Today is apparently Cranberry Relish Day for anyone looking for something to celebrate. I wasn’t about to attempt to sketch the actual dish, however, as it just looks like red casualty. And after struggling with stuffing yesterday, I decided to just doodlewash the main ingredient instead. I’m not sure why so many popular Thanksgiving dishes look like mush. From casseroles to mashed potatoes, everything on the plate looks like it’s been put into a blender first. Only the turkey and the bread roll give the plate any sort of contours or detail, but there’s at least the cranberry relish to provide some much-needed color. Truly, if it weren’t for the turkey you likely wouldn’t need a knife and fork at all. The entire meal could be consumed with just a spoon. Perhaps that’s why it was always my favorite as a kid.

When I was young, I never liked food that was super crunchy. I also never liked eating meat that was still on the bone. I didn’t enjoy seeing a physical association with the animal that was being consumed. It all felt rather barbaric. So Thanksgiving dinner was the perfect treat. The turkey was sliced by someone else and everything that remained on the plate was a delicious mixture of various flavors. Of all the dishes, mashed potatoes were my absolute favorite. I loved to create a little lake of gravy in the middle of the mound. This was also the favorite of nearly everyone in my family, so it was best to get as much as you could on the first dollop as there was rarely a chance to have seconds.

These days, I just love all kinds of food and am rarely disturbed by crunchy things or morbid presentation. Yet, here in France, fish is often served whole and so I will usually opt for another protein instead. I don’t care to have my dinner looking back at me. It feels like it’s judging me for consuming it. And that creeps me out. Thanksgiving dinner, however, was blissfully eyeball-free and I loved it. Though it might have been mainly mush, it was our family’s tradition and that made it special. That’s the beautiful thing about food. Sometimes it’s not that it’s an amazing dish, it’s simply a dish served seasonally with love. Delicious because of its rarity. A sign that it’s officially the holiday season, signalled beautifully by just a bit of cranberry relish.

Join us for the November Doodlewash Adventure: A Celebration Of Food,
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About the Doodlewash

Sennelier L’Aquarelle:  Indian Yellow, Sennelier Red, Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Deep. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with sepia ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.

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20 thoughts on “Cranberry Relish Day

  1. I relish the opportunity to try these delightful doodlewash cranberries! Those shines are captivating. I hadn’t really tried cranberries until college, when a friend dared me to eat a cranberry cheese sandwich. It was amazing, though, which I think rather spoilt their fun. It’s like the Citrus Polo of cheese. 😉

    I’ll have to remember never to order fish if I dine in France. Yikes!

  2. Lol crunchy food, and meat on the bone…well I think you were not alone on that one, I still prefer no bone, but that is in fish! They are a hazard for me, as for meat, I don’t eat it much if at all, but I used to hate my mother dishing up bones in food. ( insidently, my daughter never cared as a child, and preferred a little lamb meat on a big bone, he he) . Your cranberries look scrummy, juicy and bright, I never have tried it, because I don’t eat turkey, but I reckon I would love the relish if I did eat meat 😀

  3. Red casualty and eyeball free meal eaten only with a spoon – yep, that’s everyone’s idea of the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. You’ve got me rolling on the floor in laughter over here, Charlie. One thing to be said for your cranberry Doodlewash – it’s gloriously pretty – bright red and shiny and ready to liven the most mushy meal of the year. Yay!

  4. Yum, Charlie!!!! Love the cranberries with their shine and all the perfect little dimples! I truly enjoy all your food sketches. Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

  5. Does “Touché” apply to ‘food looking back at you’?

    Love the painting – i’m still working on ‘shrooms!

    Enjoy family and friends, regardless of what is being served for dinner. After all, thats what this day is all about.

    I am grateful for so many things, among them, the opportunity to be inspired by all the talented artists participating in World of Watercolor and for Doodlewash. Thank you! Happy Thanksgiving!

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