|Announcing the star of Christmas memories - past and present|
Sometimes life -- and Christmas -- are about the little things ... a favorite Christmas carol on the radio ... a card from a friend with a personal handwritten note ... the familiar fragrance of evergreens and spice ... a homemade cookie ... a child's handmade ornament hung on the tree for the 25th year in a row ... and continuing the tradition of a special dish that grandmother always made for holiday dinners ...
In 2008, I shared my love for frozen Indian Trail Cranberry Orange Sauce and the recipe on the package that my grandmother always used to make our favorite cranberry orange jello salad for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Through the years, depending on where we were stationed with the Air Force, I often had trouble finding the prepared Indian Trail mixture I needed to make my Christmas memories come alive, so I developed my own version that was identical in taste to the original. Not so difficult when something only has three ingredients -- and you own a food processor.
In 2004, we moved back home to Southern Illinois and, once again, I was able to find the original Indian Trail Cranberry Orange Sauce -- but not for long. In 2009, a Cora Cooks reader reported being unable to find our favorite cranberry condiment, so I contacted Bay Valley Foods and discovered what we all feared -- ITCOS was gone for good, despite my reports that thousands of people were searching for it every year on my little blog!
Now, in 2011, the news is a little better for those who are unable to make my own homemade version -- Almost Indian Trail Cranberry Orange Sauce -- or simply don't have a food processor for the chopping. Stone Gate Foods, in Shakopee, MN is producing a simple three-ingredient cranberry product that is similar to ITCOS. A reader reported finding the Door County Cranberry Orange Relish in her local market and I verified that, indeed, it was being marketed in several Upper Midwest states. The news was not all good though. The retail distribution did not extend to the very southern tip of Illinois so, once again, I would be making my own version for our holiday table.
But wait! My mother called earlier this week to report a sighting of Door County Cranberry Orange Relish in our very own Schnucks (regional, out of St. Louis) store! Needless to say, I jumped in the car and headed there to pick up the two cartons you see in the photo above. I am happy to report this new version will satisfy your cranberry orange cravings. It is a little chunkier than Indian Trail, which was a sauce, not a relish. The flavor is great right out of the carton and should mold nicely into the traditional Jello salad. Sadly, there is no Jello salad recipe on the container, but I know where you can find it. :D
Yes, Virginia! There is a Santa Claus!
And I'll just bet his holiday memories include something special like grandmother's molded cranberry orange Jello salad. Maybe I'll leave a carton out with his cookies and milk, just in case Mrs. Claus has trouble finding it at her local North Pole market.
Merry Christmas to all!