30 Years of Broadcasts
The Cranberry Relish
The Wintergreen Test
Why has Susan Stamberg, for two of her three decades at NPR, welcomed every Thanksgiving by talking about cranberries? In her book Talk, she explains: "It's partly my fault, partly the fault of my late mother-in-law, and partly the fault of (food writer) Craig Claiborne.
"At the first Thanksgiving of my married life, in Allentown, Pa., my mother-in-law, Marjorie Stamberg, served a fabulous and fascinating cranberry relish -- so fascinating that I asked for the recipe, which she kindly provided. I put the recipe for Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish on the air every year a few weeks before Thanksgiving, first at WAMU-FM, the local public radio station where I did my earliest air work, later at NPR for the immediate nation to enjoy."
Through the recipe's retelling, Susan says she's learned a lot. First, that it wasn't actually her mother-in-law's recipe -- Marjorie Stamberg got it from a sister-in-law, who got it from a 1959 New York Times article by Claiborne. Second, that some listeners consider it delicious while others cry "disgusting!" And third, that "I have extremely thick skin, and just keep on reciting the recipe every year."