Monday, November 1, 2010

Cranberry salsa -- huzzah!

While the weather outside has been stunning (warm, golden sunshine; rainbow leaves on cottonwoods; still-green grass), I have been stuck inside working. Since mid-September I have been overloaded with work. When you work for yourself, this is a good thing, but too much of anything can be a burden.

I expect to be on a regular schedule just in time for Thanksgiving, which brings me to my latest recipe.

Despite the pile of work, I have to eat and have managed to pretty much cook from scratch rather than depend on boxes and frozen prepared foods. I even made some cranberry sauce. The two-year-old bag of cranberries in my freezer looked like it was about to take its last breath, so I scrambled around for a recipe to use it all up at once.

A hoarded pamphlet from Ocean Spray Cranberries suggested Tex-Mex Cranberry Salsa. I adapted it to my own whims and came up with the recipe below.

But before you get busy in the kitchen, consider these facts:

- Cranberries, along with blueberries and Concord grapes, are the only modern commercial fruits native to the United States and Canada.

- Washington & Oregon produce well over 500,000 100-lb. barrels of cranberries annually, 1/15 of the nation's supply. (There are about 50,000 cranberries in barrel.)

- Cranberries top the list of fruits supplying healthy anti-oxidants.

Cranberry Salsa

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 12-ounce bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
1 4-ounce can chopped jalapeno peppers
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup chopped red onion
Juice of 1 lime
Handful chopped cilantro

Put water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add cranberries (no need to thaw if frozen) and return to a boil. Gently boil for 10 minutes without stirring.

Pour into a glass bowl. Stir in rest of ingredients.

Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the salsa. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate. (My batch almost filled a quart jar.)

This is a bit syrupy, so you might want to experiment and use less sugar and/or water.

* * *

I love this stuff on plain toast, but at the top of this blog you see a photo of it on top of cheesy toast and sprinkled with cilantro leaves. I understand that some people do not have the ability to enjoy cilantro (it's a chemical thing you're born with or without). All I can say is, I feel sorry for those people. I take great whiffs of cilantro and feel revived.

Now back to work.

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