugar/Splenda combo if you like. This is what I’ve found that works for me, but the original recipe calls for 1/4 cup sugar and 1 3/4 cup Splenda. Just make sure it adds to a total of 2 cups.


  1. In a medium to large saucepan, bring water to a boil
  2. Add sugar, Splenda, orange juice, and lemon juice and return to a boil
  3. Reduce to a simmer for 3 minutes, stirring often
  4. Add cranberries, continue to simmer for 10-12 minutes or until cranberries burst (this takes about 1/2 hour on my stove. It takes about 18 seconds on my sister’s. I cannot explain why).
  5. Remove from heat
  6. Pour into jars or serving dish and chill before serving. This can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks

You know the dad in A Christmas Story? How he loves turkey and won’t leave it alone? That’s how we are with this cranberry sauce. It is that delicious. And I  promise, if you make this recipe, you will never allow this to enter your house again:

Jellied, canned cranberry sauce. Not in my house!


4 Responses to “Ten Days of Thanksgiving: Cranberry Sauce”

  1. April November 16, 2010 at 8:52 am #

    One log of deliciousness is a Bouche de Noel, a traditional French holiday cake. We used to make them for French class, and we’d try to see who made theirs most resembling a real log. And did I mention delicious?

  2. Sarah November 16, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    this is the 2nd recipe i’ve seen today for jellied cranberry sauce. we always make a relish. this year we’ll be going to my husband’s grandparents for thanksgiving… and i’ll be so sad if there’s only the ocean spray variety cause i don’t like it! this version i would try though 🙂

    • theemptykitchen November 16, 2010 at 4:49 pm #

      this is actually the only version of cranberry sauce that i like (which is why i make it every year!). i hope, for your sake, that there is more than just ocean spray. that would make me sad to hear.

  3. Barb @ 1 Sentence Diary November 23, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    My sweet fiance recently introduced me to the pleasure of homemade cranberry sauce. It’s SO MUCH BETTER than the canned stuff. I will never go back.

    Happy Turkey Day!

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