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Savory Life Lessons

forwarded along from woohdreambig.tumblr.com

My first gifts to you this holiday season are morsels of goodness, both wise and tasty. The words of life wisdom above came to me anonymously and I regret not being able to tell you more about the folks involved, but I find Mr. Snell's advice worth passing on as it is wise, humorous, and certainly practical.

AND…TIS THE SEASON OF FEASTS & CELEBRATIONS!! Here is a recipe for a holiday family favorite, an English-inspired savory cranberry conserve. This cranberry conserve is a robust recipe that balances the sweet and the tart (and can actually be made into a dessert tart); a recipe we usually double, so popular it is often given as a gift, with the beautiful conserve spooned into a festive jar decorated with a bow on top.

1 thin-skinned orange (or two clementines*), seeds removed, cut into eights
1 pound fresh cranberries
1/2 cup dried currants
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups raspberry vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1. Process the orange in a food processor until coarsely chopped
2. Combine the chopped orange with all the remaining ingredients except the walnuts in a heavy saucepan. Simmer, uncovered, until all the cranberries have popped open, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the walnuts.
3. After cooling, pack conserve not immediately for serving into air-tight containers and freeze, or refrigerate for up to two weeks.
Makes 6 half pints

* The substitution of clementines is my edit to the recipe. I usually double this recipe and cook in one large heavy saucepan; note, the simmer time is closer to 30 minutes then. The raspberry vinegar taste will be too intense if you use a raspberry balsamic, so be sure to look for a raspberry vinegar. (Silver Palate now produces a bottled raspberry vinegar you can fortunately find in most gourmet grocery stores around the holidays. A doubled recipe will use most of three bottles.) I use a wooden spoon to pop any remaining stubborn cranberries open against the side of the pan. Savory taste can be shifted toward the sweet with the addition of slightly more brown sugar and currants, but everyone seems to love the chutney-like consistency and tartness of this blend as is. Also delicious on bagels with a cream cheese spread. Hope you love it!

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