We've all heard the story about how the Cranberry got its name. However, was it really because the cranberry blossom resembles the head and bill of a crane, or does the word Cranberry have a German flair to it?
Truth is, a smaller version of the American cranberry grows wild in the bogs and marshes of England, northern Europe, and Siberia, so an unfamiliar plant would not likely have confounded the Pilgrims. In England, the small berry version, Vaccinium oxycoccos, goes by such names as marsh-berry, bog berry, and fen whort, none predominating. In the language known as Low German, it is called the kranebeere, meaning crane-berry. In the event that the Pilgrims were unacquainted with the fruit in England, they surely encountered it during the eleven years they lived in the Netherlands, then the trading center of the world, where the berry grew wild in marshy patches.
They certainly encountered the Low German language. Low German has much in common with Old English. It had been the lingua franca of the medieval Hanseatic Trading League of northern Europe that was still operating in the 1600s, and it was widely spoken along the reaches of the lower Rhine River and the eastern Netherlands, where the Pilgrims lived. It seems far more likely that the Pilgrims used the Low German word that sounds the same in English, krane, for the fruit that they were familiar with from Europe.
In short, the berries may have been named for their resemblance to the crane, but it was the Germans, not the Pilgrims, who noticed the resemblance and applied the word to the European berry. Bogged Down in Cranberries
There are bogs of "stuff" we take for granted about the Cranberry. Since I've discussed a few pops of cranberry trivia in previous posts for Eat A Cranberry Day, which was yesterday, btw, today I would like to share just a few recipes from Cape Cod's Famous Cranberry Recipes published by the folks at Ocean Spray in 1941.
Cranberry sauce was first commercially canned in 1912 by the Cape Cod Cranberry Company, which marketed the product as "Ocean Spray Cape Cod Cranberry Sauce." A merger with other growers evolved into the well-known Ocean Spray corporation now famous for their cranberry products. 1912 Facts and Trivia
There's another reason why I've chosen to share this particular recipe book with you today, Marion. While Marion and I were doing shopping for our Thanksgiving guests, somehow, and believe me, I don't know how, she managed to load our shopping cart with 8, yes, eight cans of Cranberry Sauce! Needless to say, it behooves me to figure out what to do with them all. Granted, we will probably use one can Thursday, maybe two, but that's a big maybe:) I know, I know, it just wouldn't be Thanksgiving with out cranberry sauce but seriously, do the remainder of the cans have to go into storage? Probably:)
Here's a rather novel recipe for Cranberry Avocado Salad. Although, you might like this recipe for Cranberry and Avocado Salad with Candied Spiced Almonds and Sweet White Balsamic Vinaigrette to quench that "friendship" feeling.
You see these Cranberry Chicken Salad Empanadas? They quickly "set up" with the use of refrigerator pie crust from Pillsbury and a few other "convenience foods."
Or, what about these Jiffy Chicken-Cranberry Salads.
It seems the following recipe for Cranberry Fritters is not all that outdated. I found a similar recipe for Deep-Fried Cranberry Sauce Fritters at the Food Network via Paula Deen. I'm ify on this one unless of course it tastes like a jelly donut!
Have you guessed why Marion had to buy all those cans of Cranberry Sauce? If you guessed it was because they were fairly inexpensive, you would be correct. There's another reason though. Marion says that during WWII, "the boys over sees," expressed great enthusiasm when they received their Thanksgiving rations that included Cranberry Sauce. She didn't elaborate. This sounds like a pretty thrifty recipe, one we might revisit nowadays:)
It just wouldn't be "proper" not to include an authentic Cape Cod seafood recipe, now would it? Scarlet Sinners anyone?
I'm going off course sharing this recipe for Cranberry Steamed Pudding as it doesn't use Cranberry Sauce but rather fresh or frozen whole berries. (don't you love the way cranberries freeze so well? Just like blueberries!) I found it in the Land O Lakes Country Heritage Cookbook published in 1984. I just had to share it because today, according to British tradition, this Sunday, the last Sunday before Advent, is often called Stir-Up Sunday the traditional day for making Christmas Pudding. There are many variations for Christmas Puddings. It seems this recipe is a family tradition.
Cranberries require odd conditions to grow and thrive. They do best in bogs, low shallow bowls of acidic peat soil, where plenty of sand and water are available. The composition of a cranberry bog is unique and consists of four layers, clay, gravel, peat and sand in ascending order. Each performs an important function to the overall ability of the bog to thrive. By the turn of the 19th century, residents had staked out their bogs, or “Cranberry Yards,” and families would typically harvest their supplies of the berries from them. Harwich Historical Society: Cranberry Culture
Check Out My Cranberry Pinterest Board
1. Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Cranberries
2. The Wetherby Cranberry Library
3. Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association
4. Cape Cod Cranberry Growers' Association
5. Stir-up Sunday: Cakes and puddings for Christmas
6. Gidleigh Park’s Gourmet Christmas Pudding
7. My Nan's (Jamie Oliver) Christmas Pud with Vin Santo
8. Eat A Cranberry Day @ Dottie's Family Plus Food Equals Love
9. Eat A Cranberry Day (previous post)