How It All Started

Bob Phillips

The title of this blog was inspired by one of my Spanish professor's at Miami University of Ohio, Dr. Robert Phillips, who died in the e...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cranberry "Recipe" Recipe

I was about to prepare a pound of fresh cranberries that I had picked up from Hanson Farm, but I could not find any rum in the cabinet. That's right: we usually use rum. What qualifies this as a new recipe is a substitution I used for one of our standards. I also changed the preparation methods a bit, to accommodate other things I was cooking for the same meal.

The original recipe -- in the first of our two big binders of recipes -- is as follows:

  • Place one pound of fresh cranberries in your indispensable cast-iron skillet, along with two cups of sugar (brown or white). Cover with foil or lid and place in a 250-degree oven for 1 hour.
  • Add 2-1/4 cups of rum and return to oven uncovered until evaporated.
  • Stir minimally, if at all.

Lacking rum, I opened a recently-purchased bottle of Seagram's 7. For sipping, we usually have something a bit more rarefied, like a Scotch or brandy, but we keep the Seagram's around for mixing or for less refined moods.

The whole category of distilled spirits is known as "recipe" in our house, after the moonshine kept for medicinal purposes by the Baldwin sisters on the Prohibition-era television show The Waltons.

What I actually did yesterday was:

  • Placed one pound of fresh cranberries in our indispensable cast-iron saucepan, along with one cup each of brown and white sugar. Covered with lid and placed in a 300-degree oven for 30 minutes.
  • Allowed to rest on stove top for about 45 minutes while the rest of the meal cooked at a higher temperature.
  • Added 2-1/4 cups of whiskey and cooked, uncovered, on stove top until it was evaporated, or nearly so.
  • Stirred almost not at all.
Had I to do this over again -- and I will! -- I would use a bit less whiskey, as the evaporation took far too long, and was not complete at serving time.

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