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The Ultimate Cranberry Citrus Relish

The Ultimate Cranberry Citrus Relish
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Jill Clark and I have been cooking together since she was in Dr. Denton’s. We’ve had so many great holidays together that The Making of the Cranberry Sauce is an annual event. And it’s taken place all over the map—even in Hong Kong. Several years ago, Jill moved to Dublin, met a wonderful man and we all went there to celebrate Thanksgiving. Finding the cranberries alone was a terrific challenge, just the first of many.

Knowing that our assignment would include the making of the ultimate accompaniment to Turkey, I went into Williams-Sonoma where I was sucked into buying “A delicious alternative to traditional cranberry sauce, this mold makes a beautiful presentation at the table. It is a natural partner for the Thanksgiving turkey” for an atrocious amount of money. Worse still, the mold weighed a ton and when we got to the airport we had to pay an additional $50.00 for the suitcase containing the thing.

Above, Jill and me in Ireland.

Then there was the joy of trying to find cranberries in the Irish capital. While there was some evidence that the Irish are familiar with the bird, if not the holiday, there was an amazing dearth of the fruit.

You can see from this photo that the Irish love to celebrate the holiday the way they love to celebrate everyday—with a lampshade on their heads.

When they were finally located, they were found at Fallon and Byrne, an amazing grocer where everything is beautifully displayed and about 25 times more expensive than anywhere you’ve ever shopped in your whole life. Certainly for cranberries.

Finally the big day came and Jill dutifully followed the instructions that came with the mold, trying to achieve the results so prominently displayed on the box it came in. A beautiful pineapple appears in the picture, a univeral symbol of hospitality. Here’s what ours looked like:
         This year, Jill and her new husband came to our house for Thanksgiving and this year we hit it out of the ballpark. This recipe has been voted into our Hall of Fame. It is simply delicious, very textural and as beautiful to look at as it is to eat. And thank god, it doesn’t require a mold. It can easily be doubled and likely should be if you are serving more than 12 people. Here’s the recipe:

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