It’s Thanksgiving week once again, which means it’s time for me to be whipping up a batch of my family-famous Cranbanero Sauce. Not for the faint of palate. (Recipe after the jump, along with a milder one.)

What are you cooking and/or looking forward to eating for the holiday?

Cranbanero Sauce

  • Buy a 16-ounce bag of fresh cranberries.
  • Put cranberries, sugar, and water into a medium saucepan according to directions on bag. (Personally, I usually reduce the amount of sugar by a few tablespoons, but it’s up to you.)
  • Cranbanero Sauce IngredientsHalve four habanero (or scotch bonnet) peppers. Remove stem, seeds, and veins. It’s important to halve them, not chop them, or you won’t be able to remove them easily. The sauce will go beyond pleasantly searing and become truly blistering. Wear rubber or latex gloves while handling the habaneros. Leave them on when you wash your knife and cutting board. Trust me on this.
  • Put peppers into pot with rest of ingredients and simmer till sauce thickens. Stir a few times to keep from sticking.
  • Cranbanero SauceRemove habanero halves. Make sure you get all eight halves.
  • Cool. Strain if you like, or leave the cranberries whole for more texture.
  • Apply biohazard label to bowl. Serve.
  • You can try using orange juice instead of plain water. Habaneros complement fruity flavors well.

Orange-Ginger Cranberry Sauce

This one is tamer, but still zestier than the standard. It’s a good one to make with a child who’s old enough not to choke on a cranberry, but too young to help with anything more complex. She or he can help put the ingredients into the pot before you put it on the stove.

  • Buy a 16-ounce bag of fresh cranberries.
  • Put cranberries in pot along with 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 cup of orange juice. (I use brown sugar, but it’s up to you.)
  • Add 1/4 cup minced fresh or candied ginger. (If you use fresh, peel it. You may also want to add an extra tablespoon of sugar to the fresh.)
  • Simmer till sauce thickens. Stir a few times to keep from sticking.