Make Ahead = Stress Free Thanksgiving (part 1)

So if you are like many who will be cooking, baking, and stressing out on Thanksgiving, fear no more, there is a simple solution. Make things ahead of time! I’m sure many people have thought about it but what can you make ahead that still looks fresh, tastes great, and everyone will be thinking you are the Thanksgiving god? Well, there are quite a few dishes that can be done ahead of time and some are a bit traditional while others may not be. I’ve only got time to post one for now but I promise I will be back with more in just a day or two.
In the meantime, think Chutney. What is chutney you say? Chutney is a slightly spicy condiment made of fruits or vegetables which originated in India. I make mine with cranberries, apples, crystallized ginger, and a few other ingredients.
Read below for the simple directions. This can be made up to a week before T-day and can replace the boring canned cranberry sauce. I’ll be honest, I eat it all by itself. It’s that good!

left: raspberry; center: rum pineapple; right; cranberry chutney
left: chutney; center: rum pineapple; right; raspberry

Cranberry Chutney
Ingredients
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup water
3 cups fresh cranberries
1 apple- peeled, cored and diced
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice (orange juice can be substituted)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

Directions
In a medium saucepan, mix dried apricots, crystallized ginger, brown sugar, raisins and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 – 7 minutes, stirring constantly.

Mix in cranberries, apple and lemon zest. Simmer 10 minutes or until apple has softened and cooked down.

Mix in lemon juice, and red pepper flakes. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

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