CALEB’S THANKSGIVING GLUTEN FREE CHERRY CRANBERRY COMPOTE
So the plan for this blog post was to do a bit about a gluten free pumpkin pie. Because, well, pie. But as I wrote last week about my little man’s impending start in Kindergarten, I can’t seem to get my head out of the elementary school space. Which led me to this post’s idea.
Many moons ago, when I was in the first grade at Viola Elementary School, my amazing teacher, Mrs. Dailey, did a project that I have waxed nostalgic for every Thanksgiving since; we made our very own cranberry sauce. To this day, I can’t pass a banana baby food jar. Not recall buying one way past the age of needing one and then days later piping the delicious cranberry sauce we made into the empty jar, and wrapping the top of it with some cute textured cloth. And of course, the eventual piece de resistance. Seeing the sauce actually being served at the Thanksgiving table. Needless to say it left an indelible memory.
As an ode to part of that which I am thankful for this week, I thought I’d continue the tradition with my little man. The original plan was only to make jars for his teachers, but he was so excited once the project got started that we ended up making enough for the whole entire class. Watching him stamp the cards, write his name to each of them and put the label stickers on each and every one – these are the moments, and this is the life for which I am immensely grateful.
To help spread a piece of that joy, I’m leaving you readers with the recipe for a slightly revamped and slightly more alcoholic version of the sauce because well, wine is a mama’s best friend.
As you folks will come to know, I’m not usually one for recipes. I’m more of a by sight type of gal in the kitchen; but for this one, I thought it’d be helpful to have something to prepare a shopping list by. Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit’s November ’07 issue.
INGREDIENTS FOR CALEB’S (PORT) CHERRY CRANBERRY COMPOTE
+ 1 cup ruby Port
+ 2 cinnamon sticks
+ 1 cup dried tart cherries
+ 1 12 ounce bag fresh cranberries
+ 3/4 cup water (or, if you prefer a slightly sweeter taste as I do, orange juice or even cherry cider if you’re getting alliterative with it)
+ 1/4 cup sugar
Bring Port and cinnamon sticks to boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer (5 minutes). Add dried cherries, water (or OJ/cider) & sugar and bring to a boil for a hot second (or until sugar dissolves). Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the sauce thickens and deepens in color.
Stir every so often to make sure the berries are collapsing (all the while praying that this too, doth not happen to our 401(k) plans in this new political regime). Once it looks nice and compote-esque, transfer to a bowl to cool, making sure to get rid of those pesky cinnamon sticks. Then, package as you see fit. Photos of how we packaged it included for your inspiration.
WHERE TO BUY
MASON JARS: Michaels, your local hardware store or Amazon.com
STICKERS | STAMPS | SHIPPING TAGS: (By the Seashore) Paper Source
TULLE RIBBON: Michaels
** If you happen to find yourself with leftover compote (really?! Who ARE you people that don’t pile it high atop the turkey?! Then do what Caleb did with the leftovers from our first batch: turn them into delicious muffins! Pics below. Yes, the pan will need to soak for a day to get all the sticky deliciousness off of it. Totally worth it, these muffins are dreamy!
+++ Happy Thanksgiving to all and remember to take a moment to appreciate all that you have to be thankful for. And then pay a little of that forward. More on how we do that in our household coming soon, after we stuff ourselves silly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Originally hailing from the Empire State, Allyson Haas made her way west in search of…well, she’s still trying to figure that out. Until then, she stays busy in her kitchen creating unique flavors for her upcoming United Scoops of America (enter TM pending sign) brand. Outside of her domicile, you can find her chasing her mini around LA, attempting to get her children’s books published and trying to change the world one kind deed at a time. Follow her on Instagram at@allysonhillary and @365waystogood or by way of her previous web work at MisadventuresinMotherhood.net.