My mother’s mother, Marion, was one of my heroes. She was beautiful, loving, a fabulous seamstress and knitter, a talented cook, and she called me, Darling. When I spent the night at her house, I awoke to the sound of her in the kitchen fixing breakfast and emptying the dishwasher; sounds that indicated all was well in the world. She would set the breakfast table with pink and white china, and in a matching shallow bowl, there would always be a sectioned grapefruit from my grandparents’ grove. It was one of the many ways she used food to express her love for us.
Holidays were her favorite time of the year to cook. So many of the traditional recipes our family shares come from her recipe stash, especially if cranberries or mangoes are involved. Her recipe for cranberry chutney is my all-time favorite.
It is not Thanksgiving until I have prepared this layered-with-flavor, cranberry chutney made with cranberries, apples, pecans, celery, oranges, raisins, and ground ginger.
Back when Grandma made it, a bag of cranberries weighed 16 ounces, not the 12 ounces you get today. A representative at Ocean Spray told me they went to 12 ounces in 1980 when there was a shortage of cranberries. This is good info to know if you are using a pre-1980 recipe that says to “add a bag of cranberries.”
1 pound fresh cranberries (4½-5 cups), discard any that are shriveled
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 cup orange juice
1 cup golden seedless raisins
1 cup chopped celery (4½ ounces or 3 stalks)
1 cup chopped apple, peeled (4 ounces or 1 medium)
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange peel
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup chopped pecans
Prep all the ingredients.
Use a box grater or a Microplane to grate the orange. Be sure to wash the orange well first.
Combine cranberries, sugar, water and orange juice. Listen for the sound of cranberries popping as they heat up and expand in the water. Stir occasionally to help dissolve the sugar. Once cranberries come to a boil, set a timer for 15 minutes and simmer over low heat.
Remove the pot from heat. Stir in remaining ingredients and let sit until thickened.
I can’t express how much I love the sweet and tart tastes in this recipe. Instead, I will show you all the tasting spoons I used to try the chutney while it was cooling down!
Chill until ready to serve. This will last one week in the refrigerator.
I wrote a story about how cranberries are grown and harvested, here.
Other Thanksgiving Day Side Dishes We Love:
Melissa’s Sweet Potato Casserole
Roasted Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts, and Cranberries
Amazingly Delicious Sautéed Carrots
Auntie Martha’s Spicy Spinach (aka Spinach Madeleine)
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