I want to like cranberry sauce. I really do. I mean, it’s right up there with turkey and mashed potatoes and stuffing (not that I like stuffing either…) as a Thanksgiving staple. And now that we’ve flipped another page in the calendar and put away the jack-o-lanterns, Thanksgiving is the next holiday on the horizon (unless you’re a retail store, in which case you’ve been playing Christmas carols since June).
But every year I try, and fail, to enjoy the stuff. I’ve even tried making my own, thinking maybe I could add in the magical ingredient that would make it palatable and enjoy it once and for all. And still, tasty cranberry sauce eludes me. I gave it another shot last night, trying it over warm, creamy polenta studded with goat cheese. The polenta? Awesome. Everything I wanted. The cranberry sauce? Bleck. Assault to the tastebuds.
I find it either caustically acidic or cloyingly sweet, or so overly-processed (As in, the kind from a can. As in, the only kind Boyfriend will eat. More on his bizarre Thanksgiving rituals as the month progresses – it’s a little too much to wrap your head around in one post.) that it’s unrecognizable as cranberry sauce. Which is strange, considering I do like cranberries, especially the dried ones that taste like raisins, only better (yes, I know they’re all sugar).
Is it me? Is this just a food I’m never going to like (perish the thought!)? I think, really, that I’ve given it more than enough attempts for that whole “acquiring a taste” thing to work itself out (I’ve always had a few qualms with that idea anyway – why would I continue to eat something I don’t like?), so maybe cranberry sauce is just never going to be a part of my Thanksgiving repertoire. But as long as I’m with Boyfriend, the jiggly mound of scarlet red, can-shaped “sauce” will have to be…Is that love, or what?