Thanksgiving is a time for family, gratitude, and of course, food. And while the turkey may take center stage on the table, there's one dish that always adds a tangy twist to the meal: Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish.
I learned about this recipe 10 years ago, and it became an instant hit in our family. We have it every Thanksgiving and Christmas. Plus, I always keep at least one bag of cranberries in the freezer, so I can make it year-round when I get the craving.
What's the Story Behind Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish?
Mama Stamberg is the mother-in-law of Susan Stamberg, a renowned NPR radio host. Every Thanksgiving since 1972, Susan has shared her mother-in-law's relish recipe on the air. Since then, it has become a Thanksgiving tradition for countless families across the country. (Susan later learned that Mama Stamberg originally got the recipe from a 1959 New York Times clipping of Craig Claiborne's recipe.)
What Makes This Relish So Special?
What sets this relish apart from your typical cranberry sauce is its vibrant pink color and unexpected ingredients. it's not just vibrant; it's Pepto-Bismol pink! It combines fresh cranberries, onions, sour cream, horseradish, and sugar, resulting in a tangy, sweet, and slightly spicy flavor explosion.
How to Make Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish
Now, let's get down to business and whip up a batch of this zesty relish. It's so easy! Here's what you'll need:
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 small onion
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
- 1/2 cup sugar
1. Start by washing the cranberries and removing any stems or blemished berries. Give them a good rinse and set them aside.
2. Next, peel and chop the onion into small pieces.
3. In a food processor, combine the cranberries and onion. Pulse until they are finely chopped. You want a chunky texture, not a puree.
4. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the sour cream, horseradish, and sugar. Mix well until everything is evenly combined. The vibrant pink color should start to emerge.
5. Put in a covered plastic container and freeze. Early on the morning of serving, put it in the refrigerator to start thawing. By dinner, it should still have some icy slivers on in it.
How to Enjoy Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish
Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish can be enjoyed as more than just a Thanksgiving side dish. Here are a few suggestions:
- Spread it on a leftover Thanksgiving turkey sandwich for an extra kick.
- Dollop it on top of cream cheese and serve with crackers for a festive appetizer.
- Mix it into a salad dressing for a tangy twist.
- Use it as a glaze for roasted vegetables.
Remember, Thanksgiving is all about traditions, and what better way to start a new one than with a quirky, fun, and delicious cranberry relish that will have everyone talking? Mama Stamberg would be proud.