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Topic: Food

The Beautiful Harvest | Cranberry Recipes

From Pilgrim feasts to today's holiday tables, cranberries burst with color and flavor.

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The bright hues of just-picked cranberries are a festive reminder of the holidays to come.

The bright hues of just-picked cranberries are a festive reminder of the holidays to come.

Michael Piazza

The New England landscape is so often portrayed as an austere place, the chilly backdrop to Pilgrim hardship, the model for Ethan Frome’s Starkfield. It’s this unforgiving land, so the story goes, that inspires some of our best Yankee virtues: our self-reliance and industriousness, our tolerance of extreme cold.

But travel down through southeastern Massachusetts in early October, and you’ll see one of nature’s most florid displays: 14,000 acres of shallow bogs turned scarlet in a rising tide of ripe cranberries. It’s a dazzling show of nature’s abundance–our own watery Eden–and one of the prettiest sights you could ever hope to witness on a cloudless day. Long after the harvest is over, the berries brighten our holiday tables in pies, sauces, cakes, and savory treats. Here’s a season defined not by its virtues, but by its pleasures.

During the harvest, a worker uses a rake to guide the loose, floating berries into the "boom," a kind of flexible, mobile corral that rounds them up and collects them.

During the harvest, a worker uses a rake to guide the loose, floating berries into the “boom,” a kind of flexible, mobile corral that rounds them up and collects them.

Michael Piazza

Plump, ripe fruit is ready for cleaning and sorting.

Plump, ripe fruit is ready for cleaning and sorting.

Michael Piazza

A cranberry bog in Duxbury, Massachusetts, awaits the harvest.

A cranberry bog in Duxbury, Massachusetts, awaits the harvest.

Michael Piazza

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