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Saturday, November 19, 2011

What's On Your Thanksgiving Table?

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I can hardly believe that thanksgiving is right around the corner!  We have a few Thanksgiving traditions.  The past couple years we have grown our own turkey, I make homemade cranberry sauce and Alaska Tea (aka Cranberry Tea), and the annual Thanksgiving XC-Ski.  Sometimes it's crazy warm and we can barely ski because it's slippery and above freezing, some years it's stinkin' cold & occasionally we have to skip it because we are too cold (my cut off is -15, it's like skiing on sandpaper).  My sister is usually my partner for the ski while the turkey is cooking, but she moved to Bellingham this year and will be greatly missed, so my husband agreed to ski with me, IF it warms up today it's still -25. 

On our table will be turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole, homemade rolls, brussels sprouts (my husband's favorite all time vegetable), roasted broccoli and cauliflower, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, apple pie, cranberry tea and sparkling cider.  Mmmmm I'm hungry already!

What's going to be on your Thanksgiving table?

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Alaska Tea Recipe
1 quart cranberries
1 cinnamon stick
10 whole cloves
3 quarts of water
1/2 cup of lemon juice
1 can orange juice concentrate
sugar or honey to taste

Simmer cranberries, cinnamon, cloves and water until berries are tender (about 25 minutes), strain or may remove the spices and blend the cranberries and water for a thicker, richer drink (CAUTION do not blend while hot, it may, and by "may" I mean "likely will" blow the top off of your blender, spraying red cranberry goo all over you, your cabinets, counter, stove, and the springer spaniel who is always under foot, and I "may" over a year later, still find spots of it occasionally.  Just sayin).  Add lemon, orange juice concentrate, straight from the can, not mixed with water, and sugar or honey to taste.  Heat until warm and dissolved.  Serve warm.  For gatherings I keep this in my crock pot on warm.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

6 cups of cranberries (fresh or frozen)
4 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of water (or may substitute orange juice)

Blend all in a sauce pan and bring to a full rolling boil, boil until a small amount on a spoon gels, approx 25 minutes.  Ladle unto sterilized jelly jars and seal.  This does not require processing.  Sometimes I make ahead, and other times I just cut the recipe in 1/4 and make the day before thanksgiving.  I use wild, frozen lowbush cranberries (also called lingonberries) straight from the freezer, not defrosted first. 



  1. Oh that Alaskan Tea sound so, so good!

  2. yum! thanks for the heads up with the hot crandberries ;)

    mountain mama

  3. The Alaska Tea is a definite try for me!! Can't wait.