In 1967 we were college students living in Southern France when I embarked on preparing my first Thanksgiving meal as a newlywed, and decided to invite several of our American college friends to join us.

Several trips to local farm markets looking for supplies soon revealed I had a few hurdles to overcome. The French don’t celebrate American Thanksgiving. So, finding the foods we were accustomed to eating on Thanksgiving was nearly impossible. We had to “fake it” with a chicken instead of a turkey, I found petite pois (little peas) and potatoes for mashing, but pumpkin, squash, corn? – Nope!

I also found a can of cranberry sauce at a local market that carried some American foods like peanut butter and pancake mix, but we were living on a student budget (what money?), and the cranberry sauce was really expensive. After much thought, I decided to buy the $7 can of cranberry sauce anyway since we couldn’t possibly have a Thanksgiving meal without cranberry sauce!

After dinner, we all agreed the meal was a HUGE success. BUT, as we were cleared the table for dessert I realized, to my horror, I had forgotten to serve the cranberry sauce! So, I decided to serve it for dessert!

Nov. 23 is “National Cranberry Relish Day,” and Nov. 24 is “Eat a Cranberry Day.” So here’s an easy way to celebrate either day by eating a cranberry or two, or three, or four … but not necessarily for dessert!

My family is VERY traditional in their Thanksgiving food preferences. This means I can’t mess with my traditional recipe for Cranberry Sauce (although I’ve tried!). This recipe enhances the flavor of our traditional, whole berry Cranberry Sauce without “messing with the recipe!”

Recipe notes: The tea ingredients are herbal, caffeine free, organic and edible. There is no need to strain the tea before adding the remaining ingredients.

1 Tablespoon Cranberry Apple Tart Herbal Tea (The Spice and Tea Exchange or any cranberry apple tea found at the supermarket)

1 cup cold water

1 (12 ounce) bag fresh, whole cranberries rinsed and sorted

1 cup sugar

In a medium saucepan, bring cold water to a boil. Add tea, turn off heat cover and steep for 5 minutes. Add sugar and cranberries to the saucepan with the tea. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Serving size: ½ cup; Yields 6 servings

Connecticut Media Group