Richard Nixon on Wonkette's Cranberry Business: 'This shit PUNISHES.'It’s that special time of year when we all give thanks for 25% real unemployment, the never-ending real-estate collapse, terrible schools, broken infrastructure and a bunch of mouth-breathing cretins sticking their hands up Granny’s hoo-ha at the airport. And that means we should all gather around the oven and watch Aunt Wonkette make its world-famous boozed-up cranberry sauce!

Each Thanksgiving, we re-post this Holiday Favorite from 2009:

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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  • Terry

    I LIKE the jelllied cranberry sauce that comes in a can. It's good luck to get a slice with the end imprint.

  • horsedreamer_1

    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.

    So, is this how Wonkette plans on taking out Boehner?


  • OneYieldRegular

    You left out the step where you're supposed to chug a bottle of vodka.

    • Not_So_Much

      I kept looking for the tequila shots, but this'll do.

    • Tundra Grifter

      Only if you are cooking in the Target parking lot. Or at a wild teenage party.

    • horsedreamer_1

      You know who else chugged voDKa?

      (Why, yes, I am reading Cullen's Columbine.)

  • DustBowlBlues

    I am making this for my family, you betcha'. I wish NPR would provide the wonkette recipe in lieu of that disgusting horseradish shit they push. My sister-in-law made it one holiday, for fun and we all took a bite and spit it out, including her. I almost went back to drinking, just to wash the taste out of my mouth.

    • GOPCrusher


    • DemmeFatale

      Speaking of NPR, what is up with them? Maybe they are trying to hang on to their funding, but I have turned them off 4 times in the past 4 days!! The other day, they interviewed David Dreier. David Dreier, people!! I don't want to hear the sound of his voice, EVER! And I'm in Northern CA. (It must REALLY suck to be in OK.)

      • Doglessliberal

        They are driving me nuts, too. Thank god the local station has been playing the Moth Radio Hour lately, because it is REALLY good.

      • XOhioan

        I won't give those commies another dime unless they play an hour-long loop of Lindsey Graham saying "ham biscuits."

  • V572625694

    Thanks Ken. All recipes should be so judgmental.

    Cranberries really are pretty good if the taste isn't just overwhelmed with sugar.

  • edgydrifter

    I was going to do Susan Stamberg's relish as it received the Coolio Really Stoned Cooking stamp of approval on NPR this weekend, but this sounds way awesomer. In fact, in honor of that soon-to-be-Gitmo'd orange, I'm going to make all of my Thanksgiving dishes torture-based this year.

    • bitchincamaro2

      Her recipe would give me the shits, just like her "reporting" style. Sheesh.

      • DustBowlBlues

        She is truly annoying and cloyingly precious.

        • slappypaddy

          you mean, people actually still listen to npr? whatever for?

          • HistoriCat

            They are drawn to the slogan "least biased news"

          • Kidneys4Sale

            My friends and I (LIAR NOF FRENDZ!) use it as a secondary drinking game. Every time a sponsor name is called out that causes you to doubt the veracity of everything you just heard, take a shot. Marketplace is a fuckin MADMAN for this one.

          • bitchincamaro2

            On The Media.

          • elviouslyqueer

            If you had to live amongst the yokels in any of the 11 Formerly Confederate States, the answer would be self-evident.

          • slappypaddy

            i am so glad i live in a cardboard box in the state of obvious denial.

  • PublicLuxury

    Can you give this stuff to a recovering alcoholic?

    • horsedreamer_1

      My grandfather still takes Communion on Sundays, so, yes, I suppose, you can.

      (He's been in recovery for over 40 years.)

      • PublicLuxury

        Excellent. Thank you.

    • sarjo

      Of course! It's not a true recovery if you're never tested!

  • Bluestatelibel

    Way too confusing. Can I just drink the bourbon and be done with it?

    • PocketsTheClown

      Whew! So its not just me. Nap time!

  • elviouslyqueer

    You know who else put bourbon and orange peel in their cranberries?

    • the_problem_child

      My grandmother.

      • Kidneys4Sale

        You know who else was a drag queen? (I'm such a fucking child.)

    • sarjo

      Duh, Adolph Hitler. His favorite dish was cranberries au jews with bourbon and orange peel.

  • JoshuaNorton

    I tried this last year. It improves the flavor if you increase the bourbon and leave out all those yucky cranberries.

  • Monsieur_Grumpe

    I like the sound that the canned cranberry goop makes as it exits the can. The taste, not so much.

  • Aw, hell no, you did not just say that! If you're gonna do it, though, you might was well pair it up with an abortion shot (vodka with a drop of Tabasco). In for a dime, in for a dollar.

  • fatoots

    Goddamit Ken, Massholes pick cranberries, not those creepy toothless Mainiacs.

    And why don't you ever post more often. I <3 Jack and all but he's no you.

    • horsedreamer_1

      I think Jack's time-off request to go back to whatever Flyover Hovel it is where his parents reside went thru. So, Ken's covering this week.

      • fatoots

        Hence the LaGuardia book post. I thought about that after I commented.

      • HistoriCat

        Does "shamelessly copying your writing from a year ago" count as covering? What's next? The "year's best" list?

  • slappypaddy

    damn, i'm hungry. why waste time and energy cooking, i've got all those ingredients at home, i think i'll just plow right into them.

  • bitchincamaro2

    Cranberry Nixon. Because of the booze.

  • “double the recipe” does not mean set the oven to 700 degrees instead of 350. Jesus.

    But that's exactly what I'm going to do, after the bourbon and all.

    • sarjo

      Put the bourbon in the oven. Set oven to 700. Enjoy.

  • qwerty42

    Thanks Ken,
    This looks like a pretty good recipe. My mom used to have the canned stuff and no one (except her) ate it. Then one year, she made her own (I think the recipe was on the bag), added some OJ and everyone ate it. No one (including her) knew why she had used the canned stuff all those years. Homemade cranberry relish is great and this one looks good.

  • Also, here's some funny Wonkette-approved cooking writing from Ian Frazier.

  • JoshuaNorton

    You know what would be even cooler? If your guests mixed the ingredients directly in their mouth, like Margaritas on one of those Girls Gone Wild videos. You could probably get away with just serving cranberry sauce.

    • PsycWench

      or maybe like a Jello shot.

      • But classy, like "aspic shots." Not to be confused with ass pics.

  • PublicLuxury


  • freakishlywrong

    "Cranberry relish" for some reason, is reading like "a ham-a-ham-sammich". We elitists have always called it cranberry sauce so maybe that's it. We also left out the bourbon, which I will try this year, with both the relish and with the sammich.

  • Like Lascaux says, skip the cranberries and go take the 5-9 shots of bourbon straight.

  • Sheesko

    This is how all recipes should be written. There should be, like, a Wonkette fucking cookbook, don't we think?

    • MissTaken

      I'd give it out for War on Christmas presents. For realz

      • Doglessliberal

        me, too

    • sarjo

      Fuckin' A! Recipes like this are golden, why the fuck does Wonkette just fucking give them away?

    • horsedreamer_1

      SKS can write the baby-foods section. Cord can cover Soul Food. & Arielle can offer a sample of take-away menus.

    • 102415

      I'm in. Finally a cook book for snarky.

  • Pragmatist2

    When does the hash go in? I can't find that part.

  • horsedreamer_1

    This should pair great with my Schwetty Balls.

  • x111e7thst

    "Are people tense? It is probably time to open a bottle of wine…"
    Wine will not get it done. For a truly pleasant Thanksgobble Day go directly to handing out fistfuls of valium (xanax may also produce the desired effect).

  • Those poor people who have to pick Ken Layne's cranberries…

  • the_problem_child

    I can verify that this recipe works far better than opening a can, if your goal is to not have leftover cranberry business.

  • GOPCrusher

    I prefer my turkey sammich with mayo and mustard, but I'll have to try it with a slab of gelatinous cranberry sauce.

  • Monsieur_Grumpe

    How much cheese and butter do you need to add?
    I think you forgot that part of the recipe.

  • DemmeFatale

    So would I!

  • finallyhappy

    I will be in South Beach for Thanksgiving- I hope the meal I eat is nothing like the usual

    • Jukesgrrl

      The usual … WHAT?

  • BarryOPotter

    As would I.

  • sarjo

    Booze, citrus, and red thingies: The three ingredients you meet in heaven.

  • Jukesgrrl

    Ken, are you auditioning for the Food Network? Your recipes are so direct even Skoal Rebel could follow them.

  • UW8316154

    Getting ready for the holidays the wonkett way! Stuck in Seattle, snowed in with ample alcoholic provisions, reading Ken's recipes…

  • 102415

    I am def trying this I like the idea of bourbon. I love cranberry business. For those who don't have an oven and will be cooking hobo style. My recipe calls for throwing two bags in a pot with 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar. Make it start to boil then toss in 1/2 whole orange squashed up in a food processor or beaten with a club into itty bits. Take the pot off the fire and toss in the crushed orange and pour in Grand Marnier. Makes a huge pot of cranberry with leftover to be frozen and eaten weeks later when I am so fucking blue from Winter and the chicken looks sad.

    • sezme

      Hobos have food processers and Grand Marnier?

  • bletcherous

    Oh, Ken, it's so much simpler than making me trip and spill hot yams all down your back on Thanksgiving. I've been grinding my business for thirty years now, and it's never not good. This is what you do, sometime from the weekend before to Tuesday night, or do it last-minute if you forgot but stay the hell away from the stove:

    1. Get bags of cranberries, an orange per bag, and a little less volume of sugar per bag than orange. Get a batch for the diabetics and dieters using stevia or something, too.

    2. Grind it all up into relish in a food processor using the longer swoopy-crescent blade. Put the orange in whole, they'll neither know nor care. Add pecans and / or booze if you want. Taste, adjust sweetening if necessary, then stow in fridge.

    3. Profit.

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