Laena's mom got us some organic cranberries from a farmer on Cape Cod--the capitol of cranberries. We're excited to cook these babies up to accompany your Thanksgiving feasts.
First, let's nip some misunderstanding in the bud: compote, jelly, relish, jam and sauce are ALL THE SAME THING. Cranberries cooked with sugar--the method differs depending on who's making it, but it's all basically the same condiment.
Cranberries are fascinating, and a mystery to most people (are they only from Cape Cod? Bogs? On trees?). They're a small evergreen shrub found in acidic bogs throughout the cooler parts of the Northern Hemisphere (Maine, Massachusetts, upper midwest, etc.). The berry we know and love is an epigynous berry that's initially white, but turns a deep red when fully ripe. They're super nutritious and a powerful antioxidant. Eat up. In North America, Native Americans were the first to use cranberries as food, but they also used them in dye and medicine (for wounds--remember that, next time your injured near a bog).
We wondered what to jam them with. Orange is a classic accompaniment, but Laena and her sister had some crappy, way too bitter blood-orange & cranberry sauce from Williams-Sonoma a couple of years ago, so we were uninspired to go that route. The great thing about cranberry sauce/jam/compote/relish is that it's so perfectly tart. You want to smear it on everything (turkey, potatoes, tofu, biscuits). We wanted to keep with the tart/sweet theme, so Liv suggested pomegranates (Laena's favorite food, btw). While we could juice pomegranates, it's prohibitive and who wants a $20 jar of cranberry sauce? We went with pomegranate molasses, a classic Middle Eastern condiment. We also added a hit of orange zest to finish it off. Yum.
We'll let you know how it goes....