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Monday, November 30, 2009

Cranberry Contribution

Thanksgiving is over, the weekend has passed and now it is time to return to reality. I considered posting over the break, but tried to stay as far away from my computer as possible as it is always nice to focus on other things.

I cannot say I cooked much over the weekend. I brought the coffee (Peace Coffee, of course) for Thanksgiving Day breakfast to accompany the Eggs Benedict made by Ryan’s mom. For Thanksgiving dinner, I brought cranberry sauce and rolls to go with the traditional turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green beans at my family’s house. Yep, this cranberry sauce:

The sauce was well received but I had made way too much. I took a reader’s suggestion and mixed the leftovers in with my oatmeal and it was delicious!

One of our newer traditions is to exchange names for Christmas. Once all the nieces and nephews started popping up, they became a priority in gift giving. It just made sense to focus on them and set a limit for the adults. At my family’s house we set the price limit and drew the name of a couple. It remains secret until Christmas.

At Ryan’s family’s house, we buy for everyone (with a price limit) and then exchange names for a handmade gift. This year the theme is “something in a frame”. I don’t have a clue of what I’m going to make, but I’m sure I’ll come up with something fun. It also remains a secret until Christmas and can be tough to keep from our significant others since we live in the same house!

Are you trying to put a halt to the excessive Christmas spending too? How do you do it?


  1. Mmm, cranberries and oatmeal...

    We're just cutting back in general. I'm knitting some things. We used points on our credit card to order some stuff for free. That sort of thing.

  2. Yum, that looks delicious. I made sauce with sugar, water, and some rum. It was my first time making sauce. I'm bookmarking your recipe for next time.

  3. We are always trying to keep Christmas simple. We've completely stopped exchanging gifts with my family, since we don't see them ON Christmas, and try to keep to a $20 per person budget for Dan's immediate family. I overspent on Dan a little bit this year, but it was on ONE item that he really needs, so there you go. I like the practical gifts!

    We like to give "experiences," (i.e., gift certificates to local restaurants, museums, theatres, etc.) instead of more "stuff" that no one seems to need. This year, however, we're having an eco-themed holiday! Woo!

  4. Yum. We made a cranberry sauce with port wine last year for Turkey day -- and it was wonderful.

    We made a cranberry apple sauce this year with mulled wine. Forgot to eat it! So, we have tons of leftovers :) Guess who's going to be making oatmeal??

    As far as Christmas goes, our family is still pretty heavy on the gift-giving side... but we've been moving toward a model where everyone contributes to an all-out meal, and we simply get together to enjoy great food and one another's company. Hopefully one of these years it will really catch on!!

  5. I make a cranberry apple sauce every year and using the leftovers as oatmeal topping is part of the tradition. As is eating a random spoonful of it whenever I open the fridge -- just because it's there. Yum.

    We try to ask for gifts that are experiences, too. Zoo and Children's Museum memberships, restaurant gift cards (with babysitters!) and tickets are all favorites. The kids get a mix of practical (socks) and fun (toys) from Santa, but we keep it pretty small -- when they're this young, it doesn't take much to thrill them!


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