I was walking along a crowded, brightly lit passageway.
Filled with food.
All kinds of food.
That was lovely, of course.
But then I turned the corner.
And saw the cans.
Lots of them.
More of them; all the same.
Stacked up so neatly that I was afraid.
To breathe, to blink, daresay to sneeze.
Lest these cans come tumbling down.
All in a sea of white and red. With characteristic blue font as well.
The cans haunt.
It is my supermarket and it is November.
Thanksgiving is upon us.
So the cranberry cans come out to play.
Along with bags of fresh cranberries shoppers rush by wondering nervously, “now what would I do with that?”
So much easier to pick up a can, take it home, and turnturnturn the old rusted opener.
Flip the cylinder upside.
Ooze squeeze slip plunk.
A gelatinous cranberry mass (oh what fun, can rings and all) is birthed onto the awaiting serving plate.
For a cloying addition to a fabulously toiled-over turkey
hoping its dinner date is more than this.
I don’t give the can
a place by my gravy.
Take those bags of fresh cranberries and mix them into a magical mold
Crunchy, tangy, sweet, nutty wonder.
A relish of flavor.
Passed around and praised.
Perhaps surpassing the turkey
even if you’ve given it a unique star’s name:
Keanu, Denzel, Scarlett or Cameron
Or made extra stuffing (yes, Mother’s famous recipe.)
People will leave full, happy, and wondering,
What was in that cranberry crown? What did she make?
So I am peaceful again in my market.
Past vast terrain of cans forever erased.
This recipe comes straight from my sister-in-law, Maria Neesman, or as she’s known to her family, Koko.
- 1 (9 ounce) can crushed pineapple in syrup
- 1(6 ounce) package cherry gelatin
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup chopped celery
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup ground fresh cranberries
- Drain the pineapple and save the syrup. In medium bowl, dissolve the gelatin and sugar in 1 cup hot water. Add the reserved syrup and lemon juice.
- Chill until partly set, 30 minutes.
- Add the celery, walnuts, pineapple and cranberries.
- Chill overnight in a 5-cup ring mold. Remove from the ring mold and serve.
- Serves 8-10