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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
Ask Aunt Nettie

We're delighted to share our Aunt Nettie with you. She's agreed to answer any questions you might ask about food, its preparation, and even clean-up tips. But we have to prepare you. She just might want to come right over to your house and help you fix dinner.

To send any questions to Ask Aunt Nettie an/or get her cooking advice, .

Editor's Note: Instead of Aunt Nettie answering individual questions, she has decided to address a number of requests from people who want to save money on the food budget and still enjoy healthy dining. This is one of a series of money-saving tips and recipes designed to stretch those slim dollars.

As an example of Aunt Nettie's impressive, penny-pinching ability to save, she still has some depression glass dishes and bowls in the cupboard--they're the real thing and she still treasures them.

In future issues of Vegetarians in Paradise, Aunt Nettie and her niece Zel will offer more money-saving recipes for the most extreme skinflints along with suggestions to help bargain-hunter foodies seek out cheap fare that still brings good cheer to the table.


Seventy-second in a series of articles


Howdy there Darlin's,

Now, y'all knows I loves ta cook up tasty fixin's that's good fer ya, too, an' that's jes what I done. 'Sept, I cain't claim I done this recipe myself--though I did make it many a year fer Thanksgivin'.

The credit belongs ta my niece, Zel, and she done a mighty fine job o' fixin' up a cranberry sauce that's easy and mighty tasty all perked up with ginger an' cinnamon an' even some fresh pears. Why, them l'il ole cranberries is havin' a fine ole hootnanny in the stewpot.

Well now, she even put that recipe in her Vegan for the Holidays cookbook--that's what she done so's folks from all over the country kin enjoy makin' it, too!

Now this cranberry recipe ain't gonna take all day ta make--no sir, it won't take more'n 10 minutes, if'n that. So go ahead an' enjoy some homemade, fresh cranberry sauce.

I surely hopes y'all like it like I do! Happy Thanksgivin' y'all.

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie


Cranberry sauce any way you prepare it is a Thanksgiving and Christmas favorite. From past experience, I can promise that cooking cranberries from scratch always earns adoring compliments--and it's so easy you'll wonder why you've never cooked the fresh cranberries before.

Although I've created numerous variations of cranberry sauce, I challenge myself each year to explore new ways to dress it up. This easy recipe combines cranberries with pears, cinnamon, and ginger and it's a winner. It's also a tad thicker than some homemade cranberry sauces and could be consider a compote.

And since cranberries are such great keepers, you can prepare the recipe several days ahead and refrigerate it. If the sauce looks runny after cooking, remember that cranberries contain pectin that thickens when cooled and refrigerated.

Cranberry Pear Sauce


Yield: 8 to 10 servings

    1 (12-ounce/340g) package of fresh cranberries
    1 large firm pear, peeled, cored, and diced
    1 cup (240 ml) organic sugar
    3/4 cup (180 ml) water
    1 cinnamon stick
    1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a 3-quart (3 liter) saucepan. Cover the pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Watch carefully just as the mixture comes to a boil.
  2. To avoid a messy cranberry boil-over, immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool thoroughly and refrigerate overnight to thicken.

If You Haven't Met Aunt Nettie. . .

Our Aunt Nettie has a head like a hard disk. It's filled with gigabytes of information about food and cooking. And she's just itchin' to share her learnin' with city folk who live in mortal fear of the stovetop.

Aunt Nettie grew up on the farm. She did not eat out of a can or reach into the freezer. There was no microwave to pop her food into. Everything she made was from scratch. All the food she ate was natural, without pesticides. It was grown right there on the family farm, and she had to cook to survive. At eighty-three years young she still leaps and bounds around the kitchen and can shake, rattle, and roll those pots and pans with the best of them.

Nowadays, Aunt Nettie just shakes her head and complains, "Nobody cooks anymore. They have no idea about puttin' a meal together." She's on a mission. She wants to help those younguns eat better so they can grow up healthy like her own eight kids.

Click here for past Ask Aunt Nettie Columns

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