Christmas dinner cranberry sauce

Editor’s note: Rachel Candelaria has long had an interest in food and photography, showcased on her blog, Not Just Sweets, which she describes “as a chronicle of my culinary adventures in the kitchen”. She’s given InMenlo permission to highlight some of her musings and photos from time to time.

When it comes to food, I’m spoiled. I blame all the wonderful meals I’ve had at the various restaurants I’ve worked at. I’ve been indoctrinated to believe great food must be made from scratch. My family, however, does not share my passion for cooking and can’t understand why I don’t eat my green bean casserole or Stove Top stuffing at Christmas dinner.

I’ve made it my (now not-so-secret) mission to turn my family into foodies. This is the first year of my endeavor so I’m starting off slowly by replacing the canned cranberry sauce this with a simple, easy to make Port cranberry sauce. I like to make this the day before I plan on serving it because it thickens up in the refrigerator.

Port Cranberry Sauce
– 3/4 cup ruby Port (I use Dow’s Ruby Port)
– 2 cinnamon sticks
– 1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
– 1/3 cup water* (see note)
– 1/2 cup sugar

Bring the Port, water, sugar, and cinnamon sticks to a boil in a medium saucepan; stir to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low and add cranberries, stirring often until cranberry sauce thickens and berries break, about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Discard cinnamon sticks and transfer sauce to bowl to cool.

*If I have oranges I use the juice from one orange in lieu of the water.

Photo by Rachel Canderleria