Honestly...isn't it exactly this time of year where 'a little boozy' is acceptable?Necessary? Encouraged, even? 'Tis the season for family gatherings filled with people you truly want to spend time with and maybe a few you don't. Being 'a little boozy,' not all-out "I can't believe you said that to me in high school!" drunk will make the evenings fly by. Work parties where 'a little boozy' will make your time there a little more bearable and less awkward. Or maybe you'll find yourself at a holiday party with a friend where you don't really know that many people. 'A little boozy' might be enough for you to stand a couple of feet away from the wall instead of hugging it if your friend disappears on you.
While all these scenarios could use a tipple or two, I'm sorry to tell you 'a little boozy' refers to none of these things. What it does refer to is cranberry sauce. A grown-up cranberry sauce that looks nothing like that jellied mass that softly plops onto a plate as you push it out from one end of the can to the other. While there is a nostalgic part of me that still appreciates that jiggling mass, I will wholeheartedly embrace a relish the colour of garnets, tart and tangy with an abundance of orange zest, and just the right amount of amaretto to add sweetness and lushness.
This is the kind of cranberry sauce that goes from a perfect accompaniment at Thanksgiving dinner, to slathered on a turkey sandwich the next day, to atop a cracker with a really good aged cheddar, to spooned over vanilla ice cream with candied walnuts. Buy bags of cranberries now, freeze them, and make this all through the year.
...and let me say...Happy Thanksgiving. Boozy or not.
Boozy Cranberry Sauce
Makes about 2 cups
1 12-oz bag of fresh cranberries
2 Tbsp orange zest
1/3 cup orange juice, preferably fresh-squeezed
1/2 cup amaretto
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
Combine all ingredients into a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a low boil, then lower heat and allow to simmer until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. This will thicken further after you've taken it off the heat. Allow to cool and refrigerate.