Is it unfair that I have waited until the day before Thanksgiving to casually mention to you the one recipe that could actually transform your day tomorrow? Unjust, that just when you were settling in with a whiskey sour in one hand, and three books in the other that I suggest you go back to the grocery store and find these five ingredients? Perhaps.

I recently read that NPR effectively reaches a much greater audience than FOX News. A delightful fact to share at your next cocktail party, and when I heard that I thought of this recipe and wondered how many people have Pepto-Bismoled their family’s holiday with this pink mash. I doubled the recipe and it still took me only ten minutes to put together. Here it is frozen, as it will stay tonight, but tomorrow it will slowly defrost until there are just icy shards mixed in with the bits of fresh cranberries, specks of horseradish and onion, all deliciously creamed together with sour cream and sugar. Wow!

Here’s the recipe, copied directly from the pages of NPR (I make both of the recipes on that linked page—the other one is for fans of vinegary-ginger-garlic cranberry delights).

  • 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 a bit milder than white”)


Grind the raw berries and onion together; I use a food processor for this, and you have to be careful to keep it choppy, not pureed. The cranberry and onions should be in sliver form.

Add everything else and mix.

Put in a plastic container and freeze.

Early Thanksgiving morning, move it from freezer to refrigerator compartment to thaw. (“It should still have some little icy slivers left.”)

The relish will be thick, creamy and shocking pink.

Makes 1 1/2 pints. I double it because people literally heap it onto 1/4 of their plate, and it’s a must on day-after sandwiches.