My Southern Alabama family takes two things very seriously: the holidays and cooking. So, Thanksgiving meal preparation is a doubly serious thing. It’s a tradition that I love to carry on with my own little family now, using recipes from my mother who got them from her grandmother who got them from … well, you get the picture. Most of our recipes are probably as old as the state of Alabama itself.
The first time I went to another family’s Thanksgiving dinner, I had NO idea what the gelatinous red blob on the table was. I’ve since discovered that it’s a version of cranberry sauce, but it’s nothing like the cranberry sauce that I grew up with.
This is my mom’s recipe for cranberry citrus relish. I have fond memories of chasing the runaway bouncing cranberries across the floor, which my dogs and toddler are now happy to relive each year.
It’s so easy to make and get your child(ren) involved in the holiday meal prep!
Cranberry Citrus Relish
One 16 oz. bag of fresh cranberries
One orange, peeled
One lime, for juice
(bottled lime juice will work in a pinch too!)
1/2 cup of white sugar
1/4 cup of walnuts or pecans, finely chopped (optional!)
- Dust off your food processor, add the cranberries, and pulse until well chopped. If your food processor is on the smaller side (like mine), you may wish to chop the cranberries in two batches to ensure they’re all sufficiently chopped.
(While you’re doing this, you can task the kids with peeling your orange for you … after they finish chasing the bouncing cranberries, of course!)
- Move your chopped cranberries into a mixing bowl and stir in the sugar and juice of the lime. (This is another great place to get the kids involved – even my 18 month old enjoys squeezing citrus, although her accuracy leaves something to be desired!) Add the peeled orange segments to the bottom of the food processor and top with your sugary cranberries. Pulse until well blended again.
- You’re done! Unless you want to add the nuts, that is. You can just stir in the finely chopped nuts or send them through another round of the food processor if you’d like them even finer. I like to serve this relish in a mason jar with a small serving spoon.
This relish can last in the refrigerator for a few days, so it’s easy to make ahead of time. It’s also easy to package and run over to a friend or family member for their Thanksgiving feasts!
Because it lasts, the relish really helps dress up leftovers too. I love to use it as a spread on leftover turkey sandwiches with a little brie and leftover cornbread stuffing. Toasted is even better!
If you decide to serve this, make sure you keep your recipe on hand. Last year, I had three people request a copy!