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.
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.
4 cups (400gsm) fresh cranberries (1 lb)
2 oranges, quartered, seeded, but not peeled
2 cups (200gsm) sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
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.
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 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.
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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!