‘Tis the season for booze infooozed jellies! With little-to-no local in-season fruits in New Hampshire, I was forced to resort to alcohol. Hard life, right? The other evening while rushing around the grocery store for canning ingredients I completely forgot my bag of 6 pomegranates in the check out aisle. To ensure that I wasn’t loosing my mind, I called customer service before I made the trip back to the store at 9pm, and they confirmed my forgetful fate. I figured that maybe it was a sign and that there was probably a reason for my forgetfulness: Ball Jars and liquid pectin! On my second trip through the check out aisle, the manager asked what I was making, which led to the mention of the blog, which in turn led to the manager not charging me for any of my canning supplies. “I feel bad that you had to drive back down here (mind you it was my own damn fault), so these are a gift from me because you have a great blog!” What? Who does that? Thus deeming Portsmouth, NH grocery stores the friendliest I’ve ever encountered (a cashier at Trader Joe’s once gave me a free house warming plant).
In college my typical Thursday night would involve drinking too much, eating MSG laden ramen, and making bad life choices. Fortunately for the sake of my health (with the occasional relapse), now I just drink (higher quality alcohol), decide to start canning a pretty involved concoction at 11:45pm, and then proceed to drink all the ingredients (hello late 20’s). A few years back, I decided to openly declare that I really disliked the canned cranberry gelatin-like glop that my mother used to serve every year during holiday meals. To resolve the issue, she suggested that I try my hand at homemade cranberry sauce. To say the least, my first stab at cranberry sauce was not quite as satisfactory as I had hoped. I think the store bought extra pulp OJ may have been the culprit. I made further improvements last year by using orange zest, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Alas this attempt also failed to enticed the meal goers, and quickly landed itself a place in the dark depths of the refrigerator. Last night, after a few glasses of wine, and Thanksgiving only three weeks away, I decided that I would give it a go once again. This time I added apples, port, and a whole slew of other ingredients. Preliminary findings from my late night finger-tasting, resulted in a quality improved sweet and slightly tart mixture of cranberry goodness. I will definitely be bringing a jar or two of this Spiced Port Apple Cranberry Sauce to this year’s holiday festivities. This recipe can be easily modified by adding or omitting spices, or by substituting bourbon for the port. Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!