Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Local Thanksgiving Feast and Cranberry Chutney Recipe

We are traveling for the Thanksgiving weekend, but we are bringing our locally prepared holiday meal with us. We decided to make things as easy as possible on ourselves by taking advantage of the pre-cooked (ready to re-heat) special holiday meal offered by The Henry Ford Museum's Michigan Cafe in Dearborn, MI. In addition to using many heritage recipes, most of the ingredients are locally produced (yea!), including an organic turkey right from our own county (which I prefer instead of the bird we purchased at Whole Foods Market last year that came all the way from the state of Oregon!). Click on the title of this post to see what all we are getting. I know there are more goodies coming, too, from other families who will be sharing our meal of thankfulness.

I'll be bringing the following recipe that the general manager of the Farmers' Diner in Quechee, Vermont shared with me:


The original recipe would be enough for dozens and dozens of friends and relatives (i.e., it started with 6 quarts of cranberries!). So I broke it down to a more reasonable amount for a meal to feed 8-12.

1 quart fresh or frozen cranberries (this is a little more than one typical bag)
1-1/3 cup orange juice (plain, not with added calcium, etc)
~3-1/2 Tbsp. honey
~2-1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 small sprig of fresh rosemary leaves (no stalks)

Combine all in a heavy pot and bring to a boil. When berries begin to burst, take off the heat and cool in an ice bath.

The rosemary leaves came right from my own windowsill. I just love the smell of cooking rosemary (this amount is very subtle, not overwhelming). If you would like it a tiny bit sweeter, adjust to your own taste preferences.

If there are any left-overs, this recipe will freeze well, so enjoy this cranberry chutney as a colorful side dish on your dinner plate or even as fruit compote served with plain yogurt and granola (which is how I first had it when visiting The Farmers' Diner last weekend).

Thanksgiving is very special to me. My older son came home from the hospital on Thanksgiving Day in 1977 after being born a week before with complications. In addition, my first breast cancer surgery was done the day before Thanksgiving in 1984. I give thanks for my many blessings every single day but especially on Thanksgiving Day. :-)

May you all count your blessings, too, and enjoy your food and company this holiday weekend!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

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