We make jokes at our house every Thanksgiving and Christmas, because along with all the yummy homemade-from-scratch dishes, my husband wants his cranberry sauce served straight from the can “just like Mom used to make.” The gelatinous sauce must show the ridges indicating it came from a can. Otherwise it doesn’t qualify as “real” cranberry sauce.
According to the good folks at Ocean Spray, Americans consume 5,062,500 gallons of jellied cranberry sauce every holiday season. Smithsonian Magazine tells us that the jolly red jelly we know and love became available nationwide in 1941.
But what about those of us who really like to make our own cranberry sauce?
Lo and behold, if I didn’t find directions in a 1949 magazine for MAKING YOUR OWN GELATIN IN A TIN CAN! Now cranberry sauce can be both homemade AND canned at the same time! Genius!
Here’s how it’s done, submitted by a Pennsylvania housewife to Living for Young Homemakers magazine in 1949:
“Put your gelatin into new or used tin cans from which the tops have been removed. Place the cans in the refrigerator, and chill until mixture is firm. When ready to serve, run a little warm water over the surface of the cans, and the molded gelatin easily slips free. You can slice it in any size portions you wish, or arrange the whole mold on a serve-it-yourself platter.”
Homemade cranberry sauce in a can–the best of both worlds.