Fall has arrived and come the fourth Thursday of November, families all over the United States will be celebrating Thanksgiving.  Originally Thanksgiving Day was a harvest festival where the early American settlers gathered together to express their gratitude to God, not only for the fall harvest, but for all the other blessings they had received over the previous year thus making this holiday a semi-religious one.  For instance, the members of one early American community held a formal mass on Thanksgiving Day in 1541 to express their gratitude for being able to safely cross a portion of the Texas wilderness.

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Today in the United States, however, most people relate this holiday to the day in 1621 when the English settlers shared a meal with the Wampanoag tribe that saved the settlers from starving after a brutal winter the prior year in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  This first Thanksgiving feast was held in honor of the Native American Indians as a way of expressing the Settlers thanks for teaching them how to hunt and gather food in the new land.

As a result, while Thanksgiving today is becoming more of a secular holiday, people usually still give thanks for whatever good things they have received over the past year by starting their Thanksgiving dinners with a prayer that the host or hostess leads rather than going to a formal religious service first.

So now that you know a little more about the history of Thanksgiving, let’s talk about the history of the traditional food that is served – especially the traditional boring Cranberry sauce.

Up to this day there are certain traditional foods that are always served on Thanksgiving such as baked or roasted turkey with a stuffing made of bread and/or vegetables. That’s why many people refer to Thanksgiving Day as Turkey Day.  Other foods that are served during traditional Thanksgiving dinners are mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, sweet corn, vegetables that are abundant during fall, pumpkin pie and, of course, cranberry sauce that has traditionally been used as an moist accompaniment for the turkey which can sometimes be a dry meat.


So this year, to make your Thanksgiving dinner a little less boring, here is a great homemade salsa recipe that you can easily make yourself with minimal effort. It’s really very easy to prepare and it’s guaranteed that your family and friends will be delighted with your creative innovation on this new form of Cranberry “sauce.”

Cranberry Salsa

Ingredients

1 ½ Cups fresh cranberries

½ Cantaloupe, removed from peel and de-seeded

1/3 Cup jalapeno chili, chopped

4 Tbsp sugar

Zest of a lemon

2 Tbsp coriander, chopped

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp salt

Directions

Combine the cranberries and cantaloupe in a food processor and pulse until they are coarsely shredded.  Put the shredded cranberries and cantaloupe in a bowl and add lemon zest, jalapeno chili and sugar.  Let the mixture sit for fifteen minutes or until the cranberries soften in the sugar.  Then, add coriander, lemon juice and salt and mix them altogether.  Refrigerate the mixture for two hours or overnight before serving.

If your serve the recipe above along with some of the traditional canned Cranberry sauce this year, I think it’s a safe bet that people will go for your homemade Cranberry Salsa instead and that it will be such a great hit with your family and friends that Cranberry salsa will become a “new tradition” at your family’s Thanksgiving dinner table from now on. So go ahead give it a try this year and then let me know what you think by visiting our Homemade Salsa Recipes website.