Thanksgiving is decidedly an American holiday highlighted by the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and football games. Golden, overstuffed turkeys, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and green bean casseroles will be prominently displayed on festively set tables across this great land. Then there’s the American-Armenian version of Thanksgiving which we celebrate for the same reasons as our American sisters and brothers: gratitude for good health, food, shelter, family, friends, and freedom. But we celebrate with a twist. Our holiday table would not be complete if we didn’t include some of our treasured favorites – yalanchi, boregs, basturma, hummus,midia dolma, nuts, dried apricots, kufteh, paklava, well you get the idea!
I often prepare a homemade cranberry sauce as part of our Thanksgiving menu. I know, it’s not Armenian, but I jazz-it-up with some pomegranate molasses and a sprinkling of pomegranate arils to make it feel that it is. We wish you ALL, a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING from our Armenian Kitchen to yours!
(The following recipe was adapted from The Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library Holiday Entertainment Cookbook.)
Rinse cranberries in a colander and sort through them, discarding any soft or bruised ones.
In a non-reactive saucepan, stir together the cranberries, sugar, pomegranate molasses, orange zest and juice, water, cinnamon stick, and ground cloves, if using.
Using a medium-high heat, bring ingredients to a boil, then reduce heat, partially cover the pot and simmer gently, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes or until sauce thickens and most of the cranberries have burst. Remove and discard cinnamon stick.
Transfer to a serving bowl and let cool for about 15 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Just before serving, garnish the top of the cranberry sauce with chopped nuts and/or pomegranate arils, if desired.