Cranes on Your Plate

The stores are glutted with cranberries – Thanksgiving is coming, and if we believe Bridget Shirvell, one of the authors on https://www.marthastewart.com, cranberry sauce is the only one item on the traditional Thanksgiving menu that doesn’t vary from region to region and from culture to culture. Stuffing is highly questionable, so are pumpkins, and – gasp! – even the ubiquitous turkey. But humble cranberry, or kranbeere, named by Germans settlers because when flowered, it looked like the head of a crane, is always present, either as a sauce or as jelly, either on its sugared own or combined with other fruit or berries.

I’ll let you judge for yourselves, Beautiful People, whether crane – berries on your plate actually resemble these graceful birds. However, if that joint banquet where Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians rubbed elbows really took place, most likely cranberries were on the menu, as part of Pemmican, a popular Native American dish of crushed cranberries, mixed with dried deer meat and melted lard. Why these berries, which are actually not berries but fruit, and not something else? Simple – there wasn’t anything else fruity, sweet and tart, and juicy to be had. Cranberries, blueberries, and concord grapes are the only kinds of fruit native to North America, and the latter two were not in season (http://www.naturipefarms.com).

The legend about about cranberries appearing on the table at the first Thanksgiving in 1621 is not supported by anything, just as the meal itself, shared by the Pilgrims and their friendly Native American neighbors. It took some years to separate cranberries into a side dish, and more years to stew them with sugar and water into a sauce. It was not until 250 years later, when General Ulysses S. Grant ordered it to be included in the menu for Union soldiers’ holiday meal that it has become part of Thanksgiving tradition (ibid.).

To follow this tradition, but also to imbue it with a tropical flavor, I have created a cranberry pineapple sauce. I had fresh juicy cranberry pulp, left after making cranberry mors. I also had hearts of two pineapples (that’s the hard fibrous middle people usually discard), diced and frozen for further use. So I simply run diced pineapple through a food processor, married it with cranberry pulp, added some more xylitol and a splash (or two -three splashes) or sweet red wine, brought it to boil, and voila! – a delicious sauce was born. I am sure my turkey will be very happy to meet it on my husband’s plate.

INGREDIENTS

  • Pulp of 1 lbs of fresh of frozen cranberries
  • 2 pineapple middles, diced
  • 1 cup sugar or substitute (I use xylitol)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sweet red wine or cranberry juice

PROCEDURE

  • Simmer cranberries in 1 galloon of water until very soft. Drain and mash up, using fine sieve, until most of the juice is extracted. *If you add sugar and lemon juice to taste to that juice, you’ll have your mors. Save cranberry pulp.
  • Put diced pineapple through food processor or blender until no pieces are left.
  • Combine cranberry pulp with pineapple mass, add sugar or substitute, add lemon juice, and wine or cranberry juice.
  • Mix well, bring to boil. Remove, let cool.
  • Serve chilled or room temperature.

Happy Thanksgiving, Beautiful People!

About the guest author:

undefined Dolly Aizenman is the brainchild behind Kool Kosher Kitchen (Which her blog and her book are named after).

This charismatic Russian blogger is fond of cooking and writing.

She has a BA in Art and Music Education, MA in English, MS in Education and Ed.D. in Educational Leadership.

Published by koolkosherkitchen

I am a semi-retired educator. I love to cook and I love to write. I am trying to combine these two for no other purpose but to share some of my old favorite recipes, as well as some new inventions, and to exchange food ideas and opinions. Kosher food is just like any other food - fun to create and fun to experiment with, especially if you get kids involved! My book is found on amazon.com/author/koolkosherkitchen.

32 thoughts on “Cranes on Your Plate

  1. The main body of Sandhill cranes migrate through my state, Nebraska, and viewing them is a major tourist attraction that can be viewed on the Platte River or just about anywhere without an entry fee or reservation because they can be seen anywhere along I-80 for a wide swath between Kearney and Grand Island, plus or minus. With a little luck, you might even see Whooping cranes, too! On the other hand, no cranberries grow here.

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    1. I would guess that cranes migrate quite a few places, including the ones where they had been spotted by German settlers. I was surprised cranberries didn’t grow in Nebraska because the sites I’ve looked at stated that cranberries grew anywhere from the North Pole to the equator. I checked right now, and you are right, and they are wrong.

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        1. Yes, I have discovered that lack of required acidity was the reason.
          Volga Deutsch and the persecution they suffered during the war is a big topic in itself. Here is one of them who became famous, singing an old Russian romance: https://youtu.be/dt-TpPLRkQ0
          Happy Thanksgiving to you and darling little Andy!

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          1. Yes, where Catherine the Great recognized the benefit of bringing Deutsche Bauern to farm Russia’s soil, persecution sent them to America, where they enriched this country. (Stalin was an idiot, eh, as well as a monster?!) Our current president seems not to understand how immigrants benefit a country or how this country is what it is because of that diversity of peoples from all over the world, including his own mother and grand father, though there are some who might suggest those two should have been kept out.)

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            1. Stalin was paranoid, especially since he refused to believe his own spies (pardon me, intelligence officers) who kept warning him about Hitler’s intentions, and was shocked when the Nazis crossed the border. He thought that the Molotov – Ribbentrop pact had been written in stone! And Poland – who cared about Poland, as far as he was concerned. The invasion threw him in such panic that he went into hiding for two weeks and emerged with acute paranoia; he saw “the fifth column” everywhere, and the first target was a large concentration of Germans in the strategically important Volga region.

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                  1. Sorry. He was a certifiable monster, and I understand when he had his final heart attacks, the cadre around him delayed getting him medical attention to it was his end. He could have had a happier end had he followed through as a priest.

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                    1. Yeah, the Soviet Union was a piece of work. When Gorbachev came along, I remember thinking, “Yeah, he’ll get knocked off or deposed, too.” My favorite was Khrushchev and his grandmotherly wife, Nina. The shoe pounding incident at the UN was entertaining and scary at the same time for the young me, but he never seemed as threatening as the others…until the Cuban Missile Crisis.

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                    2. Geez! I hope you realize I was a good little Soldier for Freedom throughout that part of Russian history when it was the Soviet Union. I write ironically. We were taught to mistrust the Russians, think of them a evil people. I grew up in the “Duck and Cover” era where we just knew the Russians were going to drop atomic bombs on American women and children.
                      https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=duck+and+cover+video&docid=608026769495362936&mid=AA1A5501445B1E0FB455AA1A5501445B1E0FB455&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

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                    3. I am fully aware of it, dear friend. It’s just that your comment about that pig (and he did look like one!) reminded me of my aunts’ (those who had not perished in Babij Yar) telling us about streets of Kiev strewn with corpses.
                      Regarding the bomb, we have just finished watching a very powerful Russian serial called simply “Bomba” about the creation of Russian atomic bomb. With Beria in charge of this project, they were quite ready to do it, make no mistake about it!

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                    4. The Cuban Missile Crisis brought that reality very much to the front in this country. There always has been a sense that America is too isolated to experience war on our land. WWII, for example, had the potential of Japan talking over the Western states and Germany, the Eastern, though that was more a paranoia of the early years, when the US was losing, Japan had knocked out a significant part of the Pacific fleet and England stood alone. against Hitler, yet the presence of Russian atomic weapons mounted on missiles 90 miles from Florida made major targets too vulnerable for annihilation, with mass destruction assured in Russia after from sites as close to me as Cuba to Florida! (There were missile silos all over this state, managed from a Cheyenne military base. Bombers managed by a base in Omaha would have flown to wipe out as much as possible in the USSR.) Humanity definitely takes the low road too often, no nation pure enough to comment on another.

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                    5. Definitely, and when nations take the stand of two little boys on the playground (“He hit me back first!”) , the entire world suffers. According to the film we saw, Beria’s main argument was exactly that: Americans dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, so we have to have our own bomb, like tomorrow! We have to hit back first!
                      From that logic, there was only one step to Cuban Missile Crisis, and Khruschev, having worked with Beria for years, made that step. I will never stop to admire President Kennedy for taking a firm stand.

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  2. A delightful foray through history dear Dolly and a great use for that flavourful hard middle of the pineapple…a delicious-sounding sauce…Happy Thanksgiving dear Dolly ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

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