When I gave my fridge a good spring cleaning the other day, I felt an oddly shaped bundle at bottom of my hydrator. An investigation turned up a well cloaked bag of October's longest lasting harvest: cranberries. Picked up at Rich's farm stand last fall, they remained firm and bright as the day I bought them.
In the midst of my orange juice ban, the Wellfleet fruit was a happy sight. I wasted no time in sparking the stove and putting on a pot of water to boil. Within minutes, the berries were rolling and popping in a scarlet sea, home made cranberry juice only a cheesecloth away.
While I saved most of the juice for early morning consumption, I did manage to fill up a tray of freezer popsicles with the extra. This afternoon, on the first high mercury day of the year, I slipped one out to celebrate.
Boil cranberries in equal part water. Once the berries have popped, continue boiling for several minutes to intensify flavor. Depending on preference, strain berries, saving flavored water, or blend berries and water together for a thicker mixture. (If you choose to strain the berries, be sure to save them, as they freeze well and make an excellent oatmeal topping or pie filling).
Sweeten warm juice with pure white cane sugar to taste and mix well to dissolve. If cranberry flavor is too strong, thin the juice with cold tap water. Pour into a tray of freezer popsicles and let chill overnight. To eat, run under hot water and enjoy outside.