Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish
Despite Continued Resistance, the NPR Tradition Lives On
Susan Stamberg's report for Morning Edition.
Nov. 16, 2001 -- Susan Stamberg's annual Thanksgiving tradition of reading her mother-in-law's recipe for cranberry relish on NPR nearly came to an end this year. But thanks to Osama bin Laden, the tradition continues.
Susan Stamberg offers up a patriotic dish.
Illustration: Melissa Gray, NPR
Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish Recipe
2 cups raw cranberries
1 small onion
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons horseradish
Grind together the cranberries and onion, add the remaining ingredients and mix.
Put in a plastic container and freeze.
On Thanksgiving morning,
move the mixture to the refrigerator to thaw.
Makes 1 1/2 pints.
NPR producers have rolled their eyes about the recipe's repeat performances. But every year since 1971, Stamberg has managed to sneak the recipe ("it sounds terrible but tastes terrific") on the air. She's sprinkled it into dialogue from movies, spliced it into the Monica Lewinsky-Linda Tripp tapes and visited a farmer's market where she shopped for the relish's ingredients.
Last year, she convinced composer Rodney Lister to put it to music and the recipe was sung by soprano Denise Konicek.
"Now, how in the world to top that?" Stamberg asks herself. "I decided the year 2000 operatic version would be my cranberry relish swan song. No more recipes on the radio -- finis -- the end.
"But now that the nation is at war, I feel it's my patriotic duty to continue this tradition. In times of stress, we need traditions more than ever."
OK. She got away with it one more time.
Previous NPR Coverage
Susan Stamberg: 30 Years at NPR. How the recipe came to be.
Listen to cranberry relish, the musical version. Nov. 17, 2000.
Listen to Stamberg go in search of ingredients.
Nov. 19, 1999.
Listen to Stamberg quiz NPR personalities about the recipe. Nov. 20, 1998.
Listen as Stamberg visits Cranberry World West near Las Vegas. Nov. 22, 1996.
• The American Cranberry
• The Cranberry Institute
• Ocean Spray Cranberry Harvest and Virtual Bog Tour