Entertaining Ourselves

Cranberry Orange Sauce
On Saturday we did a wee bit of shopping, needing milk. We always tour the store to see if anything is on sale, and happened upon some fresh cranberries from Quebec, at a reasonable price. Into the cart they went, and here we have the results.

I had thought that canning season was over. It wasn’t. We found some reasonably priced fresh cranberries from Quebec on our last shopping trip. I had plans for those cranberries.

We also bought an expensive and small bag of organic oranges. I buy organic oranges when I mean to use the whole fruit.

Following a recipe from Ball Mason Jars, I decided to risk altering the recipe, which is not recommended, as this alteration has not been tested for safety. I decided to take the risk, based on trusting my own knowledge of canning and food chemistry (Home Economics degree). Beginners should not do this, it does involve a certain level of risk, particularly with low acid foods where botulism is an invisible threat. But Cranberry Orange Sauce is a high acid food, there is no risk of botulism. If the recipe goes wrong, it will be obvious, and the worst thing that can happen is that the contents of the jar will need to be discarded. Having said all that, what I did was remove the stem end and the seeds from two organic oranges, then puree them in the food processor. This puree was added to the tested recipe for Cranberry Sauce.

I had enough cranberries to make one and one half batches of sauce. The ingredients did not comfortably fit in my standard stock pot, so the 16 quart stock pot was pulled out of storage for this project. The big stock pot is stainless steel, so I used the induction hot plate to cook the sauce.

The results were wonderful! The recipe, with the addition of two pureed oranges, yielded seven jars of Cranberry Orange Sauce, with about a quarter cup leftover for our Sunday dinner.

All the jars sealed.

I checked the grocery store price of Cranberry Sauce (no orange), and it was $1.99 for 348 ml on sale (57 cents per 100 ml), regular price $2.69.

We paid:
$11.96 for the cranberries
$2.20 for two oranges
$2.99 for the sugar
Total: $17.15 for the ingredients.
Add the cost of lids at $2.10, and $.20 for electricity.
Our Cranberry Orange Sauce cost 54 cents per 100 ml.
And then there was our time of course. Not a large savings compared to the sale price.

There are a few advantages we value in making our own. We are not eating ultra processed glucose/fructose. We are buying ingredients, a more direct line between us and the producers. We get the oranges in our Cranberry Sauce. Our Cranberry sauce does not come into contact with plastic (the liner of the can in the commercial product). And a big factor for us, we are not throwing out packaging, we reuse the jar and ring, and the lid is reused for dry goods.

Was it worth the effort? We think so.

The cherry on top is that we find this kind of activity entertaining.

P.S. That quarter cup of sauce was divine with the roasted chicken breast we enjoyed for Sunday dinner, and there was even enough left over for me to enjoy on a slice of freshly baked whole wheat bread.



Updated on Mon, Dec 4 at 8:25 AM
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Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 4:29 PM


“Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters.”
Margaret Peters
1936 –

“The Dayton community holds many stories. Native Daytonian Margaret Peters has devoted a considerable amount of her adult life to writing the stories of African Americans, both in and outside of Dayton. As an educator and historian, she has devoted many years to teaching an accurate history of African Americans since the early 1960’s. This history has served as inspiration to her many students in Dayton Public Schools and to the wider community. “

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Sounds delicious!


While it may not be a huge cost savings, yours is better for all the reasons you mentioned. Apparently, the entertainment was free. 😉


Mmmm it looks delicious. And totally healthy unlike the sauces you find in grocery stores.

Joan Lansberry

The cranberry orange sauce does sound tasty!


Your cranberry sauce sounds delish. I especially like the idea of pureeing whole oranges. Seems better than grating the skins which we do for ours. We did an experiment, making two batches, adding a bit of maple syrup to one and then comparing them. We both agreed that the maple syrup one was superior. It didn’t taste of maple syrup but the overall flavour was enhanced. Today we tried something new, cranberry ketchup. I think it will go very well with our Christmas tourtiere. I also steam juiced 10lbs of cranberries. The juice is very intense in flavour and will need to be watered down with maybe apple cider. I’ll dehydrate some of the leftover mash and make powder and the rest I’ll freeze in muffin tins to use in baking. (I can’t bear to waste food!). We are fortunate to have a cranberry bog less than an hour’s drive from home so we bought a 23 lb box, though it was not cheap @ 2.69 per lb.

On another note, I didn’t get a chance to comment on your posts about your health challenges. How awful it must be to risk your life with every medical encounter! I’m awed and inspired by your tenacity and expertise in handling such serious matters. You could give a course in advocacy!


The cranberry sauce looks and sounds delicious! I made a somewhat similar cranberry sauce a few years ago. It was really good! But I’ve got to admit that sometimes nostalgia wins out and we get the jellied cranberry sauce.

Guess what? We finally got a doctor! We happened to luck into a doctor at a clinic that was just getting ready to open her own practice and we called and left our information. They were supposed to call back in September, but I’m more than willing to accept the delay now that we’ll no longer have an issue with getting our prescriptions renewed.