THE WRITER’S KITCHENETTE THE CRANBERRY ADVENTURES

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By 2017-11-19

BY PANCHAMEE HEWAVISSENTI

Hi, this week I have got two recipes exclusively for cranberry epicures. If you have a highly refined taste for dishes and cocktails made with cranberries with a touch of spice and enjoy indulging in it, try these recipes. Cranberries are highly nutritious and have medicinal properties too. They are rich in Vitamin A and C and contain antioxidants and are grown mainly in America and Canada. It is reported that Native Americans are the ones who first invented recipes with cranberries with venison dipped in mashed cranberry. It had been a delectable dish. Native Americans had also utilized cranberry juice as a natural dye to colour their clothing.

Cranberry became a commercial crop after 1800 and the fruits were picked by hand. Commercial farmers today, make use of a method called 'wet harvesting' to yield cranberry. In a wet harvest, the bog is flooded with water and cranberries are made to float on the surface of the water and scooped up.

Historically, cranberry was popular among sailors as a fruit that with medicinal property to fight scurvy. Cranberries are also an essential part of Thanksgiving Celebrations and are consumed in large quantities during Thanksgiving Week in the form of drinks, cocktails, jams, sauces and jellies.

The two recipes that I am sharing with you today are the Spicy Cranberry Jam and Cranberry Daiquiri.
Let's get into making Spicy Cranberry Jam.

Before making Spicy Cranberry Jam, keep the following ingredients ready;
Fresh Cranberries - chopped- 500g
Red Bell Pepper - finely chopped- 500g
Jalapeño Pepper - finely chopped - 300g
White Pepper - 50g
Apple Cider Vinegar - 750ml
Sugar - 1 ½ kg or more according to taste
Pectin - 1 tbsp
Calcium Water*- 5 tbsp
*The role of calcium water in Jam making is the activation of pectin.
Let's make the dish.

Place cranberries, Jalapeño Pepper, bell pepper and apple Cider Vinegar in a large non-stick pan on high flame and bring the mix to a boil. While the mix is boiling, keep the calcium water ready. Read and follow the instructions on the calcium water package before mixing that with pectin. Take a small container and mix calcium water, 250 g of sugar and pectin. Stir well.
Then add this calcium water and pectin to the cranberry mix. Stir the mix well and bring to boil. Let the sugar and pectin dissolve when the mix is simmering. After about a minute, add the remaining sugar and stir well. Let the mix boil well while stirring on and off.
Remove the pan from the cooker, let it cool and pour the mix into sterilized jars.

If you would like to keep the jam for an extended period, it should be processed in a hot water bath and stored in a cool place away from sunlight.
If you make the jam for the use of shorter time, you can always keep the jam refrigerated. This can be kept in a refrigerator up to one month and consumed whenever you wish.
Give your taste buds a novel experience with Spicy Cranberry Jam. For your evening tea, enjoy the Spicy Cranberry Jam with snack crackers and a layer of cream cheese on top. You can also relish Spicy Cranberry Jam with bread or roti.
I love tasting Spicy Cranberry Jam with smoked brie and Cranberry Daiquiri as an accompaniment to simply chill out in the evening.

Cranberry Daiquiri
The origin of Daiquiri is interesting and dates back to 1800. American Engineer Jennings Cox was working near the east coast town of Daiquiri in Cuba. In the long and scorching summer in 1896, Jennings was reported to have run out of his stock of rum when he was expecting important guests.

Due to the scarcity of rum, his local friends had to add more ingredients into the rum so that the existing storage would not run out quickly. They drank rum with a blend of lime juice and granulated sugar.

Cox offered a blend instead of plain rum and named it after Daiquiri, the place where the drink was invented.
Later, Admiral L.W. Johnson who was one of Cox's guests introduced the drink to the Army and Navy Club of Washington D.C.
The fame of Daiquiri reached the White House and President John F. Kennedy later proclaimed Daiquiri as his favourite pre-dinner drink. It is said that the German actress Marlene Dietrich never missed a Daiquiri at the Savoy's American Bar in London.
Today, Daiquiri has evolved into various types and the one that I am sharing with you today is the Cranberry Daiquiri.
Cranberry Daiquiri can be prepared in less than five minutes if you keep the ingredients ready. You will need the following;
Light rum - 50ml

Cranberry Juice - 50ml
Juice of half a lime
Granulated sugar or simple syrup- 25g/ml
White pepper powder - a pinch
Cracked Ice
Making a Cranberry Daiquiri is as easy as I mentioned above. What you've got to do is to add all the ingredients into a shaker and shake briskly. Then the mix should be strained into a cocktail glass and garnished with a slice of lime or a couple cranberries attached to a toothpick.

Enjoy sipping the accidentally invented cocktail. The sweet and sour Cranberry Daiquiri will be a refreshing experience for you to welcome another monotonous Monday!

Spicy Cranberry Jam

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