Arlene's Cuisine

Cranberries are traditionally associated with Christmas, probably because of their bright red color. They certainly add color to a table setting, and most of us can remember stringing popcorn and cranberries as kids to decorate the Christmas tree.

Living about 60 miles from Eagle River, Wisconsin, where cranberries were a major crop, I got to see them growing, and the sight of those bright red cranberries floating in the bogs at harvest time, surrounded by orange and red fall foliage, was a sight to behold and fabulous to photograph.

The traditional cranberry sauce, jellied or whole berries, is the way we usually see cranberries served, but today’s recipes offer a few more ways to serve this crimson fruit.


Cranberry and

Dried Fruit Relish

  • 3 cups fresh, whole cranberries
  • 1 orange, unpeeled, quartered and seeded
  • 1 tart apple, unpeeled, cored and quartered
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup golden seedless raisins
  • ½ cup chopped dried apricots
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

Coarsely grind the first three ingredients. Stir in the sugar, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. Cook raisins and apricots in ½ cup water about 5 to 10 minutes. Drain. Stir in raisins, apricots and pecans. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend. Makes about 3½ cups.



Party Punch

  • 1 gallon cranberry juice cocktail
  • 1 quart ginger ale
  • 1 (46-ounce) can pineapple-grapefruit juice

Combine juices and ginger ale and serve over ice cubes. Serves 50.



Pineapple Dip

  • 1 (1-pound) can jellied cranberry sauce
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon prepared mustard
  • Fresh, canned or frozen pineapple chunks

Press the cranberry sauce through a sieve. Stir in vinegar and mustard. Refrigerate until well chilled. To serve, arrange sauce in a bowl with pineapple chunks on picks around it. Makes 1½ cups.



Braised Chicken

  • 4-pound broiler-fryer chicken, cut up
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup burgundy
  • 1 (1-pound) can whole cranberry sauce
  • 2 cups raw white rice

Wash chicken and dry well on paper towels. Sauté chicken in hot butter until browned on all sides. Remove pieces as they brown. Remove the skillet from heat and stir in flour to make a smooth mixture. Stir in salt, burgundy and cranberry sauce. Cook, stirring constantly until sauce boils and is slightly thickened. Return chicken pieces to sauce. Simmer, covered, 30 to 40 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions. Drain if necessary and serve chicken on rice with the sauce. Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Cranberry Glaze

for Baked Ham

  • 1 cup strained cranberry sauce
  • ½ cup light corn syrup

Whip cranberry sauce with a fork. Blend in corn syrup. About ½ hour before ham is done, remove it from the oven and pour off the drippings. Peel off any rind left on the ham. Score ham with a sharp knife, making diagonal cuts in both directions. Stud with whole cloves. Spread with cranberry glaze and return to the oven to finish baking.


Quick Cranberry Pie

  • 1 (8-inch) graham cracker or regular pie crust
  • 1½ cups cranberry orange relish (recipe follows)
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream

Fold the cranberry orange relish into the softened ice cream and pour into the pie shell. Freeze until firm. Garnish with whipped cream sprinkled with more cranberry orange relish.



Orange Relish

  • 1 pound fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2 small oranges, quartered
  • 1½ cups sugar

Chop the cranberries and oranges in an old-fashioned food chopper or a food processor. Stir in the sugar and refrigerate. This is best if allowed to chill overnight so the flavors blend.


Cranberry Pot Roast

  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (3- to 4-pound) beef pot roast
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 inches stick cinnamon
  • 1 (16-ounce) can whole cranberry sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

Combine flour, salt, onion salt and pepper and rub into pot roast using all of the flour mixture. Brown meat slowly in a Dutch oven in hot shortening. Remove from heat, add cloves, cinnamon and ½ cup water. Cover and simmer about 2½ hours or until tender, adding water if necessary. Spoon off fat. Mix cranberry sauce, vinegar and 2 tablespoons of water. Add to the meat. Cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes more. Remove cinnamon. Spoon off fat. Pass pan juices with meat. Makes 6 to 8 servings.



Fruit Nut Bread

  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder (¾ teaspoon for Salida’s elevation)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda (¼ teaspoon for Salida’s elevation)
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • 1 well-beaten egg
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup chopped nuts

Sift dry ingredients. Cut in shortening. Combine peel, juice and egg. Add to dry ingredients, mixing to moisten. Fold in berries and nuts. Turn into a greased 9-by-5-by-3-inch pan. Bake in 350-degree oven for 60 minutes. Cool, wrap and store overnight.