It doesn’t really feel like the holiday season quite yet. The temperature seems too warm, the Halloween candy is still plentiful, and our pumpkins are in various states of non-frozen decomposition on the front stairs. (For those of you following along on Husband’s Facebook page, our Jack-o’-lantern’s disgusting metamorphosis is finally complete—or is it?)
But now comes the scariest time of the year: holiday shopping season. It puts Halloween to shame. I shan’t be leaving the house until December 26. God help them if the kids outgrow their shoes during that time. Sorry, kids, no way am I going to Target today. Just wear socks and sandals. Oh, it’s snowing out? Tie a bread bag around each foot, you’ll be fine.
I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that the perfect holiday gift is a mere click away. People always say they have too many cookbooks, but they don’t really mean it. True, they might not be willing to buy one for themselves, but they will always happily accept one under the tree. Trust me. And don’t forget your Aunt Mildred. She seems like a Wintersweet kind of gal, and she’s very sorry for what she said about you that time she got into the cordial!
These festive treats are sweetly tart and fun to eat. Use the freshest, bounciest cranberries you can find—not frozen.
1 cup fresh cranberries, washed, picked over
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/3 cup for coating
2 strips orange peel (no white pith)
Set the cranberries aside in a small glass bowl. In a medium saucepan, stir the water, 1 cup of sugar, and the orange peels together over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring the syrup to a bare simmer and remove from heat. Let the syrup cool 2-3 minutes, and then pour it over the cranberries. Set a small bowl on top of the cranberries to submerge them. Cover the bowls and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Strain the cranberries and set them on a plate. Remove the orange peels, cut into thin strips, and add to the berries. Sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of sugar over the berries, a little at a time, tossing well to coat. Let dry for 2 hours. Sprinkle another 1-2 tablespoons of sugar over them, rolling the berries until well coated. Let dry another hour before serving. Store uncovered at room temperature for 1-2 days.
Source: From Wintersweet by Tammy Donroe Inman (that's me!)