sugared cranberries

First thanksgiving happened.  Now it’s Christmas.  I fly to Edmonton on Saturday to spend some time with my mom and dad for the holidays.  Mom sends me daily messages warning me about the cold weather up there, concerned that 5 months in California has washed away all my memories of real winter.

Clearly this post is long overdue, and I have very little to offer in the way of excuses.  I spent Thanksgiving back in Boston reconnecting with friends and generally stirring up trouble.  The crowning moment was leaving my wallet in a taxi late the night before I was scheduled to fly back to San Francisco.  Lessons learned: 1. You can indeed fly without ID domestically with a lot of additional airport screening 2. Drunken tears are really not flattering and 3.  Sometimes you really need your friends to be nice to you, but not too nice.

All this to say, having barely made it back into the state last month, I’ve moderated my behavior (and my drinking) recently.  Alongside the usual work chaos, there’s been some long and winding pacific drives (Route 1 still gives me chills), some beautiful December beach time (Pfeiffer Beach at Big Sur), and yes, some new love.

There’s also been ginger: in bar and cake form.

And some damn fine meatballs.

And sparkling cranberries.  Pretty.

Happy Holidays!  xo

One Year Ago: Cookie Land 2011 Edition + Manchego & Quince Paste Scones.

Two Years Ago: Dutch Gevuld Speculaas + Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows.

Eat these as is for a homemade sweet-tart candy; put them in bowls and surround them with candles to make your house pretty; give them as gifts; decorate cakes; or, in my favorite application, drown them in champagne.  

Sugared Cranberries

  • 3 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 whole star anise
  • a few pieces of fresh ginger
  • 1 lb bag fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over

Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar with the water, cinnamon, anise, and ginger in a medium sauce pan.  Heat over medium heat until all the sugar dissolves.  Remove from the heat and cool 20 minutes.

Meanwhile place the cranberries in a large bowl.  Cover with the slightly cooled syrup and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Drain the cranberries and let them sit for 5 minutes.  Save the syrup to add to cocktails or champagne.  Discard the cinnamon, anise, and ginger.

Spread the remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar on a baking sheet and distribute the cranberries over the sugar.  Roll the berries to coat in sugar.  Leave to dry at least 1 hour or until very hard.

Gently remove from the sugar and transfer to bowls.  Store uncovered at room temperature up to 7-10 days.  To give as gift, package in perforated plastic bags, tins, or paper bags — the berries will soften if sealed in plastic.

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