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Cranberry jelly has often gotten the short end of the stick at holiday dinners. Served from a can with a slooping sound, the gelatinous substance often retains the can's ridge pattern even after slicing. Yet, cranberries are said to have many health benefits including fighting bladder infections, yeast infections and more. Better yet, they can taste very good if prepared right.

A food eaten by Native Americans before the new world was settled, cranberries also have shown preliminary signs of helping prevent cancer, according to the Cranberry Institute:

Anti-cancer - In 1996 laboratory studies conducted by University of Illinois scientists and published in Plants Medica demonstrated the potential anticarcinogenic properties of cranberries. More recently researchers at the University of Western Ontario demonstrated, using an animal model, that human breast cancer cells showed significantly lower incidence of tumor development when the experimental group's diet was supplemented with cranberries. Although these results are very preliminary, compounds in cranberries may prove to be a potent cancer fighter.

As a transplant to Nashville from Oregon, cranberries play an important role for the coming meal and my mother has an excellent and easy recipe for relish.

Mom's Orange Cranberry Relish

  • 1 bag cranberries (In Nashville, you can order organic ones at PlumGoodFood.com, or go to Wild Oats
  • Two Peeled Oranges (I still haven't found a very good location for sweet oranges, but Lannea suggests The Harris Tetter in Brentwood, 8th Ave S/Franklin Rd)
  • Sugar to taste (I use a teaspoon - most will want 1-2 tablespoons)

Place cranberries and oranges in a food processor and grind them up. Add sugar to taste. Leave out for 15 minutes and stir, then store in the fridge until you need it.

If you do not have a food processor, I feel really sorry for you, but you can just dice ever thing up, then use a potato masher to achieve similar results. It takes about 5 minutes longer.

Cranberry Relish Recipes and Reference

  • Simply Recipes
    A nice resource for many kinds of recipes. This recipe is more labor intensive than most of my cooking adventures, but looks pretty yummy.
  • About: Southern US Cuisine
    Watch out for pop ups! This has a whole list of options.
  • Reader's Digest Cooked Cranberry Relish Recipe
    I tried this recipe, or one like it, about two years ago with the following alterations: 1/2 the sugar (I like bitter) and two shots of premium bourbon. It was excellent!