As soon as cranberry season begins, I’m on the lookout for them. We can only find fresh cranberries during November and December. What’s the attraction? Everything about them! Their ruby red tones make them a standout in terms of beauty. The taste, on the other hand, is bright, sweet and tangy with assertiveness. They look like gemstones after they’ve been poached in sugar, apple cider and some citrus zest. They are regal, for sure!

I love to make cranberry sauce. I’ve been making it since I was a teenager. It’s so simple to make and then where you can go with it makes it very user-friendly for an array of dishes. I always make extra for day-after-Thanksgiving sandwiches, fruit crisp and pandowdy, cranberry oat bars and, wait for it, brisket and latkes. Yep, wait until you try this masterpiece for Thanksgivukkah! Once you make these recipes, you’ll be hooked on them for years to come.

Cranberry Sauce
(Photo: Marjorie Druker)

Cranberry Sauce With Orange Peel

Makes 2 quarts


  • 2 pounds fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Zest and juice of two oranges
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Place everything in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Simmer for 30 minutes until the fruit has popped open.
Brisket 7
(Photo: Marjorie Druker)

Cranberry Beef Brisket

Serves 6-8


  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 flat-cut brisket (8-9 pounds)
  • 1½ large Spanish onions, sliced
  • Kosher salt, black pepper and garlic powder (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon best-quality beef soup base (like Better Than Bouillon)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 8-10 carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
  • 4 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into thirds
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 1 can Pastene Kitchen-Ready Tomatoes
  • 2 cups fresh cranberry sauce (see recipe above)
  • 1 tablespoon Kitchen Bouquet Browning & Seasoning Sauce
  • 2 cups burgundy wine


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy sauté pan. Add the brisket and sear on both sides until browned (about 6-7 minutes on each side).
  3. Remove from the pan and season liberally with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and garlic powder.
  4. Place the sliced onions in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Place the brisket, fat side down, on top of the onions. Spread the bouillon paste on top of the brisket and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Place the carrots and potatoes around the brisket and add the oregano and basil.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the tomatoes, cranberry sauce, Kitchen Bouquet and wine together. Pour over the brisket and vegetables. Cover with foil and let cook for 5 hours. (You do not have to uncover and look at it even once—just let it slow cook.)
  6. When done, let cool for 20-25 minutes before slicing, making sure to slice at an angle to go against the grain.
Latkes 2
(Photo: Marjorie Druker)

Potato Latkes

Makes 18


  • 3 large Yukon Gold potatoes, grated
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 3 eggs, whisked together
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Vegetable or peanut oil for frying


  1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Use a heavy frying pan (I use cast iron). Add 3 tablespoons of oil to a hot pan.
  3. Place a scoopful of the mixture in your hands and squeeze out all the liquid. Place in hot frying pan and cook until golden and crispy on each side.
  4. Top your latkes with cranberry sauce!