1:14 pm: The cranberries are done; sparkling, ruby, tangy. They're so good fresh out of the oven, I'm thinking we might serve them hot this year -- assuming I can refrain from eating all of them right now. Aren't they gorgeous?
12:51: Even if I could adequately describe it, you probably wouldn't believe me if I told you how good this stuff is making the kitchen smell. Suffice it to say, if you threw in a pine bough, you'd have the official, quintessential smell of the holiday season.
12:36: Hmm. We think one side of the oven might be hotter than the other, with one pan coming out mostly liquescient and the other with the berries still quite structurally intact. Interesting. We will keep you posted on how this affects the sauce.
12:00: They've been foiled up and whacked in the oven -- they look like those "frosted" "berries" you can get to decorate your Martha Stewart centerpiece on the holiday table, except prettier...and way more delicious.
11:50: This recipe has been a staple for years. The basic cranberry-sugar/tart-sweet combo gets a nice savory tweak from the bourbon -- and watching the liquor burst into fragrant steam when you stir it into the bubbling cranberries is one of my favorite moments of the day.
Bourbon cranberry sauce:
Adapted from Bon Appétit, November 1991, by way of epicurious.
1 pound of cranberries (I usually go with a bag and a half)
2 c sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 c bourbon
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine the first three ingredients in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake 30 minutes. Stir well, being sure to scrape up all the sugar on the bottom of the dish. Re-cover, and bake 30 minutes longer. Remove from the oven, and stir in the bourbon. Transfer to a bowl, and refrigerate until well-chilled.