THE LEMON GROVE CHRISTMAS ADVENT CALENDAR December 14
Recognise these lyrics? If so, then you and I have similar tastes in Christmas songs …
“I’m spending this one alone” he said
“Need a break, this year’s been crazy”
I said, “me too, but why are you?
You mean you forgot cranberries too?”
Then suddenly we laughed and laughed
Caught on to what was happening
That Christmas magic’s brought this tale
To a very happy ending!”
This song dates back to 1981 and the new wave band The Waitresses (makes me sing) and is my equal top seasonal song, along with Greg Lake’s ‘I Believe in Father Christmas” (makes me cry).
This year’s Covid-19 Christmas is very different and for millions of us, we’ll be celebrating with just one or two people and many more on Zoom. Whatever you do I wish you and very Happy Christmas time and offer this recipe for Lemon Grove Cranberry Sauce to zest up your festive meal.
Fresh, tart and boozy (if you add the Port or Cointreau) you’ll be enjoying this sauce with its lovely citrus-scented aroma and will never go back to shop bought.
Lemon Grove Cranberry Sauce
What you’ll need
350 gm fresh or frozen cranberries
100 gm sugar (e.g. light muscovado, light brown or Demerara)
100 ml water
2 x 3cm strips lemon peel (could swap in orange or tangerine)
2 tbs lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tps vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, before reducing to a simmer.
Continue to cook until the berries pop, between 10-20 minutes (depending on whether berries were frozen or fresh) stirring occasionally to make sure the berries don’t burn on the bottom of the pan.
Once the berries have ‘popped’, use the back of a wooden spoon to press and crush them against the pan. No need to press if you want the berries to hold their shape.
Remove from heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Chill the fridge before serving.
Freezes well and so is perfect for preparing in the days and weeks before.
Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Remove lemon peel and cinnamon before serving.
Lemon Bites tips
Add a few frozen strawberries, cherries or a tablespoon of port, or an orange liqueur such as Cointreau for a new flavour.
Your sauce will keep in the fridge for up to one week, but they freeze well frozen.
Defrost at room temperature. Can be enjoyed, or gently reheated.
Enjoy with your Christmas turkey, duck or chicken, with a strong cheese or with a baked Brie.
Do let me know your favourite Christmas songs and how the cranberry sauce works out.