Cranberries for Chanukah


This year marks one of the rare times that the first night of Chanukah coincides with Christmas Eve. Interfaith families might be lighting candles while waiting for Santa. My favorite latke recipe never changes but this year I decided to try my grandmother’s handwritten cranberry sauce recipe as a topping for latkes instead of the traditional applesauce. Written on a piece of paper from a long-gone insurance agency (Tabb, Brockenbrough & Ragland)  in Richmond, Virginia, the recipe itself has survived the test of time and still tastes “perfectly lovely,” as my grandmother liked to say. Canned pineapple was a novelty in the 1930s so that might explain why it’s there. No matter what, the sweet tidbits contrast nicely with the tart cranberries. And there are eight nights to enjoy the sauce!

Pineapple-Cranberry Conserve (1930s)
Makes about 4 cups

4 cups cranberries
8 ounces pineapple tidbits, drained and juice reserved
1 orange, sliced thin, then quartered
1 cup sugar
1 cup chopped almonds

  1. Add water to the pineapple juice to make 1 cup.
  2. In a large, stainless steel pot, cook the cranberries with the pineapple juice and orange. When the cranberries start popping, add the sugar and tidbits. Cook until thick, about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the chopped almonds. Let cool before serving with latkes or just plain.

About heritagerecipebox

I am named after my great-grandmother, who only prepared two dishes, according to anyone who remembers. Somehow I ended up with a cooking gene that I brought with me from Richmond, Virginia to my current home in Boston, Massachusetts. I have worked as a journalist and published three cookbooks plus a memoir and a novel. This blog gives me a chance to share family recipes and other American recipes with a past.
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