As our team shared their favorite holiday recipes and memories, Kim Halvorson’s cranberry sauce story became one of our instant favorites. Kim is our Digital Marketing Specialist, and she was in college in Bellingham during the epic Thanksgiving Blizzard in 1985 that long-time Northwest residents still talk about. Over 17” of snow dumped on the region, making the drive home for Thanksgiving impossible for thousands of students and families. What could have been a very somber 4-day weekend turned into a lesson in cooking up in Bellingham. Kim’s cohort learned how to create family where they were, how to make a game of Monopoly last for half a week, and who was doing what in Business School.
A young woman who grew up on a cranberry farm taught Kim to make cranberry sauce from fresh fruit. “I had never really liked cranberry sauce,” said Kim. “I believed that it was a round gelatinous goo that came from a can accompanied by a great sucking sound. But my girlfriend insisted that sauce from fresh cranberries was delicious, and she taught me to make this. It is still our family’s favorite cranberry recipe!”
1 12-ounce package Ocean Spray® Fresh Cranberries, rinsed and drained
Zest of one orange
Juice of one orange plus enough water to make 1 cup of liquid
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (optional, but delicious--especially when snowbound)
Combine sugar, liquid, orange zest and Grand Marnier in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil; add cranberries, return to boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, and listening for all the cranberries to pop. Continue to stir until the sauce has thickened. Allow to cool slightly, then transfer to a serving dish and refrigerate until serving time.