Homemade cranberry sauce is a bright, sassy, classic Thanksgiving condiment that is a snap to whip up. Yes it's available in jars and cans. But if you have cranberries and about 30 minutes, you've got great homemade side that is lower in sugar and higher in nutrients than the stuff on the supermarket shelf. Just saying!
There are a ton of recipes out there, so my recommendation is to pick one that accommodates your tastes and uses your favorite flavors. This year, I adapted a basic Martha combination, but in previous years I've also experimented with adding fresh ginger, orange, and spices. Be as traditional (not a cop out!) or as adventurous as you want to be, and get to it!
(And a positive note: Cranberry sauce keeps great in the fridge, so you can make it now and it'll stay fresh for Turkey Day.)
Cranberry and Dried Cherry Relish (makes about 6 cups)
24 oz. fresh (or frozen) cranberries
2 cups dried cherries
1-2 tsp. lemon rind (to taste)
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cups sugar
In a large saucepan, combine cranberries (no need to thaw if frozen), dried cherries, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until most berries have burst and liquid is syrupy, about 20 minutes. Add lemon rind and let simmer for another 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover, pressing plastic wrap directly on surface of relish. Refrigerate for up to two weeks.