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After Thanksgiving

The local shops started, increasingly, to advertise their turkeys and fresh cranberries in early December, the week after American Thanksgiving. For the first time, it struck me as an afterthought, like a shop remembering to put Halloween candy out the first week of November, or bubbly displays appearing in early January.

I know better, really, and for years have been appreciating that I can have three Thanksgivings in some years: Canadian, American, and English Christmas, nicely spaced out at 4-6 week intervals so I have time to recover. Further, at least I *can* buy fresh cranberries for American Thanksgiving these days, as opposed to my first year or two back in the UK, when they weren't available.

But there's a reason that the Thanksgivings are when they are, and they contain the food they do. They're harvest festivals, and most of what's traditionally eaten is seasonal. That includes the cranberries, which are harvested in September through November.

I only just looked up when cranberry harvest season was. That's because I just cooked cranberry sauce to go with an English Christmas meal, and the cranberries were really not as good as they usually are - not as juicy, not as flavorful. For the first time, I needed to add water while making cranberry sauce; the berries were not self-sufficient that way. It made me wonder if they were past their season, older cranberries.

So that's the downside of celebrating in December with cranberries in the UK: by the time they're "in season" in the shops, they're out of their growing season already.

***

That said, I have every expectation that the meal(s), on the whole, will be as spectacularly good as usual.

Comments

owlfish
Dec. 24th, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
I should have been more clear: my comments were about the growing prevalence of *fresh* cranberry availability, which is presumably only spreading, and spreading in December specifically, because of some consideration that "fresh" cranberries must be better than preserved - preserved having already been long since widely available.
sollersuk
Dec. 24th, 2011 09:20 pm (UTC)
OK. this is Manchester, but I think I've only ever seen fresh cranberries on sale once, and that was in season. I was doing a venison casserole that week, so I pounced on them.
owlfish
Dec. 24th, 2011 09:48 pm (UTC)
Whereas I've seen them in large quantities in the last few weeks in Morrison's, Sainsbury's, and Waitrose (near Epping Forest in greater London) and in Booths up in Lancashire.