Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish

October 28, 2015

Author Notes: Every year since 1972, Susan Stamberg has been reciting her mother-in-law's oddball cranberry relish recipe on NPR's All Things Considered. Its infamy might come from the strange ingredients—raw onion, cranberries, and sour cream, frozen and partially-thawed?—but it's surprisingly good. Adapted slightly from NPR .Food52

Makes: 1 1/2 pints


  • 2 cups whole raw cranberries, washed
  • 1 small onion
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons horseradish from a jar ("red is milder than white")
In This Recipe


  1. Grind the raw berries and onion together. ("I use an old-fashioned meat grinder," says Stamberg. "I'm sure there's a setting on the food processor that will give you a chunky grind—not a purée.")
  2. Add the ground berries and onions to a bowl; then add everything else and mix.
  3. Put the mixture in a plastic container and freeze.
  4. Early Thanksgiving morning, move it from the freezer to refrigerator compartment to thaw. ("It should still have some icy slivers left.")
  5. The relish will be thick, creamy, and shockingly pink. ("OK, Pepto Bismol pink. It has a tangy taste that cuts through and perks up the turkey and gravy. It's also good on next-day turkey sandwiches, or with roast beef.")

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