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Tried and New

Nov 22, 2021

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Every food centric website is bursting with recipes that promise to change your life, be a fun twist on a classic or prove to be the easiest hack ever for your holiday meal.

However, at the end of the day, 99.6 percent of home cooks are sticking with their tried-and-true family favorites. You aren’t alone if you read through countless new recipes, but never refer to them again. Thanksgiving is truly a meal of comfort and gratitude.

I am one of those traditionalists. Occasionally, I may try something new for our meal, but usually, it is in addition to what I feel are essentials. I am thankful for turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, roasted butternut squash (instead of sweet potatoes), cranberry sauce, brussels sprouts or green beans and dinner rolls. Those HAVE TO be on my Thanksgiving table. I have my favorite methods for preparing them, and I seldom deviate regardless of how many other recipes I may browse that offer me “a little something special.”

So, what am I, a food columnist, going to offer you this holiday season that will change your life? What fun twist on a classic do I have up my sleeve? What is an easy hack that will be a little something special? I present Cranberry Mustard.

You may not want or need Cranberry Mustard on your Thanksgiving table but trust me. It is the seasonal condiment for leftover turkey sandwiches that will make you thankful. Put a dish of Cranberry Mustard on your charcuterie board. Pair it with goat cheese on crackers, any deeply rich and earthy sausage (like braunschweiger), or some hard cheeses and cream cheese. This recipe does make a lot. Portion some into pretty little jars and share with your friends and family. In addition to turkey, it is great with ham, pork, and even sausages roasted with pierogis. You will be thankful for Cranberry Mustard.


Stuffing, corn and pumpkin pie are Thanksgiving staples, but for something different on the holiday table, try Cranberry Mustard.

Cranberry Mustard

(adapted from Ball Canning and Preserving)


1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/3 cup mustard seeds (all yellow or a mix of yellow and brown)

1 cup water

2 3/4 cups fresh cranberries

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons dry mustard

1 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice


Bring vinegar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and add mustard seeds. Cover and let stand at room temperature for about an hour. (Seeds will absorb most of the liquid.)

In a food processor, add mustard seeds, water, and cranberries. Pulse until berries are mostly chopped, but still chunky.

Return cranberries to the saucepan and stir in sugar, dry mustard and allspice. Bring cranberry mixture to a boil, stirring to avoid sticking. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes, still stirring frequently, until mixture has thickened and slightly jelled.

(Cranberry Mustard can be canned by water bath method or stored refrigerated for about a month.)


Fran Hill has been blogging about food at On My Plate since October of 2006. She, her husband and their three dogs ranch near Colome.


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