The other day I was shopping at my local Trader Joe's when I just happened (ha!) to wander by the sample kiosk where they were handing out tiny tastes of their stuffing and cauliflower gratin, with a dab of some bright red stuff. I was a little distracted, so I didn't pay attention to the chalkboard that listed what I was tasting, and wandered away, snacking off of my sample plate. Distractedly, I scooped some of the red sauce into my mouth and shazam! I promptly spun 180 degrees and headed back to the chalkboard. How had my mother's cranberry orange relish made it to the Trader Joe's tasting kiosk in Berkeley, California?
My mom's cranberry relish is a simple blend of fresh cranberries, orange zest and pulp, and some sugar pulsed together in a food processor and chilled in the refrigerator. Bright, zingy, tart and sweet, it's the perfect thing to have on your plate to counter the richness of the usual Thanksgiving offerings. It's important to have the balance of flavors just right -- not too tart, not too sweet, with enough orange to balance the cranberry. Trader Joe's had this one nailed.
As Stephanie pointed out in her post last week about bending the homemade rule now and then, we occasionally have to take shortcuts in order to get Thanksgiving dinner on the table. I love my mother's home made cranberry orange relish but to be honest, it's not the most popular thing on the table. Plus, I'm without a food processor this year, so I would have to do a lot of hand chopping to recreate the proper texture. This little tub is an excellent stand in and will free up a few extra minutes in the race towards getting everything onto the table this Thursday.
• Find It: Trader Joe's Cranberry Orange Relish, $3.49 at most Trader Joe's stores. I believe it's a seasonal thing and only available in November and December.
(Image: Trader Joe's)