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Author Marsha West’s quick, easy and delicious recipe for Cranberry Relish

Since my first novel was published I’ve found one of the greatest (and unexpected) pleasures of becoming a “real” author is the many friends I’ve made around the world, and the lovely people I’ve met along the way.  My guest today is one of those people. Even though we’ve never actually met in real life, Marsha West has such a direct and friendly way of writing I always feel as though she’s just popped in for a chat.

It’s a real pleasure to host you, Marsha. Thanks so much for dropping in and sharing your holiday recipe!

Mom’s Cranberry Relish

by Marsha West

Thanks for having me today, Helena. Love your blog!

I recently read that Cranberry Relish is something of a southern take on the dish. That’s appropriate since my mother, Lillian Gibson Riegert, was born in South Carolina and never quite lost her southern accent despite many years of moving around the country with my Air Force Father.

We didn’t just have Cranberry Relish on Thanksgiving, however. With my mother, one of anything was seldom enough. I can remember some meals where she served ham and roast to make sure everyone had what they wanted or multiple vegetables, not just a starch and a green :)  We had the relish plus regular cranberries.

marsha west, helena fairfax, cranberry relish recipe

I always thought the regular cranberries must be the hardest to make. Boy was I surprised when I took over making cranberries for the holiday meal. They are a snap! Now the relish I think is much harder. Part of it stems from my fear of using a blender/chopper thing. Not sure why I’m this way. Both my parents were super good cooks and Daddy used all kinds of gadgets!

In most of my books, my characters enjoy cooking and eating big meals. I think I missed the boat with my first book, VERMONT ESCAPE not to include recipes. I know they are very popular. I think I see a couple of future topics for my own blog. :)

Here’s the recipe that I won’t be making this year because we’re traveling for the first time in many years.

Cranberry Relish

4 cups (400gsm) fresh cranberries (1 lb)

2 oranges, quartered, seeded, but not peeled

2 cups (200gsm) sugar

¼ tsp cinnamon

¼ allspice

1 cup (120gsm) chopped pecans

Put cranberries and oranges together through the medium blade of food grinder. Add remaining ingredients and blend. Cover and chill several hours before using. In tightly covered container, this will keep in fridge for several weeks. Makes 2 pints.

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I’m fortunate to belong to the Sisters of Suspense blog, and we have an anthology of the first chapters of ten very different romantic suspense books. It’s Free at KOBO and B & N. Soon to be Free at Amazon. Good way to find new authors. The anthology contains the first chapter of my book SECOND ACT, The Second Chances Series, Book 1.

marsha west banner 1

I hope you’ll check us out. Here’s where you can sign up for our November Giveaway.

Have you ever made cranberry relish? I’ve recently taken to adding dried cranberries & chopped pecans to our oatmeal. Scrumptious. Have you ever eaten fresh jellied cranberries? Or do you just use that in the can? Love to hear from you.

marsha west, helena fairfax

Marsha R. West, a retired elementary school principal, is also a former school board member and threatre arts teacher. She writes Romance, Suspense, and Second Chances. Experience Required. Marsha lives in Texas with her supportive lawyer husband. Their two daughters presented them with three delightful grandchildren who live nearby. A new dog, Charley, a Chihuahua/Jack Russell Terrier mix recently joined the family.

MuseItUp Publishing released her first book, VERMONT ESCAPE in July 2013; her second book, TRUTH BE TOLD, in May 2014. In the Fall of 2014, Marsha formed MRW Press LLC to provide a print versions of her books. VERMONT ESCAPE and TRUTH BE TOLD are available in print at Amazon. SECOND ACT, Book 1 of the Second Chances Series follows up with a secondary character from VERMONT ESCAPE and begins a four-part series. It can be found on any of the on-line retail outlets as well as in print. She’s releasing the second book in the series, ACT OF TRUST in the fall of 2015.

She’s had lots of fun doing book club presentations. If you’re interested, you can contact her at or through her web site  or at Sisters of Suspense!/marsha.r.west @marsha.r.west @Marsharwest

* * *

Thanks so much for sharing your recipe, Marsha. (I loved Second Act, by the way!) Cranberry sauce is one of my favourite additions to Christmas dinner. Our cranberry sauce in the UK is more of a jam (jelly) and we buy it in jars. Funnily enough, I made something similar to your cranberry relish last year, but without the pecan nuts. I also simmered the mixture for quite a long time to reduce it. When it was chilled, I put a teaspoon at the bottom of a champagne glass and added prosecco, to make a delicious cranberry cocktail. So interesting to discover your variation. It sounds absolutely delicious, and I’ll definitely be giving it a try this year!

How about you? Have you ever tried Marsha’s recipe? Do you like cranberry sauce as much as I do? And do you have a favourite accompaniment to turkey? If you have any comments at all, we’d love to hear from you!

15 thoughts on “Author Marsha West’s quick, easy and delicious recipe for Cranberry Relish

  1. Hey, Helena. Thanks so much for having me and your sweet comments. I do love the warmth of your blog, not to mention the tea and biscuits you so frequently serve. :) I bet the cranberry cocktail you made looked as yummy as it tasted. I’ve FBed and Tweeted, and I’ll be in and out all day to chat with folks.


    1. Hi Marsha, I love cranberries in any form, and they’re always such a colourful extra on the dinner table. Thanks so much for sharing your mum’s delicious recipe. This is one I’m definitely trying out this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Marsha and Helena, I had no idea making cranberry relish was that easy either. My DH has to have the cranberry gelatin -like sauce that comes in a can. I’ve never tried to make the relish, but I love it when dining at someone else’s home. This year I’m not in charge of the cranberry dish, so maybe next year I’ll try it out. (We only eat turkey once a year because my husband is not a turkey meat lover after being raised on a turkey farm. His family always got the turkey who was killed when it tangled with the electric fence. Ooh, gruesome tale for Thanksgiving time, eh?) I enjoyed Second Act too! Great photo with your bio. Wishing you success with your upcoming releases, Marsha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi JQ, I’m with your husband on this, although our cranberry sauce comes in a jar rather than a tin (can). I’ll be having a go at Marsha’s recipe this year, though, as it sounds much more tasty.
      I didn’t know your husband worked on a turkey farm. Now there’s another great setting for a novel! Please tell me you’ll write that one. Perhaps not release it at this time of year though :)
      Thanks so much for your great comment, and for dropping in!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My mother used the canned cranberry jellied sauce other times in the year, Helena. She’d make baked pork chops on top of dressing and serve the canned stuff. Quite a tasty meal. :) I don’t think at the time, I processed that it was a seasonal fruit (vegetable?).


    2. Oh, my JQ. What a story about your husband and the turkey farm! I have to distance myself from the reality, because I really love turkey, especially, my husband’s. It’s always juicy and tender. Traditionally, we’ve eaten the same meal at Thanksgiving and Christmas. That’s what my parents did, so we just continued that habit. Since the girls are grown with their own family, we’ve changed out Christmas and frequently have a brunch mid day after they’ve had their celebrations in their own homes.
      So glad you enjoyed SECOND ACT, JQ.I may start a tradition of taking my picture holding each book. :) Thanks so much for stopping and sharing.


  3. Great post, Marsha and Helena. Wonderful introduction, Helena.

    Marsha, I use your first three ingredients when making my cranberry relish. Just not so much sugar. Interesting about the cranberry cocktail, Helena.

    I’ve downloaded the free Sisters of Suspense anthology. I look forward to seeing what everyone is up to. :)

    All my best to both of you. :) Happy Holidays!



    1. Hey, Susan, Helena’s is one of my favorite places to visit, because she has such a warmth about her. I should really cut back on the sugar in our cranberries, Susan, but they are tart. Let me know what you think of the Anthology. I love the cover! Thanks for stopping by. I’ll see you at my place after Thanksgiving. :)


  4. This looks like a yummy recipe! Growing up, I was the only one in my family who liked cranberry sauce, so we never had it. Now that I’m queen of my own kitchen, I’ve made both cranberry-orange relish and whole-berry cranberry sauce many times. Love them both!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey, Heather. So glad you get to eat cranberries now. Either as relish or the whole berry sauce, it’s just yummy. As long as I have turkey, dressing, and cranberries, I’ve got Thanksgiving Dinner. All the rest is just extra. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Thanksgiving to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Marsha,

    I usually make two cranberry sauce mixes on thanksgiving, and this may make number three!

    There is a recipe that is given on NPR every Thanksgiving. That is my absolute favorite.

    Have a great thanksgiving. (I agree that this was a great idea of Helena’s).


    Liked by 1 person

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