I’m no Mama Stamberg, but…


Even if you haven’t tried it, you’ve most likely heard about it. I’m speaking, of course, about that pink Thanksgiving concoction from NPR’s Susan Stamberg – her mama’s cranberry relish.

This recipe has become such a tradition at NPR they’ve dedicated an entire online series to it.

Over the years, Mama Stamberg’s holiday concoction has become quite a controversial dish, and one of the stories in this series sums it up almost too well: Cranberry Relish: The NPR Recipe That Divides Thanksgiving Tables. I’ll let you explore the details and only add if you like cranberry sauce on the sweet side, you probably won’t relish this relish.

If you like your cranberries prepared in more traditional way, here’s a recipe for spiced cranberries my stepmother makes every year. Think of this as upping the game beyond the can and its glorious gelatinous ridges. There’s a lot going on with the flavor and you want to eat this slow to taste every bit, but also out of practicality – more on that in just a moment.

Linda Krall’s Spiced Cranberries

  • 1 pound fresh cranberries washed (4 cups) (2 packages)
  • 2 cups sugar (I usually use less, around 1.5 cups)
  • 5-10 whole cloves
  • 5-10 whole allspice
  • 2-4 (3 inch) cinnamon sticks

Wash cranberries, removing any stems.

In large saucepan combine sugar, one cup water (add a little more as needed), cloves, allspice and cinnamon. Bring to boiling over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes.

Add cranberries. Cook, stirring once or twice until cranberries pop, about two minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Refrigerate in Mason jar at least several days before using.

Now you could remove the clove, allspice, and cinnamon before serving, but it’s a pretty meticulous job.

And, yeah, it’s a bit more work to eat as you must be aware you don’t chew the cloves and allspice, but the idea here is you leave them in until you eat it for maximum flavor. And, believe me, the flavor is worth it!

(Through “Programming Notes,” we hope to keep you connected to what is happening at WBHM both internally and on-air. Have feedback you’d like to share? Or a programming question? Let me know!)


I’ve Got “It In” For You!

Last week’s column There’s No Leaving and There’s No Returning prompted some good feedback. A listener wrote to tell me another phrase they find irrelevant is “in for,” as in when I host and say, “I’m Michael Krall in for Andrew Yeager.” Their thinking is that it’s unnecessary because if you hear a program enough, […]

There’s No Leaving and There’s No Returning

Here’s some radio inside info you may not have thought about, but it’s precisely the sort of thing that drives program directors like me crazy. See if these phrases sound familiar: When we come back…After the break…Welcome back…When we return…We’re back…We’ll be right back…We have to take a break… It’s common to hear these phrases […]

The Art of Storytelling

This week it’s the WBHM’s Membership Drive – your opportunity to support non-profit journalism and all the programs you enjoy. I wrote about our specific on-air messaging last week and how at WBHM we thought long and hard about what to include. I hope you’re noticing a difference (for the better!) on the air. This […]

It’s That Time Again at WBHM – The Spring Membership Drive

It shouldn’t be news that we have membership drives a few times a year – it’s one of the primary ways we raise money for WBHM, more than half of our annual budget. The last time we had an on-air fundraiser, it was to purchase our new transmitter (FYI, the transmitter is ordered, and preparations […]

The Ever-changing World of Technology

There’s this cartoon I saw on Twitter. It shows a person in front of a computer. The screen reads “STRIKE ANY KEY TO CONTINUE.” The person is lifting an office chair over their head ostensibly in an effort to follow the command…literally. Ever felt like that? I’m sure we all have at one point in […]

I Like Your Dish-position

Sorry about the bad pun. But imagine getting an 850-pound delivery at your doorstep. This is what happened recently at WBHM when we received a new satellite dish from NPR Distribution. The satellite is how we receive live news programming such as Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as breaking news and special […]

More Michael Krall's Program Notes Coverage