November 14, 2007

The pickup: Cranberries, frankly, are kind of a funky berry. Far too tart and crunchy to eat raw, we nevertheless down buckets of them every year, mostly in the form of sweetened cranberry juice; many also swear by the cranberry’s prophylactic and healing powers when it comes to urinary-tract infections.

The results: The season for fresh cranberries, of course, coincides with Thanksgiving, which is when we like to make all those gallons of cranberry sauce. Cranberries are also delicious baked into muffins and quick breads; you can chop them up as little tart treats or leave them whole as juicy little balloons of sweetened acidity.

Either way, fresh cranberries are easy to work with (just wash them and pick out the berries going bad) and freeze beautifully. Buy a few pounds’ worth now, while they’re in season, and freeze them for cakes and tarts later in the winter.

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