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My Mother's Cooking - Cranberry Sauce and Cucumbers with Onions and Cream
Tastey Side Dishes
What are English Cucumbers?
- English cucumbers vs. regular cucumbers
What are Cranberries?
Cucumbers with Onions and Cream & Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Everyone has his or her own favorite recipe for making the holiday turkey and the stuffing. However, a lot of people are interested in trying out new or different side dishes. These recipes are actually from my wife instead of from my mother, but I am certain that my mother would approve of them if she were still alive.
The first recipe is for homemade cranberry sauce. It is a shame to serve canned cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving when it is so easy to make with fresh cranberries and it can even be made a day ahead of time.
What makes this recipe special is the addition of red wine and the zest from an orange. Any dry red wine that you would drink will do but I prefer a simple pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon. Add what you need to the sauce and drink the rest of the bottle for dinner.
The second recipe is for sliced cucumbers and onions in cream. It is important to use white onions (not red or yellow) and real cream. This side dish is best made the day before and stored in the refrigerator overnight. This allows the flavors to blend and the cream to remove some of the harshness from the onions.
In season I use regular cucumbers, but the rest of the year I generally use English (so-called seedless) cucumbers. My wife and I like to eat them over homemade mashed potatoes so I am including a link to my hub Swiss Steak with Mashed Potatoes.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
I Lb. of Fresh Cranberries
I cup of Sugar
1 Cup of Water
½ Cup dry Red wine
Zest from 1 Orange
- Rinse the cranberries in cold water and remove any discolored or shrunken ones.
- Place the cranberries, water and sugar in a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer about 30 minutes until the cranberries all pop.
- Add the zest of one orange and the wine and continue simmering for about 30 minutes.
- Once the sauce cools, transfer it to a serving bowl, cover with clear plastic, and store in the refrigerator over night.
- Degree of sweetness is a very personal thing, so feel free to use more or less sugar in future batches.
Sliced Cucumbers, Onions and Cream
.2 English Cucumbers or 4 Regular ones in season
1 Medium White Onion
2 Pints of Heavy Cream
Salt and Pepper to taste.
- Peel the cucumbers and slice them 1/8 inch thick.
- Peel the onion, slice it in half across the grain and slice each half 1/8 inch thick to form semi circle rings.
- In a large bowl, add half the cucumbers and half the onions and sprinkle with 1-teaspoon salt and black pepper.
- Repeat step 3 with the other half of the ingredients and add all of the cream.
- Mix with a large spoon to distribute all of the ingredients evenly, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight.
- Remember to mix the ingredients about every four hours and taste the ingredients to see if more salt is needed.
- Serve over warm mashed potatoes or just by itself in small dishes.
How Cranberries are Harvested
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