Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cranberry Crunch: Not Brown

It’s the time of year again where everything is boring. The markets are boring: there’s nothing seasonal in them and everything is from somewhere else. The weather is boring. All the food I cook seems boring lately. For one thing, it is very brown. The last four things I cooked were brown. Browwwnnnnnnn. Booooo-rinnnnnng.

But hey, my neighbor gave me a bag of fresh Wisconsin cranberries leftover from Christmas. She didn’t quite get around to rounding up her kids, stringing the cranberries with popcorn, and garlanding the tree. The berries were about to go ‘round the bend, too. Quick! Make them into something!

Maybe I will make crunch. Crunch is easy. It has very few ingredients, and they are almost always on hand for most cooks. Plus it is all pioneery and Little House on the Prairie. Crunches, crumbles, and crisps are the birthright of every American who is middle class, has a northern European ethnic background, and has an ancestor who settled west of Ohio anytime before 1890. (Oops. Only two out of three for me. Does that make me a poseur?)

Hey, this isn’t boring. It is sweet yet zingy, warm and bubbly, and best of all—garnet red! Yay, this is so NOT brown. I feel alive!

Cranberry Crunch
OK, fine. The topping is brown. So sue me.

1 c oats
1 c brown sugar
½ c flour
Pinch salt
1 stick butter
1 bag cranberries
½ c sugar

Mix the oats, brown sugar, flour, and salt. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Pat half this mixture in the bottom of an 8 x 8 pan. Dump in the cranberries and sprinkle them with the sugar. Sprinkle the rest of the crunch stuff on top.

Bake an hour, then cool for 20 minutes (or don’t). Serve with ice cream maybe.

Easy and fun!

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