A Cranberry Colored Misunderstanding

For the first Thanksgiving in my new home, we hosted the celebration ourselves. That’s something I haven’t done in about a decade. It was great fun.

I am a lover of traditions, though, so I asked our guests if there was a particular dish that said Thanksgiving to them, because I wanted to be sure we included it, if so. Thanksgiving is a homey holiday, and I wanted everyone to feel at home.

One person said cranberry sauce. I cringed, inwardly, but added that to our shopping list. I hate cranberry sauce. I had no problem providing it for others, though, just as long as I wasn’t expected to eat it myself. It turns out that my husband felt the exact same way, which is further evidence that we are made for each other.

So on the day in question, I opened the can of red gelatinous muck and shook it out of the can. (Have you ever noticed that cranberry sauce makes a distinctive schlurp sound? Shudder.) And then I sort of mushed it up to disguise the can lines. As one does.

Once that was done, I had to admit that it was pretty, sitting in its cut crystal bowl, adding color to the proceedings. (Just keep it on your side of the table, please. So I can pretend it’s not there.)

Once we tucked in to our meal, I proudly pointed out to the person in question that we had her cranberry sauce for her.

She replied, “Oh, it’s not for me. It’s for my husband. I don’t like cranberry sauce.”

Well, then. I looked across the table at him. He seemed perplexed.

“I don’t like cranberry sauce. I just eat it because it’s there.”

“We’ve been together for 32 years and this whole time I didn’t know you dislike cranberry sauce?”


The sauce went straight into the compost bin. Woo hoo! Free at last!

But it makes you wonder how many traditions are only traditions because one person thinks the other person loves them. Go figure.

Cranberry Sauce

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You Don’t Have to Believe in Global Warming

It must be awfully stressful to be a climate change denier. If you fall into that category, I have to admire your tenacity, your grit, your firmness of conviction. Especially in light of the fact that fewer and fewer people agree with you.

According to a Gallup Poll in March, 2016, 64 percent of Americans are extremely concerned about it, up from the all-time recorded low of 51 percent back in 2011. And 65 percent of us believe global warming is caused by human activities.

And scientists (the ones who study these things, after all), are even more definitive. According to Wikipedia, “A survey found 97% agreed that global temperatures have increased during the past 100 years; 84% say they personally believe human-induced warming is occurring, and 74% agree that ‘currently available scientific evidence’ substantiates its occurrence.”

No one likes to be a member of an ever-shrinking group, but hey, you are entitled to your opinion. And opinions don’t have to have anything at all to do with facts. For example, I am of the opinion that cranberries are torture devices that get trotted out every Thanksgiving. You don’t have to agree with me.

Even so, I’m sure we can find some common ground. For example, most of us should be able to agree that we need to take care of the planet on which we live, for ourselves and for future generations. It’s the only planet we’ve got, right? We can all agree that our actions have consequences, even if we don’t agree about what those consequences will be.

So it’s official. I will no longer judge you harshly for being of an opinion that flies in the face of science. I will no longer ridicule you for having a belief that is so foreign to my own. Don’t you feel better already? I do. What a load off our minds. Group hug!

But in exchange, I’m going to double down on you if you neglect or abuse the planet. Just as I would be wrong to go out and destroy all the cranberry bogs, so you would be wrong to negatively impact the earth. Fair’s fair.

If you aren’t willing to stand on that common ground, then I can only conclude that your agenda is far more nefarious, and you might want to take a hard look at your level of selfishness, laziness, and greed. In that case, you’d feel a whole lot better if you simply come clean and admit that it isn’t that you don’t believe in global warming. It’s actually that you don’t give a shit.

But I’d like to have more faith in you than that. I think you can believe what you will and still do what you must. Your actions mean much more to me than your thoughts. Especially if you’re choosing to be thoughtless.


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The Great Cranberry Conspiracy

So I was eating a lean cuisine while watching the Colbert Report. Pecan Chicken. It was as good as one can rightfully expect from a TV dinner. And then I got this taste in my mouth. The dreaded taste. I gave my meal closer scrutiny, and yep, sure enough. Cranberries. Ugh!

My apologies in advance to cranberry lovers out there, but I strongly believe that there are some places that cranberries have absolutely no right to be. Mixed with gravy is one of those places. Covered in salad dressing is another.

Don’t get me wrong. I do enjoy the occasional cranberry muffin. I can also tolerate it in cereal if given fair warning. (There’s nothing that irritates me more than a cranberry surprise.) And I don’t object to that gelatinous muck that seems to be a Thanksgiving requirement. It does add color. I just politely refuse to ingest it. Why would I eat something that I would never allow to pass my lips the other 364 days of the year?

Is it just me, or have cranberries been popping up in more and more prepared foods of late? A cheap way to hike up the vitamin content on the package label, perhaps? Yeah, yeah, I could go on about how cranberries are a good source of this, that, and the other thing. Hmph. Google it yourself.

I have this theory, though. I call it the Great Cranberry Conspiracy. I think some rich person stupidly invested in cranberry bogs and is now desperately trying to unload the crop on anyone whom they can strong-arm into taking it. If the Koch brothers, for example, showed up at your corporate door and told you to put cranberries into your pecan chicken or by God, you’ll never work in this industry again, I bet you’d sit up and take notice.

And of course it’s the little people like me who have to suffer the consequences. It’s a cruel and boggy world out there. Eat with caution.


[Image credit: finecooking.com]