We recently returned from a trip to Michigan where we hosted an American Thanksgiving meal for my husband’s Italian family, who oddly enough are all Canadian and who celebrate their own Thanksgiving a month earlier. This is now becoming a yearly tradition since it comes right after our return from Umbria each year, and we do not get back up north for the Christmas holidays. This Thanksgiving family feast gives us all a chance to spend some quality time together with family members we do not get to see often enough, and of course to eat some terrific food too!
I had originally planned to create an Umbrian menu for Thanksgiving this year, using many specialties from the region we have fallen in love with during the five years we’ve lived there, but my granddaughter declared that it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without turkey, so my plans quickly changed. Although I did include a number of my favorite Umbrian appetizers, as well as a creamy pumpkin pasta dish (recipe coming soon), we ended up with turkey, ham, and all the usual trimmings. Over the years, we’ve experimented with many turkey and stuffing recipes and have now perfected both so everyone in the family is happy. Since everyone loves these two dishes, we never play around with them and save our experimenting for other things. I do get bored easily if I have to prepare the same thing over and over again, so I like to try out different side dishes each year. This year one of my choices was this Pear And Cranberry relish and it was a hit with everyone. It had a unique flavor that went really well with turkey, and I loved it even more on my day after Thanksgiving turkey sandwich. Although I made this relish for turkey, it would also be wonderful served with pork roast also.
Deborah Mele 2012
Cranberry Pear Relish
- 4 Cups Peeled Pears Cut Into 1/2 Inch Dice (Bartlett or Bosc Varieties)1 (16 Ounce) Bag Fresh Cranberries
- 3 1/2 Cups Sugar
- 3/4 Cup Water
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 2 Tablespoons Finely Grated Orange Zest
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, bring everything to a rapid boil, then reduce to a gentle boil.
- Cook, uncovered for about 25 minutes or until mixture has thickened.
- Place in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until needed.
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Cranberry and Pear Conserve