Ginger-orange cranberry sauce

  • Makes about 3 cups.
  • 15 minutes

Given that cranberries are available fresh and cheap all fall and into early winter when all the other berries are gone, and given that they freeze beautifully, I don’t see why they’re relegated to Thanksgiving and the occasional loaf of cranberry-nut bread. Cranberry sauce goes well with all sorts of foods besides turkey. Pork and sauerkraut, for example, even lentil soup — anything rich and hearty that needs something tart to cut it.

And there’s no reason to think of it exclusively as a side dish. Whole-berry cranberry sauce is actually a preserve, or in this case a conserve, since it has other ingredients besides cranberries, water, and sugar. (If you strained it you’d have jelly, of course.) In fact, it’s about the easiest jam or preserve you can possibly make. So even though we think of it as a side dish, there’s no reason you can’t eat it on buttered toast.

    • 1 12-ounce bag cranberries, rinsed and picked over
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • grated zest and juice of 1 orange
    • water, as needed
    • about 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

    Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Cook at a low boil, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have popped and the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.