• November 2015

Ann Butler Helps Kids Prepare the Sweetest Dish on the Thanksgiving Table: Cranberry Sauce

By Ann Butler
Founder and Chef
Edible Education

At Edible Education, the mission is to teach America’s kids to cook.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. From stuffing to cranberry sauce to turkey — it’s all delicious.

Kids especially love helping in the kitchen with this special meal. And one of the sweetest dishes of the dinner is, of course, cranberry sauce.

It’s easy to prepare, and the variations (like the recipe below) let them play with their food in creative and imaginative ways.

Here’s how your kids can make the best cranberry sauce you’ll ever taste:

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 cups of fresh cranberries
1/3 cup of water
3/4 tsp. of cinnamon
Cinnamon sticks
1/4 tsp. cloves
3 T. agave nectar
Zest from 1/2 orange
1/3 cup of orange juice
Graham crackers
Cream cheese
Honey

Supplies:

Can opener, knives for spreading, hand mixer, stock pot, 1 large bowl, large spoons, rubber spatula, and zester or grater

Here’s How:

  • Step 1: Measure cranberries, water, cinnamon, cloves, and agave, and dump into a large pot. Place the pot onto a burner.
  • Step 2: Cook until the contents are soft and mushy, then let cool for about 10 minutes in the refrigerator.
  • Step 3: Zest the orange rind, and squeeze the juice out.
  • Step 4: When the cranberry mixture is cool, mix in the juice and stir until the sauce is smooth.

Want to play with your sauce? Try this sweet treat: Spread 1 T. of cream cheese on to your graham cracker and top with 1 tsp. of cranberry sauce and a swirl of honey. Add a little orange juice zest for spice. Yum!

10 Fun Facts About Cranberries. They …

1. … help maintain bladder health.

2. … prevent kidney stones and gum disease.

3. … help our hearts pump strong.

4. … have lots of Vitamin C that helps our bodies heal from cuts and bruises.

5. … can repair sun-damaged skin.

6. … are high in dietary fiber, which helps clean out our bodies.

7. … are one of America’s original commodity foods.

8. … grow in bogs.

9. … can be very tart until they are cooked or dehydrated, and they are actually high in sugar.

10. Cranberries are most commonly used in making cranberry sauce to accompany your Thanksgiving turkey!


Ann Butler Dishes About Edible Education

On my first day of teaching cooking in a public, middle school, I asked the students to raise their hands if they knew how to cook dinner for their family. All hands shot up instantly!

“Wow, this is going to be a breeze! These kids are well-versed in the culinary arts,” I thought. Upon additional questioning, however, I learned that “cooking dinner” to them meant ham and cheese sandwiches, cold cereal, or (my least favorite) Ramen noodles.

“And where do you enjoy your culinary creations?” I continued to query. Their answers dismayed me: “In our rooms watching TV, on the sofa watching TV, in the car on the way to practice.”

And so began my adventure to introduce kids (and adults) to real dinners — the kind with real food and real place settings and real conversation at an actual table. Seven years and thousands of students later, I am still amazed at how little our children know about food. And, perhaps even more amazed by how unadventurous they are with menu choices.

That’s where Edible Education comes in.

We are not doctors or gourmet chefs. We use everyday kitchen equipment, mixed with a lot of fun and a passion for eating what is good for us (without being all “organic-y” or health-nuts about food) to introduce students to fresh, home-cooked food. Hands-on learning about fresh, seasonal food, prepared with the intention of sitting with our families and enjoying one of life’s greatest pleasures is what we are all about.

In a society where 35 percent of adolescents are overweight or obese, with an 80 percent chance of becoming obese adults, I knew I had to get more involved in making a difference outside of my school district, and so I started Edible Education.

One of my favorite authors, Robert Fulghum, said: “Don’t worry that children never listen to you. Worry that they are always watching you.”

I hope you’ll join us on our path where hands-on lessons for all ages lead to a healthy life. Learn more at edibleedu.com.

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