So, what’s a CRAN?

Blueberries are blue. Blackberries are black. Raspberries have rasp. Strawberries are grown in straw (so they don’t get ground rot). So, what’s a Cran? I have no idea.

Cranberries have a noble American heritage. Many of us have heard the stories about how Medieval sailors’ diets were so deficient in Vitamin C, they would develop those awful diseases with those awful names, like Scurvy. Bones got soft, teeth fell out, pocks in the skin. Eventually, they learned that eating citrus fruit prevented this, though it took them another hundred years or so to figure out why. Citrus fruit was not so common in Europe, until after the Crusades. After that it was just expensive.

But, in America, the citrus fruit was unnecessary — cranberries were plentiful, indigenous to the Mariners’ most familiar Ports of Call. Cranberries are loaded with vitamin C, so, while the derogatory term for English sailors was “Limey,” I’ve never heard of anybody being called a “Cranny.” It sounds more like a reference to an English Muffin. It just doesn’t have the crude panache.

Harvesting cranberries is not without risk, though, and many an unwitting cranberry bogger has become tangled in the vines that are so tightly woven, as the bog shifts, they can pull you underwater and drown you. At least you don’t have to invade a Middle Eastern country to find them.

Norm’s Cranberry Promise


  • Cranberries, 12 oz. That’s the way they usually come.
  • Sugar, 1 cup to taste (you can add later–you can’t subtract.)
  • Water, 1 cup.
  • Ginger, peeled, 3″.
  • Orange zest of one orange, and the juice.
  • pinch salt
  • Gelatin, 2 packs.
  • Trust me.
  • This is gonna be really simple.

ginger orange cranberry

  • Start with this.


  • Peel the ginger with a spoon.


  • Zest the orange with a zester.
  • If you don’t have one, use a peeler, that’s fine.
  • No white stuff, just the orange stuff.


  • Combine all ingredients in a Ziploc Gallon bag.


  • Process via Sous Vide @183Fx2 hours.
  • No need to attempt to mix, just let the sugar settle, and the cranberries float.
  • Remove from tank, and LET IT COOL.
  • Process in an old fashioned blender until it is smooth, and then strain.
  • Use a spoon to push the last little bit through the screen.
  • If you try to do this while the cranberry gel is hot, you will be cleaning bright orange spots off of the ceiling for quite a while, after your burns heal.
  • Just do what I say.


  • My wife collects Hall’s China, Red Poppy pattern.
  • Pretty hard to find these days.


  • The ginger really makes it happen in this.
  • I tried vanilla, that was awful.
  • Booze, awful.
  • This article would have been unnecessary without this article and this article.