The Cranberry Challenge
About a year ago, I attempted to domesticate myself. I bought into half a bag of fresh cranberries to bake anything that cranberries can be made into. When I arrived home with my bundle of cranberry joy, my husband, who also has a tight control over the fridge and freezer space, laughed at my eager attempt at wife-dom and challenged me to use the cranberries within the year or they would be gleefully tossed to the trash one at a time. Before every shopping trip or when we look into the freezer to see what we can throw together, he reminds me that they are in there, waiting impatiently to hopefully be made into something.
Needless to say, the year has come to a close and with the holidays in need of extra cranberry treats and my need to not be reminded of these berries for the rest of my life, I have officially taken on the Cranberry Challenge.
Foregoing lunch, I aproned up, itching to cook. Up first, we have brownies with dark chocolate chips and cranberries. Out of a box, this was easy to tackle (yes, some cheating was involved to use more berries). Many of the recipes called for dried cranberries and I had fresh-to-frozen. So I thawed the berries, then squeezed out the juice- hence the bloody-looking paper towels.
In the brownies went and up next was apple-cranberry coffee cake. From scratch, this was more complex and required more risk (aka prayer). Drizzled with cinnamon sugar sweetness on top, the coffee cake went in as the brownies came out. Yes, perfectly timed. I knew I would take twice as long to prepare than the recipe said it should.
Luckily these two easy dishes had prepped me for the third challenge, feeling confident and wifely. Unluckily, we were quickly approaching 3pm, which around here is time to feed the animals… I mean babies. They must have been on mommy’s side in the challenge because they slept soundly.
Chocolate cranberry chunkies, you are mine! Totally from scratch, these cookies were considered “difficult” on the food blog I found them on. Perfectly measured, we were down to the last egg and last granules of sugar. You’ll notice that we had to mix the contents of the large bowl in with the mush of the smaller bowl, and you can bet that I heard about best methods of preparation from my little helper. Grammy knows! (My helper was very helpful, washing bowls and spoons for nibbles of raw goodies). The cookies were bigger than usual and tastier than expected. A few had an unfortunate accident and had to be eaten immediately. The challenge was almost done.
Back in the freezer went a few cranberries just in case one of these dishes was such a hit that we had to make a second batch tomorrow. If everything stinks though, I’ll melt some chocolate and make some cranberry bark. Can’t screw that up!
So, Juan, the cranberries will be history by tomorrow and you can enjoy every last one. I hope you enjoy eating your words. Now, it’s time to feed the babies cranberry flavored milk… just kidding.