Braly: Cranberry sauce in a can is a travesty

Braly: Cranberry sauce in a can is a travesty

November 23rd, 2011 by Anne Braly in Life Entertainment

Cranberry Orange Sauce

4 cups fresh cranberries

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon orange zest

Rinse cranberries in cold water. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, water and orange juice. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, and add cranberries and orange zest. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook about 10 minutes or until berries just start to burst. Remove from heat and let cool, then chill overnight or for up to two days for best flavor. Serve chilled. Makes about 2 cups.

There are two types of cranberry-sauce lovers, the purists and the pragmatists. I fall in the former category, my husband in the latter.

To him, nothing rings the Thanksgiving dinner bell any better than the sound of cranberry sauce sucking its way out of the can. It's quick and easy.

I, on the other hand, simply cannot stand the thought of serving this red gelatinous goop, which sounds like some slimy creature as its makes its journey down the ribbed aluminum can and plops, still wiggling, on the plate.

My mother instilled my love for fresh cranberry sauce. The look in her eye when someone suggested canned sauce was one of sheer horror.

Don't get me wrong. There's nothing terribly wrong with canned sauce the day after Thanksgiving. It's actually quite good when used like mayonnaise on a turkey sandwich. It's easy to spread and adds a little kick to the sandwich, which can be rather bland without it.

But on the Thanksgiving table? Please.

Nothing looks more elegant than that fresh red sauce embedded with tiny slivers of orange peel. The bright combination of colors set in a beautiful crystal bowl against a white tablecloth makes it one of the most eye-catching dishes on the table.

So when you gather around the table on Thanksgiving day, try my mom's recipe. It's the perfect blend of flavors.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

* * *

One thing I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving, as are many Chattanoogans, is Volkswagen.

How does that figure into a food column? Two reasons: First, having the car company here finally helped to bring a German-style restaurant into town. Second, it offered the city enough jobs so that people can afford to eat there and keep it in business.

I'm talking about the North Shore's new Brewhaus. I ate there recently and thoroughly enjoyed my meal, as well as the menu. It's like Germany meets the South -- a clever mix of cuisines, such as brats with pimento cheese, or wiener schnitzel with a fried egg on top.

There's plenty of kraut, pretzels and a nice variety of beers in the mix as well. I was particularly fond of the kraut balls served with cherry ale mustard. And if your mouth is watering for a good hamburger, there were several choices, as well as a couple of good-sounding salads.

The seating is a little awkward, with only tables for six available. If you don't mind communal seating when the place is crowded though, it's no problem.

Brewhaus is at 224 Frazier Ave., and is one of just a handful of North Shore eateries with a dedicated parking lot.