Alternative Cranberry Sauce


There is an annual Thanksgiving potluck at my work. Last year, I was completely overwhelmed (with work) and I think I forgot to sign up to bring anything at all, and so the weekend before I picked up some cranberry sauce at Whole Foods. I’m pretty sure few people ate it.

This year, the potluck was the Monday before Thanksgiving. I again forgot to sign up until too late. I wanted to bring sweet potato casserole, but a colleague had signed up for that before me (which, frankly, was probably better, because she used more butter and sugar than I would have, and it was delicious). No one had signed up for cranberry sauce yet, so I chose to bring that again.

The weekend after signing up, I went to my annual Baltimore Delta Gamma alumni Thanksgiving potluck where a fellow DG brought the best homemade cranberry sauce I’d ever tasted. I probably thought so because I’ve never loved cranberry sauce – too sweet – and this stuff was unusual and more savory. I think she was nervous to bring it, because it really is a little untraditional. I felt similarly about my own potluck, but since I didn’t think anyone had eaten the traditional stuff I brought last year, I figured it was low risk either way.

The most striking thing is that it’s made with mustard seeds. A few colleagues did ask me what ‘those things are’, and when I told them, they kind of just went, ‘huh.’ Most of my colleagues told me they thought it was good.  And, unlike last year, most of it got eaten, so I think that says something.

My DG sister has the recipe on her own blog here: Cranberry Quince Mustarda Recipe. I used an apple instead of quince, a tiny bit of dry vermouth and 1/2 cup of white wine vinegar (together) instead of the one cup of dry white wine (I didn’t have any in the house), and I used only about 11 oz. of raisins instead of the 1.5 lbs called for – and I added about 8 oz. of them with the cranberries instead of at the end. Oh and I used dijon mustard instead of the dry mustard. I think the mustard seeds were more prominent in mine than I remember in my friend’s, and I’d probably cut back on them if I made it again. However, I still thought it was tasty, and it’s definitely a recipe I’ll keep for future potlucks and for if/when I ever host Thanksgiving again.

The next morning, when I brought this to work, the mustard seeds had all soaked up the cranberry color and were no longer yellow.

Not all of the sauce was eaten at work, though most of it was. I brought the leftover home and had a bite the next morning, and I will say that it tasted a little vinegary. I’m not sure if it gets more like that with time or if it was always like that…




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