I spent the morning in my son’s second grade class doing experiments and explorations with cranberries. Thanksgiving is on it’s way and cranberries are a main foodstuff to go with the essential turkey! I was in charge of the ‘sink or float’ station. They float, in case you were wondering…even the smushy ones.
While they all loved the experiments, the clear highlight was when a local police officer visited with our principal! He came to each station (excuse the pun!) and chatted with the kids, well, they thought that was the coolest thing ever! I agree, I can’t imagine many schools where local law enforcement would show up for a quick chat to the kids.
When I got home it was my turn for cranberry experimenting. I am making cranberry sauce, but I have no orange or juice which the recipe on the back of the cranberry bag calls for. So, I am using lemon juice and zest with water to make up the quantity. I think I will throw in a couple of cinnamon sticks and let’s see!
Into the pan goes 2 bags of fresh cranberries, 2 cups of water /juice from 3 lemons, the zest of the lemons and 2 cups of sugar. I always try to use less sugar, but end up putting the full amount in, these are sour little berries. Oh, and I popped in a couple of cinnamon sticks, why not!
Heat and heat until the berries start to pop, keep an eye on it as the berries don’t sink – remember? So the whole lot rises up like a crazy science experiment about to come to life! Keep stirring it so it doesn’t bubble over and make a horrid mess. Yes, mine did that and I had to wipe up the horrid, sticky, pink mess. I heated them for about 10 minutes and then left them in the pan to cool a while. Squish them up with a potato masher a little bit if you like, or there are a few whole berries which you may like. I squished and mashed mine. The sauce thickens as it cools down to a jam like consistency.
I filled 6 little jars which I wash and save for occasions such as this. The cinnamon sticks went into two of the taller jars and they all went to live in the fridge until the turkey is cooked and leftovers are created!