Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Celebrating With Cranberry Thanksgiving

There is always a bit of the duldrums that set in after Christmas and New Years.  All the lights and ornaments come down, the tree is put away.  We are weary of hearing Christmas carols and, believe it or not, we are full of desserts.  Everything seems a bit lackluster and boring.  We plod through our everyday chores trying to get back into some sort of routine.  It's dark and cold outside.  Hibernating seems like a viable option...

But, wait!  Are those hearts, lace and flowers I see?  Ahhhh...romance is in the air!  Secret Valentine's, special dinners, candy hearts and cookies with red and white sprinkles.

A Cranberry Valentine really highlights the fun and specialness of this day.  Whether it is for your child, your sweetheart or just someone you care about, it is fun to make people feel loved and wanted.  

If you aren't familiar with Wende and Harry Devlin's books you can visit their site here.  To learn a little bit about cranberry bogs and to read a review on Cranberry Thanksgiving click here.   The books are fun and tell sweet stories about Grandmother, Mr. Whiskers and Maggie.  They are heartwarming and sweet.

In this story Mr. Whiskers mentions that in his whole life he has never had a Valentine.  Much to his surprise he begins receiving secret Valentine's with verses like:

Little cupid shot his dart.
Love for you has filled my heart!
Be my Valentine.

What a mystery!  And a sweet ending.

At the back of the book is a cranberry recipe: Cranberry Upside Down Cake.  It sounded like a yummy dessert so I headed to the store to gather my ingredients.  I shouldn't have been surprised, but I couldn't find fresh cranberries in February.  So, I imrpovised and bought cranberry preserves instead.  A delicious decision.  Here is the original recipe.

Since I didn't have the cranberries I didn't need the white sugar, so I omitted it.  I melted the butter and combined it with the preserves and brown sugar.  I poured this into the bottom of my pan and then poured the prepared cake mix on top.  After I baked and cooled it I flipped it over by placeing another baking dish on top.  It wasn't very pretty to behold...Food Network will not be giving me presentaion points, but the taste was very nice.  Don't let my sad looking cake detour you from giving it a try!

Once we gobbled up the cake it was time to make our own Valentines.  

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