Hey it’s Thanksgiving and if you think turkey, think Cranberry Sauce. Other than a can, how the sauce got there was an awaited education best learned at the source,the master of cranberries, Ocean Spray country where multi -colored ruby berries grow along the ground on vines.

Harvesting cranberries

Prior to this century berries were harvested by hand, with a scoop which had 26 seven inch teeth sticking out from a wooden handle, sliding into the vine like a rake, plucking up the berries and often the vine with it, a long backbreaking process.

Good thing the mechanical era came along to help. Enter “Wet Harvesting.” The fields are flooded lifting the vines berry filled branches so that a motorized picker known as a

”Water Reel” (video) aka egg beaters can knock them off the branches while a man standing in front guides and marks the place where they left off  and also feels for any deep holes ( something you don’t want to fall into with waders on !). Their beautiful jewel like marbles float to the top. How?  They have a small air pocket in the middle where the seeds are, how convenient.

Wet Harvesting cranberries

Corralling them together they are sucked up into a truck that drains the water, and delivers them to the plant where each truck is weighed and product tested for any pesticides or other contaminates…..

  workers waist deep gathering cranberries for harvest

 So the next time you slide out that familiar red log of  cranberry jelly for holiday turkey or chicken,(   mmm  duck as well) or any other kind of cranberry sauce item you might have in mind, think of the process it took to take it from here to your table. To me they will never look the same.
that rinses and loads them ready to be delivered to the plant.

For a great different take on preparing Cranberry Sauce recipe go here

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Cranberry Sauce the Pace Way

Hey are you tired of that old ruby log sliding out of the can and skidding onto the plate? Try this easy to do variation that goes great not just with turkey but with everything from duck to salads.

1 can of Whole Cranberry sauce

1 jar of Orange Marmalade

Cranberry Sauce the Pace Way

1 tblsp of finely chopped lemon peel

mix 2 parts cranberry sauce to one part orange marmalade… to add some dimension add 2 tblsp of Grand Marnier ( better try a shot to make sure it’s fresh of course) and add 1 tblsp of finely chopped fresh ginger.

This goes great with many other dishes, including duck, roasts, pork, and salad. Enjoy…