Last year about this time, I read an article that upset me greatly. In fact, I saved this link so that I could respond to the article when the time was right.
I know cranberry sauce is considered a Thanksgiving food, to go with turkey; but in my family, the Thanksgiving menu and the Christmas menu are indistinguishable. So, if you got it wrong at Thanksgiving, after reading this article you’ll be able to get it right for Christmas.
If you have not read the above-mentioned article, in it Tamela Hancock Murray purports to know the correct way to serve cranberry sauce (the jellied kind that comes in a can). Everyone knows, she says, that “you must slice the cranberry sauce so it appears in rounds and then you serve it in an oblong dish.”
This is how you serve cranberry sauce:
In a green footed bowl used for no other purpose than serving cranberries. (Full disclosure: even though many years ago the bowl came to me filled with a floral arrangement, I knew at that moment that it was born to be a cranberry dish.) After opening the chilled can, shake the cranberry sauce into the dish without marring its cylindrical form. Allow guests to serve themselves with a sterling silver cranberry sauce slicer. (I know for sure this slicer was made specifically for cranberry sauce. It has a circle of cranberries etched into the surface. It was my mother-in-law’s. I gave it to her, and it reverted back to me when she passed away.)
Some of you are undoubtedly dying to tell me that jellied cranberry sauce from a can is far inferior to the other kind. Don’t tell me—tell my husband. It’s what his mother always served. Old traditions die hard.
I have tasted the whole-berry kind, and I love it. I have even made it from scratch, and it was heavenly. I even tried serving it in alternating years.
The only problem with that arrangement is, no one else in my family will eat it. So canned jellied cranberry sauce it is. It’s the only way.