Last year for Friendsgiving/Thanksgiving, I experimented with a Vanilla Bourbon Cranberry Sauce. This year I tried my hand at a Cabernet Cranberry Blueberry Sauce. I found the original recipe here but made a couple of small changes after doing a few batches.
One 8-ounce bag fresh cranberries
8-ounces frozen blueberries
3/4 cups of Cabernet Sauvignon or your favorite red wine
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Combine all the ingredients in a large kettle. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring intermittently. Make sure kettle has room for sauce to at least triple in volume. The juices from the berries release and as the mixture boils rapidly, it will foam and a too-small pot will easily overflow.
Reduce heat to low and allow sauce to simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until reduced and thickened slightly, and most of the cranberries have burst. Sauce will thicken more as it cools.
Transfer to heat-safe jars or containers with lids. Allow sauce to cool at room temperature before refrigerating. Sauce will keep airtight in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks.
With our annual Friendsgiving coming up, I wanted to try something new. Don’t get me wrong, I love the stuff from the can. It’s what I grew up on. Ridges and all.
However I figured I’d go a little outside my comfort level and when I found a recipe featuring bourbon I knew it would be perfect to try.
Thanks to eat, live, run for the recipe. It was very easy for a novice like myself to make.
14 oz fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 tbsp bourbon
1 tbsp vanilla extract (I was able to find vanilla bourbon extract)
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until cranberries burst and begin to break down, about 10-15 minutes. Stir well and remove from heat. Sauce will thicken up greatly as it cools.
Truth be told, I went more the 2 tbsp that the recipe called for. Which led to a little trouble as my sauce wasn’t thickening very well as it cooled. A little research online pointed me to a dash of cornstarch and that did the trick.
Next year I think I’m going to try something similar using a slow cooker.
Team Crawl in Boston has been having Friendsgiving for several years now. The tradition started for us a few years ago when one friend wanted to deep fry a turkey, so once a fryer was procured, the game was on. Throughout the years, some things have changed, some things have stayed the same, but it’s always a fun and festive time to have some holiday cheer with our friends. Below we’ll provide a list of our favorite Friendsgiving tips and traditions that you can incorporate into your own affair.
1.) The Main Course – Since our Friendsgiving tradition started with the desire to try a deep fried turkey, we’ve always had a special sort of bird for the main course. Friendsgiving is a great time to try something different, since most families have particular traditions for the “real” Thanksgiving feast. Once we moved locations from the wilds of Somerville to the tony slopes of Beacon Hill, we had to trade the fried turkey for something less flammable but just as delicious: turducken. This trifecta of poultry delight is something to be tried at least once. We recommend ordering a frozen one (already deboned and stuffed) from www.cajungrocers.com. They ship it to your door, so all you have to do is defrost and stick it in the oven. It comes out moist and delicious.
2.) Organization – This is a great time to utilize Google Docs. We have done this previously, where each side was listed for people to sign up to bring a dish of their choosing. However, somehow this year we decided to rely on people replying with what they’d bring on a Facebook invite, and nearly ended up with the turducken, four desserts and five different types of bread. After a quick intervention we managed to account for all the appropriate sides, but save yourself the trouble and go the Google doc route from the get go.
3.) Fun and Games – One of our great Friendsgiving traditions started with a particular couple. On the first Friendsgiving, they brought a long a game for everyone to play, and the tradition has lived on ever since. It’s always a variation of the same basic premise. The group divides into teams, and are given a sheaf of papers with pictures of pop culture figures, politicians, sports figures, tv or movie characters, etc. Each team has to guess as many pictures as they can within a time limit. Throughout the year there have been various additions, penalties, etc. This year, each team had to finish a 40 before beginning to guess. We could also ask the game creators for hints (after taking down a shot).
As the saying goes, your friends are the family you choose, so it’s a great idea to celebrate a pre-holiday with them. It’s a little more chill and relaxed than a full-blown family affair, and you won’t have your Great-Auntie asking when you’re getting married.
2 weeks from tomorrow until we’re back for the 12 Bars of X-Mas. Ticket includes $3 or less drink at each bar, Beverage Mitt, Winter Pom Hat, Santa Socks, Koozie, Drawstring Backpack, Candy Cane, Temporary Tattoos, Photo Booth and No Covers at Scheduled Bars. We predict that we’ll sell out of our regular tickets on late Monday or early Tuesday.