The relatively short season for fresh cranberries (October through December) is now in full swing with bags of the ruby red tart fruit available in supermarkets and grocery stores everywhere.
Here are some cranberry fun facts: There are about 440 cranberries in one pound, 4,400 cranberries in one gallon of juice, and 440,000 cranberries in a 100-pound barrel. Americans consume some 400 million pounds of cranberries each year. If you strung all the cranberries produced in North America last year, they would stretch from Boston to Los Angeles more than 565 times.
Cranberries are as delicious as they are nutritious, but there are other ways we can use fresh cranberries—to make the holidays even more beautiful!
Start with some Styrofoam balls, any size. Cut a bunch of wood toothpicks in half. Stick a pick into the ball so that about 1/2-inch is sticking out. Push a cranberry onto the toothpick until it touches the foam ball. Repeat until the ball is covered, placing the cranberries close enough so the white ball does not show through. Set your cranberry balls on candle holders of various heights or pile them into a large bowl.
In a medium bowl stir together 2 tablespoons water and 1 tablespoon pasteurized egg white (or one raw egg white) until blended, but not whipped. Coat raw cranberries with this mixture. Spread granulated sugar on a baking sheet and roll the cranberries in it until they are covered. Dry at room temperature for 2 hours. Use as a garnish for desserts. Sugared cranberries almost sparkle, they are so pretty.
Wash the cranberries. Thread a large sewing needle with waxed dental floss. Secure the first cranberry on the floss by putting the needle through the cranberry twice, then make a knot in the floss. Continue threading the cranberries until the desired length is achieved to decorate the mantel, Christmas tree, or banister
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Pour fresh raw cranberries into a clear glass vase. Add water. Now add a simple flower arrangement. The red berries in the water are stunning. Berries will last longer than the flowers so don’t worry about them going bad. You don’t have to add the water or even the flowers. Clear glass vases filled partially with red cranberries add a beautiful decorator touch to any setting.
Partially fill a clear glass bowl with water. Add fresh cranberries (they’ll float) and floating candles to make a pretty, colorful and simple holiday decoration.
Here is my favorite simple, delicious recipe for Cranberry Sauce: Combine in a saucepan over medium-high heat:
- 1 12-ounce package fresh cranberries
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
Cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Spoon off any foam that forms. Serve hot or cold.
Place 10 raw cranberries, 1 teaspoon honey, and 1 tablespoon almond oil in a small bowl. Microwave on high for two minutes. Mash and stir up the mix. Allow to cool then use a fine sieve to strain out the goop. Pour the mixture into a small container. Apply to lips as needed for a wonderful moisturizer and exfoliant.