SAN DIEGO, Dec. 1, 2015 — Over the Christmas holiday season, gift-giving is an inherent part of expressions of appreciation amongst friends, colleagues and loved ones, those relationships that are held most dear.
Gift-giving can be expensive while also producing feelings of uncertainty as to exactly what type of gift would be best to give.
Sometimes the perfect solution to a gift-giving conundrum can also be the simplest.
The following Christmas recipe, Cranberry Chutney, compliments of cookbook author Diane-Morgans and published in Oprah, is a delightful, palate-pleasing addition to almost any holiday table–and it is inexpensive and easy to make.
Serving Size: Approximately eight cups, which will fill four pint-sized jars
- 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, stemmed
- 2 ½ cups sugar (or sugar substitute for those on special diets)
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 3-inch cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp. salt (or light salt for those on special diets)
- 2 6-ounce Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½ inch diced
- 2 6-ounce Bosc or Anjou pears, peeled, cored and cut into ½ inch diced
- 1 small 5-ounce yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1/3 cup diced crystallized ginger
- In a deep 6-quart saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, 1 1/4 cups water, cloves, cinnamon sticks and salt.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar.
- Cook until berries begin to pop open, which is approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Adjust heat so mixture barely simmers.
- Stir in apples, pears, onion, raisins and ginger.
- Continue to cook the entire mixture, stirring frequently until it is thick, approximately 10 to 15 minutes longer.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and cool to room temperature.
- Discard the visible cinnamon sticks and cloves.
Once the mixture is cooled, refrigerate in tightly sealed jars for up to 2 months.
Retailers such as Williams-Sonoma sell a variety of attractive mason and preserve jars, which will safely and cleanly house the homemade Cranberry Chutney while making it a beautiful gift.
When Christmas gift-giving season begins, attach a cheery holiday ribbon to each mason jar along with an accompanying gift tag for its recipient. Then watch the smiles this thoughtful and delicious gift evokes!
Cranberry chutney pairs nicely with many types of cheese, whether young or aged, topping off crackers and small slices of bread.
It is also delicious at dinnertime, complementing a variety of cooked meats such as turkey, chicken, pork, lamb or beef.
After the holidays it makes for a delightful addition when served on sandwiches made of leftover meats, either alone or mixed with mayonnaise.
The Cranberry Chutney recipe can also be easily adapted to accommodate family and friends who have food allergies and/or special diets.
As the long-awaited holiday celebrations gear up and traditional gift-giving begins, remember that the true value of any gift lies in its thoughtfulness and the spirit of love and care in which it is given.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 30 years. As a featured “Communities Digital News” columnist, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is an educator and a recognized expert in home and community-based, long-term care services.
In addition to writing for “Communities Digital News,” Laurie is the President and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.
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