The Tale of the Left-Over Cranberry Sauce

left-over cranberry sauce

Our Thanksgiving was a little different this year – instead of a quiet meal at home, we volunteered to help serve a community meal at our church for anyone who – like us – didn’t have family close by.

We had never done anything like this before – and no one had any idea how many people would show up and how much food to make.

So we guessed.

Somethings we were right on – like the dressing and the sweet potatoes.

Somethings we weren’t even close.

But all of the left-overs found good homes, many of them ending up here.

The turkey and ham turned into casseroles that now live in my freezer. The mashed potatoes became the most amazingly delicious lefse ever made! The relishes have been eaten on all week.

The only thing that truly stumped me was the left-over cranberry sauce.  It wasn’t the yummy homemade stuff or even the stuff with the real cranberries in it. It was the stuff from the can – the jellied stuff. You know the kind – with the ridges from the can on the outside.

I like it, but not 4 cans worth, cut and partially melted in a ziplock bag. I will admit that this frugal momma almost tossed it to the chickens.

But I didn’t.

I had an inspiration – an “aha” moment.

I decided to turn it into salad.  I would replace the pears in our classic blender jello recipe with the cranberries.  Brilliant!

Cranberry Blender Jello

2 (3-ounce)  packages of Jello (I used strawberry but orange would be yummy as well!)
4 ounces cream cheese
1 can jellied cranberry sauce (or whatever is left-over in the zip-lock bag after the holidays!)
1 1/2 cup boiling water

Mix all ingredients together in blender on high. Pour into a serving bowl and refrigerate until set.

I frosted ours with Cool Whip since we had some of that left-over as well.


Homemade Yogurt

My most exciting find at this summer’s garage sales was a Salton Yogurt Maker.

I had one years ago, but over time had broken some of the glass containers. I’ve tried other ways to make yogurt – but none were as successful and drop dead simple as the Salton.

My recipe comes from the tried and true More-With-Less Cookbook . I just reduced it down to fit in my Salton.

Salton Yugurt MakerHomemade Yogurt

Combine in measuring cup:

1 cup powdered milk
2 cups warm water

Mix thoroughly and add:

5 ounces of evaporated milk or scalded whole milk.

Remove a small amount of this mixture and put in a small container. Add to this 3-4 ounces of vanilla yogurt made with active cultures. (The active cultures are very important! It should say so right on the label.)

Blend till smooth and add to the remaining milk. Mix well. It’s very important to get the starter mixed well into the base!

Pour into the yogurt maker and let incubate overnight.

The beauty of a yogurt maker is the consistent low heat (about 110 – 120 degrees).

To serve, you can simply add a little vanilla, or some fresh fruit, or maybe a little flavored jello. I’ve even added a small amount of sweetened kool-aid mix – which gave it a lovely color and a fruity flavor.

I love how easy and economical homemade yogurt is – my kids just think it tastes great!

Slow Cooker Orange Cranberry Relish

I just enjoyed this recipe at Mom’s last weekend. I’m so glad she was willing to share it with us all- it is yummy!

Orange Cranberry RelishI have always liked cranberries, especially the ones my mom would cook up into a sauce.

Some of my children like the canned jellied cranberries, but I still prefer the sauce.

It can be messy and time consuming to make, but the rich flavor is worth the extra time!

You can even store the cranberries in the freezer until you are ready to use them.

This recipe is from our REC magazine (REC stands for Rural Electric Cooperative for you city slickers.) It isn’t quite like my mom’s, but we love it!

It does not have the “crunch” of traditional relish, but is tasty, cooks while you are doing something else & doubles as a potpourri fragrance!

Slow Cooker Orange-Cranberry Relish
From REC magazine

1 Cups Sugar
1 tsp Grated Orange Peel
1 Cup Orange Juice
1-16oz Pkg Whole Cranberries

In a slow cooker, combine sugar, orange peel & juice. Stir until dissolved. Add cranberries, stir and cover. Cook on low for 6 hours. Mash berries after cooking. Chill before serving. May be kept in refrigerator for several days.

Until next time,
Nana Shirley

Snicker Apple Salad

Snicker Apple Salad Okay- leave it to me, the chocolate lady, to figure out a way to bring chocolate to the Thanksgiving table- as a salad!

It belongs of course- because chocolate is one of the things I’m the most thankful for!

I first had this salad at a Soup Supper and couldn’t wait to find the recipe and make it myself.

The fact that I actually shared it with my family speaks of how much I love them all!

Snicker Apple Salad

Mix together large box of vanilla pudding mix and 1 large carton of Cool Whip.

Cut up 4-5 nice sized apples into bite sized pieces and fold in. (We prefer the tart Granny Smith.)

Take 3 regular sized Snickers bars and break them into pieces. (I froze the bars first then put them in a plastic bag and beat them with a rolling pin.)

Fold in the apples and Snickers bars and refrigerate for at least one hour.

It’s a simple and very forgiving recipe- something else to be thankful for!!

Spaghetti and Fresh Tomatoes

The tomatoes in the garden are still trying to set on and ripen. We’ve had just enough to enjoy fresh, including this favorite dish of mine, spaghetti and fresh tomatoes.

It is my side dish of choice when ever we do anything on the grill!

Spaghetti with Fresh Tomatoes

Peel 8 medium tomatoes. Chop, seed and drain.

Combine 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 clove of garlic (crushed), 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley chopped, 1 tsp. basil, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 of a green pepper (chopped) and 16 black olives, sliced.

Add tomatoes and set aside at room temperature.

Cook 8 oz. of spaghetti according to directions. Drain and place in serving bowl. Add tomato mixture and toss. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

I’ve used whatever kind of pasta that I had on hand and it worked just fine! I like to cook a big bag of pasta (16 oz.) and divide it into two bowls. One bowl (for the kids) will get just Parmesan cheese and melted butter. The other bowl (for the adults) will get the tomato mixture!

It’s a fresh and delicious taste of summer!