Have you ever eaten a fresh cranberry? Let me tell you, you haven’t missed out on anything. There’s nothing to recommend it. You wouldn’t want to grab a handful to nibble while watching a movie. They’re not a tasty treat.
But add a little sugar, some chopped orange and walnuts, raisins, and port, cook it for awhile and magic happens. Put it in jars and you’ve got deliciousness to last all year. Today I canned 24 four ounce jars of Cranberry Port Conserve. I can’t say it’s my best effort, but it’s pretty good.
Making jams or conserves is a meditation for me. I breathe and pay attention to details, one step at a time, everything in its own time. No hurry, no wishing it might be different. It just is.
Most often jam is made from sweet fruit; it’s not a stretch to make it edible. A cranberry requires something more, a willingness to see what it might become with a little imagination.
Cranberry Port Conserve
4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
2 cups granulated sugar
¾ cup port
½ cup finely chopped, peeled orange
1/3 cup raisins
¼ cup chopped walnuts
Combine cranberries, sugar, and port – bring to a full boil over high heat and cook, uncovered, until berries pop.
Add orange and raisins. Return to a boil, reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, until mixture forms a light gel, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in nuts.