We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature--trees, flowers, grass--grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence...We need silence to be able to touch souls. --Mother Teresa

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Holiday Punch

or cranberry punch.  That's what the recipe is actually called--cranberry punch.  I call it holiday punch because that is the only time of the year I make it...the HOLIDAYS.  And I drink it and I lovelovelove it.

Ingredients:  2 bags of fresh cranberries, 4 quarts of water, 2 cups of sugar, 2 cups of red hots, 12 whole cloves (got three count'em 3 jars in my cabinet--don't ask me why), 1 can of frozen orange juice, and 1 can of frozen lemonade.  THIS MAKES A CONCENTRATE. 

Start by putting the cranberries into 2 quarts of water. I use hot water--almost boiling.  Really.   Get a good boil on this mixture.  The cranberries will start to pop and pop and begin to cook down.  The kitchen will be filled with a lovely aroma. 

Meanwhile, I put the other 2 quarts of water--again, I use hot water--in with the red hots so they can begin to dissolve.  Add the cloves at this point.  This is kind of a time saver.  Did you know that red hots are mostly sugar?  First two ingredients are sucrose and corn syrup.  Anyway, let them sit. 

I have this strainer system I have created.  You will need your own system but you MUST have a strainer of some sort.  And a fairly large bowl that can take boiling sugar. 

As the cranberries cook down they will start to look like this: 

After they have cooked down pretty good, pour the mixture through the strainer.  It's kind of hot, watch yourself.  If you are delicate, you could burn yourself.

Now pour the red hot mixture and 2 cups of sugar into the pan and get a good boil on it.  You will have to stir it because it is sugar.  And it won't take long.

This is your bowl of cranberry juice.  Isn't it pretty?  But if drop any on the kitchen floor, prepare to mop.  And mop some more.  If you step in it, your shoes will be sticky for days.  Days, I am telling you.

I keep the cranberries 'dripping' over a glass measuring cup while my sugar mixture is cooking.  I kind of smash them and smash them until most of the juice is strained through. 

Once the sugar has dissolved, add the orange juice and lemonade.  Give it a quick stir. 

At this point, discard the cranberries.  Strain the sugar, clove, oj and lemonade mixture through to the measuring cup.  Trust me.  You will want to strain this mixture at least twice.

I then put the strainer into the cranberry juice and then strain the sugar mixture through again.  I am not a fan of pulp.  Some people like it.  I do not.  Strainstrainstrain is my motto. 

This is what the finished product will resemble.  Remember, THIS MAKES A CONCENTRATE.

I store the Holiday Punch in canning jars.  When I make it, it makes 5 quarts.  Which is really 10 because you mix this 1/2 punch, 1/2 water.  And heat it up.  It is a wonderful warm drink on cold winter nights. 

I would suggest using a funnel to pour the punch.  Less messy.

I pour (sometimes straining a 3rd time) the punch back into my glass measuring cup and then I pour into the jars.  Women of a certain age aren't as strong as they used to be.  Or as accurate.

Remember that this MAKES A CONCENTRATE.  If you use one cup of punch, you need one cup of water.  Store the jars in the fridge until ready to use.  I heat it in the microwave and add hot water. 

I basically am the only person in my family who enjoys this punch.  The girls sort of like it cold, Coach is iffy at best and LT is totally out.  Can't stand it.  The girls made it into slushies earlier in the week--but didn't like it that way, either.  Coach grossed us all out when he added full sugar ginger ale to his instead of water and drank it.  He liked it a lot. 

I don't care that I am the only one who enjoys Holiday Punch.  I am worth it.  Just sayin'.

P.S.  I attempted to post this on the Tuesday before Christmas.  And on Wednesday.  And on Thursday.  And on the Saturday after Christmas.  Blogger and I were the 'outs'.  I ended up deleting and starting completely over this morning.  I hate it when that happens.........just sayin'.


Lisa said...

Looks delicious to me, and as for the others, go by the Bauer Family Motto, "More for the rest of us."

Hays Family 5 said...

I'll get you a jar. I have way too much and after stepping on the post Christmas scale....I need a little less.

Carpenter's said...

This looks delicous! Will have to try in out on my family next year.

Ann said...

I think it sounds great!!! I would probably add a little vodka!!!:-) SHHHHH, don't tell my Mom though!!

Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel. -Proverbs 11: 17