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A U.S. Thanksgiving tradition is lost on 2 former members of The Cranberries

Mama Stamberg's cranberry relish recipe.
Mama Stamberg's cranberry relish recipe.

Updated November 19, 2021 at 11:13 AM ET

NPR has been celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and most of the past half-century has featured a Thanksgiving recipe from Special Correspondent Susan Stamberg. She persists in the face of grins, groans, and gripes – "oh, no! That again!"

But Stamberg believes in tradition, and always emphasizes that it's the recipe that sounds terrible, but tastes terrific. It comes from her late mother-in-law Marjorie Stamberg, who served it for our correspondent's first Thanksgiving in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where she was taken to be inspected by the people who would become her in-laws. She thought it quite delicious (felt the same way about their son), and decided to share it annually with listeners. Here, for your holiday pleasure, it is:


Mama Stamberg's cranberry relish

2 cups raw cranberries – washed

1 small onion

½ cup sugar

¾ cup sour cream

2 T. horseradish.

Grind the cranberries and onion together (I use an old-fashioned meat grinder, but you can use a processor – just keep pieces chunky). Add everything else. Mix. Put in a container and freeze. On Thanksgiving morning, move the relish from the freezer to the refrigerator compartment, to thaw. It will be thick, creamy, chunky, and shocking pink*. Makes 1 and ½ pints.


*It should be pointed out that some listeners, put off by the shade, felt it looked the color of Pepto Bismol. "Ridiculous!" harrumphs Stamberg. It's a beautiful bright pink, thanks to the cranberries.

"Try it. You'll like It." Her final words on the subject, at least for Thanksgiving 2021.

Happy holidays.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.