This Thanksgiving, Shed Your Shame of Canned Cranberry Sauce

Back up off my cranberry sauce.
Back up off my cranberry sauce.

Sweet-sour cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving staple. But unlike most dishes that adorn holiday tables, it is highly unpredictable, second only to your aunt's turkey, which for decades has been a coin toss between bone dry and poultry sashimi.

Homemade cranberry sauce is either overly sweet or tart. The skins that fall off the berries take on a weird, unpleasant crunchy texture. The whole thing may have the consistency of a Jell-O mold or that of a gloopy compote. You just don't know. It's impossible to discern how much of your plate reserve for it. Your safest bet is to just slip a cylinder out of a can, slice it up, and mash a bit onto every bite.

I've eaten countless varieties of homemade cranberry sauce, but this high fructose syrup-injected mold is still the best, and should always be on a Thanksgiving table.

If thought of its processed nature offends you, step back. How was that turkey you're roasting raised? Perhaps you're using chicken stock to moisten your stuffing. I wonder if the bird whose bones (apparently) went into it was humanely raised without hormones, antibiotics and the like. Were the vegetables that you served as aromatics grown without pesticides? Might they be genetically modified?

The problems with the modern food system are abundant on our holiday tables. To single out jellied cranberry sauce, the most delicious of them all, is unfair.

So take advantage of the buy-one-get-one deals. And save a can for the day after, because the sliceable, spreadable stuff is also the ideal leftover sandwich topper.

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