Richard Nixon on Wonkette's Cranberry Business: 'This shit PUNISHES.'No first lady could even fucking imagine making something as wonderful and perfect as your editor’s famous Wonkette’s Actual Awesome Real Cranberry Business. It is one of those things that just blows people away, because they assume it must be so hard to make real cranberry relish because why else would we eat that Jell-o’d aspic glob from the can? IT MUST BE SO HARD. No, it isn’t, so stop whining about everything, for once.

This dish takes exactly three minutes to prepare, and another 10 or 15 minutes in the oven, and you don’t even have to think about it. Pre-heat the oven, prepare the cranberries, “slide in the pyrex,” as they say, and just turn the fucking oven off, go outside, have a cigarette.

Do not forget our other Holiday Recipes for Thanksgiving! Betty Ford’s Chocoholic Icebox Fantasy and Mamie Eisenhower’s Lesbian-Soviet Hockey Rink and Nancy Reagan’s Racial-Transcendence Monkey Bread!

There are many recipes you can find “on the Internet” for fresh cranberry sauce, but you don’t need to do that anymore. Just send this one to your xBox or whatever and be DONE, done with the search for the ideal cranberry relish recipe.


  • When you’re at the store, get two sacks of fresh cranberries from the produce section. They are like, a pound each. This will be plenty for eight or so people. Did your relatives refuse to use any kind of birth control, producing a larger family of say, 16 people? Just double the recipe, meaning buy two of whatever, and use twice as much, in the recipe. And “double the recipe” does not mean set the oven to 700 degrees instead of 350. Jesus.
  • If for some reason you don’t have some basic cane sugar and a decent bottle of bourbon at home, purchase these things in whatever respectable quantity, so next time (Friday morning) you’ll have this stuff handy.
  • Oranges. Buy some of them.

NOW: Either right now or tomorrow or 30 minutes before carving time — IT DOES NOT MATTER — you wash the cranberries. (The thing that looks like a ’50s space helmet, it is called the colander, fill it with the cranberries and put it under the cold faucet).

Dump said berries in the Pyrex baking dish, like the one people might use for lasagna or baked manicotti. (This is a good time to remove whatever weird stuff the Stephen King characters who pick cranberries might’ve dropped in the bucket: loose teeth, etc.) Get the cheese grater and just grate on some sad-but-firm orange, right on the peel, so that the little bits of orange peel fall down upon the lonely berries. It is fine if some bigger chunks — like, half-inch-long shreds, but no bigger than that — fall down there, too. It adds “color” … orange color, in fact. Do this until you’re tired of doing it, at which point there’s probably about three teaspoons’ worth of orange “zest” in the pyrex, with the cranberries. Don’t pick it out and measure it or anything, just show some confidence. For once.

Cut open that poor orange you’ve just Gitmo’d, and squeeze the juice into your cranberry business. Do not drop the orange seeds in there, come on.

Now drizzle a couple-five shots of bourbon on the berries. And sprinkle about half a cup of granulated cane sugar over all that. (Generally, cranberry relish recipes call for some insane amount of sugar, like three cups. Do not ruin everything, okay? Using not-so-much sugar produces a tart but still sweet-enough relish that is to be served with savory dishes like turkey and dressing, right? If you want to put this on a peanut butter sandwich, by all means use fifteen cups of sugar and chase it with an “energy drink” or whatever. Let freedom reign.)

Cover the baking dish with foil and put it in the oven. Doesn’t really matter, whatever the oven is set to, which is going to be in the 300-425 range for your general Thanksgiving dishes crowding the oven. You also don’t need to be a dick and start yelling about how somebody needs to move the mac-and-cheese or the brussels sprouts under the broiler (and you SHOULD have simple cut-in-half olive-oil-brushed brussels sprouts under the broiler!) because you must get in your cranberry relish. Anytime is fine, and plus who will be impressed if you keep talking about it, beforehand? They might notice how easy it is to make, and then who are you? You are basically Lou Dobbs. So go outside and yell at a Mexican.

Come back inside, and please wash your hands if you were smoking out there, and see what is going on. Are people tense? It is probably time to open a bottle of wine, go ahead and pass around maybe a Petite Syrah, something that will go with maybe some pita chips or apple slices, whatever, try to get people to relax. It is okay to have “Irish Coffees,” too, because it’s daytime.

When the cranberry business is bubbly and the berries have this nice soft-but-firm kind of thing going on, take out the pyrex and let it cool somewhere out of the way. If there’s room in the fridge, you can just put the tray in there once it’s cool to the touch. But there’s no room, jesus just look at all the food in there, plus there are about a million beers for tomorrow, so just scrape it all into something pretty, some kind of thing you might put chutney in, or whatever (ask mom).

Serve and watch how people say, “OMG I only ever had it from a can,” etc.

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  1. Anyone ever tried the kind made with mayo, horseradish, and onions? It’s fucking amazing, whether or not you have had six or seven of Wookies pot brownies beforehand.


  3. I’m fixin’ to make Jack Daniel’s chocolate chip pecan pie, because this is Georgia, y’know, and mere pumpkin + mincemeat is not good enough.

    It uses semisweet chips as a bottom layer, so it’s not as icky sweet as it sounds.

  4. I usually boil my cranberry sauce (which I guess means it’s not relish) and use half as much sugar (or sub honey or molasses) as the recipe calls for. And everyone has a taste and stops eating because tartness frightens Americans.

  5. Jealous of Choire and Balk’s wildly successful cooking segments of late, Ken? Not quite enough abuse, invective, and ennui, but I guess you’re still tired from The Great Journey. One thing your recipe doesn’t mention, though, is how to make those can molds. How can you have cranberry aspic or whatever without those rings?!?!?1111! It would be as unAmerican as Barack Obama.

  6. Here’s Stew’s famous Cranberry Cocktail recipe: pour two cups of Makers Mark into a glass and pour two cups of cranberry juice down the sink. Cheers.

  7. All that liquor today is helping me formulate all my great comebacks to that fat ass uncle Dwayne’s conservative rhetoric and Thanksgiving table farts. Fuck I hate this holiday.

  8. In your head, in your head they are fighting,
    With their tanks and their bombs,
    And their bombs and their guns.
    In your head, in your head, they are crying…

    Oh man Ken you just ruined my CD.

  9. Thanks for the recipe, Gramps. Don’t you yell at us to not eat gelatinous cranberry sauce every year? Tomorrow you’ll be posting that long poem video thing too I suppose. Another year clunks by…

  10. Great narrative, Ken! I offer our family holiday recipe for Kahlua Eggnogs in return.

    For each large (or 2 small) servings, load up your blender with:

    Jigger of Kahlua (1 1/2 oz)
    Half-jigger of half-and-half
    Quarter- or third-jigger of simple syrup
    One egg (obviously this is a Know Your Ingredients thing…save your older eggs for baking)
    Ice chips

    Blend until the ice is mostly pulverized. Makes a double old-fashioned glass full of a coffee milkshake with a helluva kick.

    If you can’t find bar syrup in a bottle, you can make it yourself. Proportions are 1:1 sugar:water. Dissolve the sugar in water in a saucepan, bring it to the boil, and then cool. You can store the rest in the fridge.


    1. Take two MOOSLIMS and three LIBRULS
    2. CUT’em up an’ dump ’em on teh road.

    That’s hao 2 make a BIGG BOLE OF FREEDUM.

  12. Hey we (that means the missus) make the same thing at home with the added addition of store brand walnut pieces added to the concoction, additionally.

  13. [re=466692]BerkeleyFarm[/re]: ooh, thanks — just made some Kaluha for gifts, but saved a little for the adult fams :)

    Why do I suddenly feel like I’m on a recipe forum at O Magazine?

  14. From Cindy McCain’s Holiday cookbook:

    A little holiday pick-me-up I invented herself. I call it “The Hensley”

    1 oz vodka
    1/2 oz triple sec
    1/2 oz Rose’s® lime juice
    1/2 oz cranberry juice

    Shake vodka, triple sec, lime and cranberry juice vigorously in a shaker with ice. Strain into a martini glass, garnish with a lime wedge on the rim, and serve.


  15. Jeebus f-ing xrist, Ken! You just had to rub it in, didn’t you? I FUKKING FORGOT TO GET CRANBERRIES YESTERDAY! I kept looking at the frozen turkey selection, seeing as how all the cheapo turkeys were gone, and a kind soul at Stop & Shop told another kind employee there how he could reprice them… So I got a $0.99/lb butterball for $0.47/lb. Really! But then I forgot to get the cat food and the cranberries (and oranges – or even better, tangerines, and use port, although there’s something to be said for having every thanksgiving dish be highly alcoholic).

  16. Nice. I’ve always made cranberry sauce on the stove top, and with wild highbush cranberries (a much better class of berry than those anemic lowbush bogberries). How would it be served warm, over french vanilla icecream, think you?

  17. Got an easier one.

    Pour the contents of a bag of cranberries (sans teeth etc) into a sauce pan. Put in enough water to float them. Turn on medium heat. Cook them until the berries rupture. (Watch them, they will all pop at once and can boil over). Remove from heat. Do you like smooth sauce, push it through a sieve/strainer, otherwise just put it in a bowl. Add orange juice, just a good sized splash. Taste. Want it sweeter? Add sugar. What freaky deaky cranberries? Add whatever kind of spices or liquor you want. Honestly, though, it’s great with just cranberries, orange juice, and a bit of sugar.

  18. This is a good time to remove whatever weird stuff the Stephen King characters who pick cranberries might’ve dropped in the bucket: loose teeth, etc.

    Oh Wonkette, if you would have me and we lived in Belgium where woman-blog unions are legal, I would marry you for this.

  19. I’m gone 2 weeks and Wonkette turns into some sort of on-line cookbook? I’m leaving again for another week- will there be knitting patterns next week?

  20. Thanksgiving, a short story.

    Dad: I bet you don’t even know how to use a twist drill yet.
    Mom: Y’know, I always liked junior more than you.
    Dad: Junior is a big success. Look at you.
    Sis: [compacts excrement into pellets and flicks it, when Dad and Mom not looking.]
    Junior: I’m gay.
    Dad: Who are the Vikes playing this week?

  21. There is an ineffable daintiness in the way Nixon holds his spoon that–coupled with the transgressive joy in his expression–makes me think of Aldo Valletti’s character in _Salo_ when they all feast on poop. I guess here instead of the juxtaposition of a discerning taste and feces, it would be the coupling of Nixon’s delicacy and his face, so it’s basically the same scene.

  22. I may make this for myself one day, seeing as I love cranberry sauce but am not spending Thanksgiving with my family. My last family gathering involved my mother outing me as an atheist during Christmas Eve dinner and the rest of the wingnut family asking why I didn’t love Jesus, so I’m not real big on family gatherings at the moment.

  23. Scooter’s Texas Cowpigen Recipe, serves one Thanksgiving cook-out/target shoot:

    You cut open a cow, and pull the guts out, then shove a pig inside of it and staple it back together.

    Put guts aside for later, then you drink some beer.

    Then you steal a cement mixer, and drink some more beer and then shoot at some empty bottles

    Then you dig a pit, taking a break afterward, drink more beer, maybe a couple of shots of tequila, and try to talk some of the girls into taking their tops off. If that doesn’t work, give them more tequila.

    Repeat until successful.

    Then you throw some old tires in the pit, glaze them with a medium octane gasoline and flambe them from a safe distance of a couple feet or so.

    Then you shoot some empty bottles and drink more beer waiting for the tires to get going real good, trying not to breath the fumes too much because you might get sick and throw up too soon.

    And then

    Oh yeah drink some more beer.

    Then you throw the cow with the pig in it into the back of the cement mixer, drink some more beer, drive the cement mixer so that the barrel is situated over the flaming tire pit, then put the barrel in gear and rotisserate that sunuvabitch until it smells done or the cement mixer catches on fire and explodes.

    I think you make sandwiches with it, but I’ve never remembered past this point in the recipe.

    Wishin’ all yall a real Texas size BON apetite

  24. For those of you who are too young, Richard Nixon was the Dick Cheney of his time, although it has never been proven that he actually killed and ate the innocent.

    Oh, and Neil Young believed there was a reality where even Richard Nixon had soul.

  25. For all you holiday meal cooking novices, here’s a bit of free advice:

    If you decide you’re going to roast some autumn root vegetables, and you want to line your baking sheet with aluminum foil to save yourself the clean-up, be sure to use some non-stick spray. Those things will stick to the foil like crazy. And you may think you’ve made a clean scrape, but your mouth (especially your teeth) will tell you and your many assembled family and friends otherwise. Some things we need only do once.

  26. Alternate recipe version to get though my family thanksgiving:

    couple-five shots of bourbon (AKA 10 shots of bourbon)
    1 can of cranberry goop
    1 orange

    Pour the bourbon over the ice into a large glass. Set aside. Slide the goop from the can (it helps if you warm the can and open it first) onto a plate. Grate a little orange peel over the top if you want to be “fancy.” Garnish with orange slices if you want to be “totally gay.”

    Serve the goop to your “family.” They are real Americans and would be suspicious of food that wasn’t processed anyway. Keep the bourbon for yourself. 10 shots should be just enough to get you through dinner.

  27. [re=466755]Kathryn.[/re]: This reminds me of a rather uncomfortable holiday at my in-law’s house. It went something like this.

    Father-in-law: Blah, blah, Jesus, blah, blah blah.

    My Wife: Drop it dad I’m not a Christian.

    (stunned silence)

    Father-in-law: We’re going to miss you in heaven…

  28. [re=466763]skutre[/re]: I’d love to see this on the Food Channel, or using wild game alternatives (MoosePiggen anyone?) with Ted Nugent on one of the outdoor channels. Caribou Barbie could remove her top per the instructions as well.

  29. “Cut open that poor orange you’ve just Gitmo’d” — hilarious! Wonkette writes the greatest recipes. They need to make a cookbook. Could Wonkette be the next Martha Stewart?

  30. [re=466800]RoscoePColtraine[/re]: For all you holiday meal cooking novices, here’s a bit of free advice: …

    Roscoe, wanna move in? I do a great hawg maw and chittlins, and even do some northern cookin like putting maple sirrip on my grits.

  31. Nice pitcher of freshman Rep. Richard Nixon (R – Hell Mouth, CA) as he sits on the House UnAmero Activities Committee and savors the blood of the innocent, supplemented by a few lightly buttered Saltines. Mmm, mmm, good.

    [re=466836]FlipOffResearch[/re]: The next Dickster Cheney. Each of the Dark Lords recipes would begin, “First, wash vomit and entrails from the water board.”

  32. Wonkettes recipes are giving me one big headache tonight. If I wanted to learn how to cook and prepare my own meals, I wouldn’t have gotten married. Think about it.

  33. I too used to make delicious real cranberry sauce with a reduced amount of sugar. Tart and tasty! A perfect condiment! Except – my fellow Americans didn’t eat it! Bummer.

    You’re right about brussel sprouts, so easy, delicious and seasonal, but steam them before grilling. Easy! Even if you have to eat them all by yourself.

    This year, just now, I made butternut squash risotto. The recipe called for cream, and I lost confidence in the squash taste and texture, so I put in the recipe amount of cream. Now I have squash risotto pudding!

  34. [re=466709]Jim89048[/re]: Home again, jiggerty-jog.

    You could use a Pyrex cup but my dad has his gen-yoo-wine sixties bar set. It will forgive you if you don’t get the proportions exactly right.

    We drink it on T-day and Christmas. It sets the right tone for a festive holiday.

  35. Ken, if I were your sister-in-law, I’d definitely make a sloppy, drunken pass at you in front of the family while you were trying to clear the table. Your recipe is that good.

  36. That picture of Nixon eating (that is Nixon, right?) is terribly disturbing. He’s supposed to be a cyborg–the dysfunctional one they sent back to have remade into Dick Cheney.

  37. Thanks for all these hilarious yet useful recipes!
    I learned my saucepan-on-the-stovetop way from Martha herself: put the cranberries into a food processor or blender first to chop them. Then the sauce has the right consistency after it cooks down (not too many big lumps, for those diners who are made nervous by big lumps). Half-cup sugar, few tsp orange zest and juice, and a little more water to just not-quite cover the raw cranberries. You can throw in a little Captain Morgan too. Or skip the zesting/juicing and throw in a little Grand Marnier!

  38. What the fuck? Juli’s over on The Awl writing about things and Ken’s over here doing his best Choire impression with the Thanksgiving recipes.

  39. “Gitmo’d”, “go outside and yell at a Mexican”, “just show some confidence. For once.” all within a kick-ass cranberry recipe? You made me love you…I didn’t wanna do it.

  40. So, I just want to point out that they don’t sell actual cranberries in this part of New Jersey, on account of everyone here being “Native American” immigrants who are still pissed that the Pilgrims survived that winter and then killed them all off. That’s what Lou Dobbs told me, so it must be true. Maybe if I vote Lou Dobbs for president, New Jersey will have cranberries. I would vote for Lou Dobbs over Sarah Palin because, like, right? Either way Glenn Beck would make the cranberries come back, but he would have cried all over then and then doodled pictures of Che on them, making it impossible to make “business” of them with the oranges. Even if they were usable, my family doesn’t eat Che’s face, ever, so there goes that idea. Also, that’s salty.

    Anyway, my point is, I bought a can of red goo, put it on the stovetop, and then Ken Layned it with some Gitmo oranges (it takes a whole new meaning when you think that all of my family basically swam here from Gitmo) and some sangria, because “Whiskey” or whatever is a Yanqui drink. Obviously, I drank all the other sangria that I didn’t pour into the goo, which is why I’m sitting here typing on the Wonkett. On account of the drunk. The resulting scenario that came from what I was boiling was DELICIOUS, is what I meant, so I’m sure the real version is infinitely better, but thanks! My whole family actually ate turkey and enjoyed it for the first time in recent memory since that one year my mom gave up and just made a pig! Assimilation is hard.

  41. Ken, It kicked ass! Republican in-laws were going ga ga with compliments (must’ve been the Wild Turkey I used for bourbon) anyhow that it kept getting such rave reviews from the tea bagging, birther side of the family gave me great joy throughout the meal. Cheers!

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