Making Mom's 'Cranberry Mash': A Remembrance and a Recipe
It’s been nine years since my mom died, which has meant nine Thanksgivings without her. For many years before then, she would join me and Hubs and soon Boychik and then Girlchik too — she was ill already when Rockerchik was born — at our home for turkey and her famous Cranberry Mash. After Boychik, her first grandchild, was born and she needed to choose a grandmotherly appellation, she selected Grandma Peaches after a movie character. It stuck, and is how everyone in the family remembers her.
In the nine years since she died, we’ve gone to my father and his wife’s Thanksgiving dinner, which is where we’ll be this year. I’ve brought along the Cranberry Mash for the past couple of years. But this year I’ve been asked for a different side dish, so I’ll bring along a broccoli salad, and just enjoy my Cranberry Mash at home.
I love Cranberry Mash, and not just because it was my mom’s recipe. Simple to make and delicious, it makes otherwise plain Greek yogurt a yummy treat, tastes good with any poultry and is just perfect when mixed into hot cereal. I lay in plenty of fresh cranberries this time of year, when they’re plentiful and cheap. (I buy more than I need stick them in the freezer to use year-round.)
Here’s the recipe. Make some and enjoy!
1 package (but use two if you want. This is easy to double for a crowd) of fresh cranberries
Orange juice to cover them in a flat-bottomed pan
2 cups or more of walnut halves or pieces
1 can of crushed pineapple in its natural juice for each bag of cranberries
Sugar or artificial sweetener to taste
1). Cover the cranberries with orange juice in a pan and cover, heating it for 5 to 8 minutes on medium heat, or however long it takes for most of the cranberries to pop open and start to release their juice. If the cranberries had been frozen it may take a bit longer, if they’re fresh from the market, a bit less. Check them often.
2). When the berries start to get mushy, turn off the heat and add the crushed pineapple, walnuts and sugar, and mix well.
3). Heat it up again, stirring once or twice, with the pan uncovered so some of the juice boils down.
4). Let cool and enjoy. Store leftovers in the fridge. It’ll stay good for a week or more.