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Posted on Nov 21, 2013 | 1 comment

A Cranberry Twofer: Baked Cranberries, Celebration Salad

A Cranberry Twofer: Baked Cranberries, Celebration Salad

Much like the popular cranberry salad sold at Kroger, this recipe for Cranberry Celebration Salad is Rita's most-requested cranberry recipe for Thanksgiving.

Tasting much like the popular cranberry salad sold at Kroger, this recipe for Cranberry Celebration Salad is Rita’s most-requested cranberry recipe for Thanksgiving.

Lemons, Oranges… and Cranberries

Lemons were known to the Jerusalem Jews. Josephus, a historian in ancient Jerusalem, supposedly pelted an errant high priest with lemons during a festival . But scholars think that this was done with citrons not lemons. Citrons are a citrus fruit, but  the flesh isn’t eaten – it’s the pith  - that white part – that is useful – it’s candied and used in baked goods. The lemon is a hybrid between the citron and the sour orange. The origin of the word lemon may be Middle Eastern.

Lemon trees were mainly ornamental in Islamic gardens.  In 1493 Columbus brought lemon seeds on his voyages. Lemons were used more medicinally than for food.  In 1747, seamen suffering from scurvy added lemon juice to their diets, and the British made their sailors eat limes, and that’s where the name “limeys” came from.

In the 1800’s, lemons were planted in Florida and California.

The vitamin C in lemons helps heal cuts and bruises, helps prevent cancer and heart disease. Lemons are good for reducing stress and good for the immune system and skin. Lemons allow your body to absorb carbs and calcium better, and it’s a gentle cleanser for your liver and kidneys.


Oranges are an ancient fruit, as well. The orange plant is believed to be a native of India as far back as 7000 years and they were a favorite of the nobility.

By the first  century AD, The Romans developed  orchards in North Africa.  Today, Brazil is the largest producer of oranges and Florida comes in second. They are the most popular fruit in the world.

Oranges also contain vitamin C. Our bodies can’t produce vitamin C so we have to get it regularly.

Cranberry Recipes with Lemons and Oranges

Note: If you don’t want to make these recipes, Monastery Greetings has an awesome cranberry compote/conserve!

Rita’s do-ahead baked candied cranberries for Thanksgiving

If you substitute Splenda, use the kind that measures out just like sugar. If you don’t want to use the liqueur, though it’s in the oven long enough for at least some of the alcohol (and probably most) to bake out, substitute 1/4 cup water or cranberry juice.

  • 1 bag fresh cranberries washed and picked over
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar or to taste
  • 1/4 cup brandy or cognac
  • 1/4 cup frozen orange concentrate, thawed but not diluted
  • Lemon juice to taste: start with juice of half of a lemon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix everything together. Bake uncovered until berries have absorbed most of the liquid and most have popped, about 45 minutes. Can be done ahead.  Great served warm, room temperature or chilled. A nice hostess gift, as well.

Cranberry Celebration Salad like Kroger

This is my most requested recipe for cranberries this time of year.

  • 15 oz. crushed pineapple in unsweetened juice, drained – save juice
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 oz. raspberry gelatin
  • 15 oz. can whole cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped (optional but good)

Boil pineapple juice, cranberry juice and lemon juice together. Add gelatin. Remove from heat and stir in cranberries. Put in fridge till almost set. Stir in nuts, celery and pineapple.

Rita Heikenfeld.

Rita Heikenfeld.

Rita Nader Heikenfeld writes a weekly cooking column and blog for the Community Press, appears every Thursday on the Son Rise Morning Show, and is the author of several cookbooks. An adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati, she is Macy’s Regional Culinary Professional  (CCP) and is a Certified Modern Herbalist. She lives “in the sticks” outside Batavia, Ohio with her family, where they heat with wood, raise chickens for eggs, and grow their own produce and herbs. You’ll find all her previous recipes featured on The Catholic Beat here.

 Rita’s Bible Foods segment airs on the Son Rise Morning Show every Thursday morning at 7:22 am (rebroadcast Friday at 6:02 am). Tune in to hear her discuss the history behind each recipe and the scripture verses that inspired it. And of course, for cooking tips!

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The cheerful red of this baked cranberry dish adds warmth to any holiday table.

The cheerful red of this baked cranberry dish adds warmth to any holiday table.

1 Comment

  1. hello
    i am interested in trying to make the candied raspberries. Would it be better to use a glass pan vs. metal pan?
    I have teams of people I would like to thank and recognize….are these crumblike or more contained(if you will)? I would like to wrap a couple of squares in saran wrap and give as individual goodies. Thanks for the advice.