We were so blessed to have every one of our sons, daughters-in-law, and granddaughters at Thanksgiving dinner this year! I smile when I remember our first Thanksgiving after we were married (1964). We were far away from family, living in Oregon, and I tried my hand at roasting a duck! I have not put a duck on the table again in 50 years! We had cranberry sauce, right out of the Ocean Spray can, just like my mother always did it.
As years went by, I learned how much better cranberry sauce that I made on top of my own stove tasted. When our boys were growing up (and again now with our grandchildren) we enjoyed the children’s book Cranberry Thanksgiving, and added Cranberry Bread to our Thanksgiving favorites. When dried cranberries became available I found dozens of ways to use them, often subbing them for raisins in old recipes. This year we found a new treat with our old friend the cranberry, Cranberry Orange Butter. It is not just for a holiday table. It is wonderful added to pancakes, waffles, or oatmeal!
Cranberry Orange Butter
8 ounces butter softened (I used Kerrygold Irish but
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
zest of 1 orange
Let butter soften at room temperature, do not microwave. Place butter in bowl with cranberries and orange zest and blend with the back of a spoon until well mixed. Spread a large piece of plastic wrap out on the counter and put dollops of the mixture in a line. Roll into a log by holding the sides up and pulling back and forth, then with fingertips roll and smooth slightly. Wrap with plastice wrap and place on a cookie sheet that will fit on a shelf of your refrigerator. As soon as the butter hardens into shape, you can remove the cookie sheet and store the butter overnight or loinger. When ready to serve, slice into rounds and place into butter plate or dish along with a butter knife or tongs. Halve this recipe if you wish. The smaller size roll is easier to shape.
Instead of cranberries, try freshly zested lemon, chopped fresh rosemary or other herbs, or make a sweetened butter with a spoon or two of mashed raspberries or a spoon of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon.