Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish recipe is back in time for Thanksgiving It's time for another Thanksgiving with the zesty side that's served Pepto-Bismol pink: Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish. This year, we share the recipe with some legends of Irish rock.

A U.S. Thanksgiving tradition is lost on 2 former members of The Cranberries

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In the early '90s, a new Irish rock band had its first big hit with this song. They were a smash, but they disbanded, reunited and, after the tragic death of their singer, finally broke up. NPR special correspondent Susan Stamberg brought two of the musicians back for reasons of her own.

SUSAN STAMBERG, BYLINE: Well, Thanksgiving is next week, and their name is a staple of the American holiday table.


THE CRANBERRIES: (Vocalizing).

STAMBERG: They're the cranberries. You can't get through Thanksgiving without cranberries. However...

FERGAL LAWLER: They're not really popular here in Ireland.

STAMBERG: The fruit, that is. And why would it be? The Irish don't celebrate Thanksgiving, and cranberries haven't been available there until very recently. So why did the band call itself The Cranberries? Actually, that was not their first name. Drummer Fergal Lawler says a friend thought up their first name when the lads were about 17.

LAWLER: He decided to come up with the name The Cranberry Saw Us.

STAMBERG: Get it? Play on words - saw us equals sauce, cranberry sauce. Didn't last long. They slimmed it down to just The Cranberries.


THE CRANBERRIES: (Singing) Oh, my life is changing every day.

STAMBERG: Even though they peaked before 2003 and singer Dolores O'Riordan died in 2018, The Cranberries' music lingers on. Guitarist Noel Hogan says it's always on the radio at home in Limerick, and their music videos have millions of views on YouTube.

NOEL HOGAN: For us, I mean, it's great. It means you did something right. And it's a lovely feeling to know that the legacy of the band has lived on.

STAMBERG: Noel and Fergal have been keeping busy writing songs for other musicians and scoring documentaries.

LAWLER: Making music, I think that's what we've done for so long. I don't think we can do anything else, you know, that would make us happy.


THE CRANBERRIES: (Singing) Do you have to let it linger? Do you have to, do you have to...

STAMBERG: Well, I have to tell you that apart from the name The Cranberries, another reason that I got in touch was - sorry, I'm getting all choked up. I have a holiday tradition.

You knew this was coming, didn't you, listener?

And I wonder whether you ever heard of this?

LAWLER: Not sure.


STAMBERG: I explain it's a recipe I tell every Thanksgiving - sounds terrible, tastes terrific. Mama Stamberg's cranberry relish. Raw cranberries. Sugar. Sour cream. Onion. Yeah, a little weird. The big finale is two tablespoons of horseradish.


STAMBERG: Shall I go on?

LAWLER: There's more?

STAMBERG: Yes, indeed. At, you gourmets and the very brave can see what to do with all the ingredients.

And it comes out thick and kind of chunky. And the color is shocking pink, although listeners have on occasion called it Pepto Bismol pink.


STAMBERG: So what do you think?

LAWLER: Yeah, it sounds strange.

STAMBERG: Strange? (Laughter).

HOGAN: Yeah.

LAWLER: The Pepto Bismol part is a bit disturbing.

STAMBERG: I explain you don't put Pepto Bismol in the relish.

LAWLER: So it's basically a hangover cure. Is that what you're telling us?

STAMBERG: You know, I never thought of that.


STAMBERG: Happy holidays to you guys, whichever one you celebrate.

HOGAN: Thank you.

LAWLER: Thanks, Susan. You, too.

STAMBERG: And to you, listeners.

I'm Susan Stamberg in Washington.


THE CRANBERRIES: (Singing) I know I felt like this before, but now I'm feeling it even more.

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