Ruby red sphere of tartness, often accompanied by many Thanksgiving dishes. But I could eat my mom’s cranberry sauce any time of year. It is lightly sweetened with sugar, and thrown in with an orange rind for good measure. I love the flavors, competing tart and sweet and citrus. It’s a ride for the tastebuds that makes your lips purse and smack. When fresh, cranberries are harder than one might imagine, but the cook down, bursting and popping into thicker juice (especially once the sugar is added). I used to drink more cranberry juice as a kid. But I don’t really drink any juices now. It’s all sugar, really. I’m better off with the fruit and drinking water to properly hydrate and save calories. I’ve never been to a cranberry bog, but I’ve see photos. It’s something profound to bear witness. I couldn’t imagine getting in and stomping them.
To me, Thanksgiving is all about coziness and staying warm on a cool fall day with the people you love around you. It doesn’t matter what you eat or how much you eat, but the wine and conversation and watching football. Talking and doing activities together, I suppose. Thanksgiving colors of orange, brown, and dull yellow. It is some last autumn hurrah before the bitter cold of winter comes, scooping us up in windy white-out squalls accompanying curses under breath with teeth chattering. Then comes Christmas. The peak and end of the holiday season for that year. Footsie pajamas and presents under the tree.
I remember being in elementary school and reading books about Thanksgiving. I can’t remember the title, but I can vaguely see the illustrations in my mind, about a man or a family making their way to Thanksgiving dinner. And then something about how there was a Cranbury, New Jersey. And no one in my class had ever heard about that before and we all thought that was incredibly funny. Then I remember someone’s mom had brought in sweet potato pie, which I had never had before, and I tasted my slice and loved it; Thought it was so delicious. I was flabbergasted that it was made out of sweet potatoes. Those carby, sweet cravings and memories.