Thanksgiving: Cleo's Cranberry Sauce

Every year, for the past 7 or so years (except for last year when my lovely future mother-in-law provided the cranberry accompaniment), I have made a version of this cranberry sauce from the Joy of Cooking. It all started my Freshman year of college, when I came home to celebrate Thanksgiving and it ended up being just my mom and I. It was a glorious day full of cooking in our p.j.s and then consuming a feast in the reclined position on the couch, while watching Hook. Needless to say, it's still one of our fondest memories.

The reason that I make a "version" of this recipe every year is twofold: 1. As they say, "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree," and this is very true when it comes to my parents' influence on my cooking style. We are constantly tweaking our recipes. 2. I never seem to properly prepare to make this sauce besides buying the cranberries (oops), so my citrus addition is dependent upon what we have in the house. Sometimes it's oranges, sometimes it's clementines, sometimes I don't add the OJ... but I always add the Cointreau because it's always on hand as it only gets used once a year :)

All that being said, please feel free to improvise on my recipe! We like ours with just enough sweetness to balance out the tart cranberries, hence my drastic reduction in the amount of sugar. (In my opinion, if you added the full 2 cups of sugar, it would be like eating some sort of desert sauce that would be better served with ice cream than turkey.) So try the recipe as is, or tinker to your tastes. It's all in the spirit of family, tradition and giving thanks... so don't forget to have fun with the preparation of your meal!