This week I got my first delivery of produce from Fresh City Farms. So far it's been great. The spinach has been a tasty accompaniment to scrambled eggs and starred alongside a vibrant red tomato in last night's bacon and tomato sandwich (bacon from Rowe Farms, of course). I have an acorn squash waiting to be doused in maple syrup for roasting, some rainbow carrots whose fate will also likely involve maple syrup (guess what my next food purchase will be), and kale that I will without a doubt turn into more kale chips.
However, the true star of this bundle of produce so far has been the grapes. I know. I was surprised too. I had been meandering through life only ever eating your standard issue red and green grapes. So when I saw the basket of purple Coronation grapes, the only interesting thing I noticed about them was that they resembled every depiction of grapes I've ever seen in still life paintings and portraits of Greek gods.
Well. There is a reason Greek gods were eating them in such copious amounts.
Okay, so actually they're a specifically Canadian grape related to the Concord grape, but they're easily the best grapes I've ever eaten. Suddenly I understand where the grape flavour in candy comes from. Only this version isn't drowned out by cloying sweetness. They have a pleasant tanginess and are bursting with juice. I've been grabbing a handful every time I go into the fridge. I just can't resist them.
So my suggestion to you is, go find some Ontario Coronation grapes. If you happen to like grapes, you won't be disappointed.
Alongside the grapes I also received a little bag of organic cranberries from Quebec. Since Thanksgiving is on Monday, I thought I'd give you this recipe for cranberry sauce. It is almost stupidly easy. As I was making it my sister wondered why everyone doesn't make their own cranberry sauce. She poses an interesting question.
It's actually so easy that I can't come up with any logical, satisfying reason why people buy canned cranberry sauce. At this point I think it's just something we assume comes in a can. It's how we know it, and maybe our grandparents still make it from scratch, but we're used to it being in a can, so that's how we buy it. However, since frozen cranberries are available year-round, you have no excuse once I give you this recipe. Are you ready for it?
The Easiest Cranberry Sauce
8 oz (about 2 cups) cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
zest of one orange (optional)
Throw it all in a pot, bring it to a boil, and turn down the heat to cook it for another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it looks like cranberry sauce.
That's it. Seriously. That's it. You don't even have to do anything to the cranberries. The most difficult part of this is zesting the orange and I'm giving you full permission to skip that step if you want. It would easily double (or triple even if you have a giant family who can't get enough of their cranberry sauce), but this would probably be plenty for your average sized dinner of about eight people.
Since I got a few oranges with my delivery, the only thing not organic about this cranberry sauce is the sugar. Not too bad I'd say. And did I mention it's delicious? Bright and tangy, with just the right amount of underlying sweetness and the subtlest hint of citrus. I will never purchase cranberry sauce again as long as I live.
Hopefully you get a chance to try it this weekend. I promise it will only take about 15 minutes of your time. And lets face it, it earns some bragging rights, doesn't it? Homemade cranberry sauce.
Anyway. Enjoy the weekend. Enjoy the weather. Enjoy the turkey feast. Happy Thanksgiving!