Just as your autumn stash of pounds and pounds of apple baskets filled with large blushing round crisp apples you personally picked, is waning, the season for those little jewelled round and plump bead like cranberries, is peaking.
Growing up in Israel, I had never heard of cranberries — not until I moved to America. There is something quintessentially American about them.
Those cranberry bogs certainly are a sight to behold. I loved the Ocean Spray commercials of the cranberry juice guys standing knee deep in what looks like a bathtub or better yet a huge pool of red cranberries, almost like a cranberry carpet, or cranberry sand you can swim in. Until those commercials I had never really thought about how cranberries are harvested, and had just assumed they grew on a tree or bush, and were picked off just like any other berry or fruit.
These last few years, I’ve been tossing these hard frozen cranberries with their burst of tartness (together with its perfect twin, the Orange Zest) into practically anything I have been cooking or baking. From corn muffins, pear crisps, pancakes, pumpkin tea breads, upside down cakes, bread puddings, and roasted butternut squashes to experimenting with sweet cranberry orange challah (it was yum!).
There is something about those bight, tart and vibrant cranberries that instantly liven up any dish, taste-wise. Simmered along with spices, its bracing flavor perks up just about any food or meal.