Ye `ole Cap`n is always looking for ways to stave off scurvy, and this is a beautiful, easy and delicious one. Every holiday season I wonder why I wait all year to make it.
1 1/2 cups sugar
2-3 navel oranges, depending on size
1 or 2 whole cinnamon sticks
3 to 5 whole cloves
3 cups whole cranberries (2 bags)
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
and a lime if you want the bright green zest as garnish
Start by making a spiced syrup. Combine 1/2 cup orange juice (from your oranges, but zest them first for ease of handling…see below) with 1-1/2 cups of sugar, 3-5 whole cloves and a stick or two of cinnamon. Cook over medium high heat for about 5 minutes, until sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Remove cloves so that nobody has to bite down on them, but leave the cinnamon in for decoration, continued flavoring, and a way to punish those eating so quickly and absentmindedly that they would chomp down on a cinnamon stick.
As just mentioned, you are going to want the juice, pulp, and rind of the oranges separately. I find it easiest to take the rind off the whole fruit with a vegetable peeler, then juice them, catching the pulp in a small sieve.
Slice the rind finely. Wash and pick over your cranberries, disposing of any really rotten ones. Then add the berries to the syrup.
Continue to cook berries over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes. You will hear them pop and hiss. Once most have popped and they are collectively more or less softened they are ready.
Stir in orange rind and pulp, and pecans. Enjoy!