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  Bourbon and maple syrup cranberry sauce.

When I am president, my first order of business will be to eliminate the odd, can-shaped, coagulated cranberry gelatin that plagues dinner tables on Thanksgiving day. It is un-American (and probably unethical) to force your family to eat that squishy mess. Plus, I doubt that the native Americans put this cylindrical glob on the table at the first Thanksgiving. When I am president, this will be the national dish on Thanksgiving. It's slightly tart, but the tartness is mellowed by orange and bourbon. Since the alcohol in the bourbon will be cooked out, this is one for the whole family. I usually make this one or two nights before Thanksgiving to free up precious burner space on the stove.

Prep time: ~15 minutes
Total cooking time: ~1 hour
Serves: ~10 to 15 (provided they only take the standard spoonful or two)

Ingredients.

  • zest from 1 orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 carton orange juice (with pulp works best - Tang is a poor substitute, even if astronauts drank it)
  • 1 bag fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup bourbon

Tools.

  • Orange zester or fine cheese grater
  • 1 medium-sized pot
  • 1 spoon (that you don't mind if it turns red)
  • Measuring cup

Cooking steps.

  1. Add the zest, cinnamon stick, fresh and dried cranberries, nutmeg, maple syrup and bourbon to a pot.
  2. Add  orange juice to the pot until the cranberry mixture is just covered.
  3. Turn on heat to medium-high until mixture starts to boil, then reduce heat to medium.
  4. Boil mixture until cranberries burst and liquid is reduced. Stir often. At this point, I should mention that it would be a bad idea to stand over the pot to look into it. When the cranberries at the surface pop, they tend to shoot hot magma liquid. Trust me, you DO NOT want a flaming hot eyeful of orange juice bourbon.
  5. Reduce liquid until the consistency is soupy, but not thick. When the mixture cools, it will be firmer than it is when heated. It won't be the end of the entire universe as we know it if you over-thicken the mixture. However, the sauce is better when it's loose, rather than when it's thick and jello-like.
  6. Remove pot from oven when sauce has thickened and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, put mixture in a container in the refrigerator and cool overnight.
  7. On Thanksgiving day, serve this up and your family will love you either more than they already do, or will actually start loving you. This dish will probably get you more Christmas presents. If they served this at a U.N. meeting, it would probably usher in an era of world peace. Probably.
 
         
     

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