Cranberry sauce is one of the essential components of Christmas dinner. I know you can buy it in a jar, but it's so easy to make that it would really seem a shame not to take the opportunity for some casual footling about in the kitchen. In fact, Christopher not only helps, but can pretty much make it himself, under supervision of course. What's more, it can be dealt with early in the week preceding Christmas, so I can get another job ticked off the list. As cranberries seem usually to be sold in 300g bags or cartons, it makes sense to cook the sauce in those quantities too. Yes, there'll probably be leftovers but in this house, a turkey sandwich without cranberry sauce is hardly worth contemplating. Cranberries freeze exceptionally well, so I buy early, then use the berries from frozen . Replace the orange juice with a slug of port if you want a more 'adult' edge to the sauce.
200g caster sugar
juice of 1/2 an orange
1 cinnamon stick
Put the cranberries in a pan with 175ml water and bring to the boil. Simmer until most of the berries have burst open (I do think the texture and appearance of the sauce are better if some are still intact). Stir in the sugar and stir over the heat until dissolved, then mix in the orange juice and poke the cinnamon stick under the surface. Leave to cool, then transfer to an airtight container and chill the sauce in the fridge. The cinnamon stick will infuse the sauce with just a hint of spicy flavour , but do fish it out before serving, won't you!