Nana’s cranberry salad

I meant to share this in plenty of time for your holiday celebrations, but I guess it will have to go on the list for next year. This is my grandmother’s recipe for cranberry salad, featured at every Thanksgiving meal as long as I can remember. I believe it was her mother’s recipe to begin with.

Normally I’m not a big promoter of Jello salads, but this one is interesting and it’s really pretty tasty. Of course I changed a bunch of things because I can never leave a recipe alone. But I think it retains its original character. Plus I got to use the grinder attachment on our KitchenAid mixer.

If you don’t have one, you could probably grind the cranberries in a food processor or blender instead. It might also help to make this recipe a day in advance so you have plenty of time to let the flavors meld together and the gelatin to set. It may still be soft, but at least not pure liquid.

Nana's cranberry salad
Serves 8
Old-school Jello salad for your holiday table.
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  1. 2 cups cranberries
  2. 1 large orange, peeled
  3. 1 package strawberry Jello
  4. 8-ounce can crushed pineapple in juice
  5. 1 cup apples, grated
  6. 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  7. 1 cup pecans or walnuts, finely chopped
  1. Put the cranberries and orange slices through the grinder attachment on your mixer until they are finely grated.
  2. Add 1 cup sugar to the mixture. (If you have time, let this sit for a few hours or overnight to pull some of the juice out.)
  3. Dissolve Jello in 1 cup boiling water. Add to the cranberry/orange mixture. Mix in the pineapple with all the juice.
  4. Pour everything into your serving dish and refrigerate for an hour or until it starts to set up. At this point, mix in the apples, celery, and nuts. Continue to refrigerate until it's completely set, at least 1 more hour.
Adapted from my grandmother, Helene Hall
Adapted from my grandmother, Helene Hall
Cara Corey

Last show of the year!

Just a reminder that the Renegade Craft Fair is coming up this weekend in San Francisco. I’ll be there with all the usual goodies. Hopefully people are still looking for last-minute gifts!

Christmas essentials

The cookies

Sugar cookie cutouts

Peanut blossoms

Chocolate Suzies

And if you’re really ambitious…

Candy stripe cookie sticks

Christmas morning breakfast:

Bubble bread

Crumb coffee cake

Quick gifts:

Twisted convertible cowl

Mason jar crafts

Recycled wax candles

We’ll be spending Christmas in Wisconsin with Mike’s family. We’re thinking of making bubble bread there, and I’ve been baking cookies and Chex Mix here. It may be 65 degrees out, but it sure feels like the holidays!

10 months

I’m a little bit behind with this post, but this month is cra-zy, so I’m just happy to get it done at all. 

Maybe it’s the double digits or something, but this is the first month I’ve really thought, “there’s no way she can be 10 months old!”

This month has been such a blur. I just looked back at my calendar and realized all that has happened since she turned 9 months.

We took our trip to Kansas and Iowa.

Then there was a death in the family, and Harper and I spent our week together.

Harper was sick with her first fever, which turned out to be roseola. Man, if holding a sick baby doesn’t break your heart, I don’t know what will.

Then Thanksgiving.

Then a super busy week filled with orders and craft show prep. A little Christmas decorating thrown in there too.

And here we are with a 10-month-old baby. Whew!

This has also been a huge month for Harper’s mobility and communication. She finally figured out how to half crawl/scoot across the room and get into all kinds of trouble.

I also realized that if I let go of her hands she could stand on her own for a few seconds. So walking doesn’t seem so far off.

She seems a little hesitant to actually go for it, though. Even though she has the ability to get around, she still prefers to stay close a lot of the time.

She learned the sign for “more”, so it has been fun to see her use it at mealtimes.

She still eats anything and everything if she is hungry. The only problem is she also eats anything she can find off the floor.

I am constantly reaching into her mouth to fish out some piece of detritus from the floor. Tufts of dog hair, crumpled paper, bits of cork, leaves, yarn fuzzies, tiny pebbles — I’ve found them all in her mouth. No matter how much I vaccuum and sweep, she manages to find something else.

She remains as expressive as ever. I think what she does when she’s upset can officially be called a tantrum. But she’s full of giggles and waves, too.

And oh my gosh, how hilarious is it when kids this age make the “poop face”? There is no mistaking what she’s doing when she gets frowny and turns bright red.

What’s going on with her hair can only be described as new wave. It is truly awesome.

We’re getting excited for my biggest show of the year, baby’s first Christmas with her grandparents, more travel and getting closer to her first birthday. My little Harps is going from baby to toddler!

Sunday’s show

I’ve been hearing a lot about the cool indie shops in Temescal Alley, so I was excited when I found out I could be part of their holiday artisan fair this weekend.

I’ll have all the usual knit goodies. And I might even have (at long last) a sample pouf made with my felted cord. I just shipped my first order for one, and it turned out exactly as I’d hoped. The process needs some work, but I’m getting there.

If you get a chance, come check out the fair and the cute little shops nearby.

Thanksgiving recap

Thanksgiving was a little crazy this year, but we managed to have a really good dinner by the end of the day. Harper had been sick all week, so we were pretty stressed out and sleep-deprived by Thursday. It was hard to get all the cooking done since she didn’t want to be put down.

She looks a little out of it here.

But by the afternoon she seemed to finally be feeling better and we all got to eat together. Thank goodness we decided to stay home this year!

These are the recipes I used:
Smothered Pork Chops from the New York Times (half recipe)
Haricot vert with shallots from Smitten Kitchen (lots of butter, skipped the tomatoes)
• Mashed potatoes, similar to the ones in my shepherds pie recipe
Dad’s sweet potato pie from Joy the Baker

We also had some champagne mixed with apple juice, which actually tasted really good and seemed perfect for a fall meal.

I failed to finish that pork chop. But I sure tried.

The pork chops are so, so good. After they’ve cooked in their own gravy for 2 hours they become fall-apart tender. I ended up spending way too much money on them at the Berkeley Bowl, but oh well. It was a special occasion.

I also thought the pie was a home run. The crust was probably the strangest pie crust I’ve ever made. You mix in oil and milk to the dry ingredients and press it into the pan so you don’t have to roll it out. The result is almost like a shortbread cookie.

The recipe is for a 10-inch pie, so I had enough leftover from my 8 or 9 inch pan to make an extra little pie. Sadly, I broke my favorite pie pan while I was washing dishes. I guess I will just have to buy myself another one.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family. I am totally in the Christmas spirit now!