Thanksgiving?! How did that get here so fast?!
I wouldn’t normally post another recipe this close to the last one but I wanted to make sure you all had it before Turkey Day!
I honestly didn’t think I was going to be able to write this post when I started. As some of you know, we lost my Grandma back in August and it’s been an emotional road since then. This Thanksgiving seems especially hard because this time last year is when she got sick and she never bounced back. It’s a really bittersweet week for me and I’m getting ready to celebrate my favorite holiday.
I don’t know if I’ve ever had a time when I’ve been as nostalgic about recipes as I have been the last few months. Everything seems to be reminding me of my Grandma this fall just like all the fresh veggies and gardens remind me of my Pappa in the summer. A few weeks ago I found myself crying over melted marshmallows while I was making Rice Krispie treats. My Grandma used to start making sheet pans of treats a month before Halloween and freeze them in preparation for trick-or-treaters.
Today I started my prep for Thanksgiving dinner and I told myself I was going to be strong. I got out my recipe card for Cranberry Salad that my Grandma had lovingly typed up for me soon after I got married (she typed everything!) and gathered all my things to start cooking. Surely I’ll be able to get through one recipe without tears, right?! Wrong. As I started prepping the cranberries I had to fight back the water works. Cranberries make me cry, okay?!
I did stop myself and think about the first time I remember making this with my Grandma though. Now my Grandma wasn’t a huge fan of cranberries (I’ll save that story for later) but every Thanksgiving and Christmas this recipe made it to the table. When I was little I remember her getting out the cast iron meat grinder to grind everything up and then she’d let me help put everything together. One time, when I was really little, I remember asking her what cranberries tasted like. I loved her cranberry salad but had never tried a cranberry on its own. Wow was I in for a surprise! I still remember her laughing at me as I puckered up and made a funny face!
Grandma’s Cranberry Salad
2 boxes strawberry Jello
1 pound cranberries
1 orange, peeled and seeded
1 apple, cored, peeled and seeded
2-2 ½ cups sugar (I only do 2 because I like it more tart)
Nuts (optional, I usually leave them out but pecans or walnuts would be preferable here)
Cool Whip, for serving
Grind cranberries, orange, and apple in a food processor. Add sugar and let sit until juice starts to release from fruit. Drain the liquid into another bowl. Use the liquid as a part of the cold water when making the jello. Continue making jello according to package instructions. Add ground ingredients. Put mixture in a 9×13 pan. Top with nuts if using. Refrigerate until set. Serve topped with Cool Whip.
Source: My Grandma’s recipe book
This Cranberry Salad is one of our family’s staples during the holidays and I didn’t think it would be right to leave it off the table this year.