Saturday, March 14, 2015

Lindsey's Brandied Cranberries

What am I doing, making cranberry recipes in mid-March, you ask?
Cleaning out this.
 Which, just a couple months ago, looked like this.
We are getting there, people.  To quote Gladys Taber, "We feel the secret softening of winter as the deep freeze gets nearly empty." 
Way back in spring and summer, while putting up all those orange jams, peach butters, and herb pestos, we were feeling mighty virtuous.  Now, as it's time to clear out last year's abundance in readiness for this year's, the feeling is more one of over-saturation.  We froze too much tzatziki sauce, let's face it.  And the frozen dill pickle spears just were not such a hot idea.
 Now, as Margaret Roach, author of The Backyard Parables:  Lessons on Gardening, and Life, puts it, we are on the freezer diet, "when the garden manages to provide anyhow, despite prevailing conditions." And we are down to just a jar or two (or three) of tzatziki sauce.  The end is in sight.  (Check out Margaret Roach's blog, A Way to Garden, here.)
Fortunately, nestled way back on one of those shelves was a lovely bag of cranberries, purchased in November.  And tucked away in my files of Thanksgiving Recipes to Try was this terrific recipe for Brandied Cranberries from our friend Lindsey, who says it's her very favorite way to make cranberries.  "This recipe is very quick, produces only one dirty pan, and is extremely yummy over turkey or vanilla ice cream!"  I heartily verify its yumminess, as we had it last night over slices of pork tenderloin, accompanied by Kahuna's first flush of 2015 garden goodness, tender asparagus and itty baby potatoes.
1 12-oz package cranberries (mine were frozen)
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. brandy
Place cranberries in microwave-safe 3-quart pan (a 9 x 13-inch glass pan works well, reports Lindsey).  Sprinkle sugar over cranberries; cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 12 minutes (that's right, 12 minutes).  Remove pan from microwave, stir mixture, and, while it's still hot, add brandy and mix well.
That's it.  The perfect sweet-tart combo, this is so good you will plan to buy extra cranberries next November just so you can chance upon them later and make this.

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