I was born in an era when modern canned foods were considered by most housewives to be a culinary miracle. These newly liberated women could finally escape preparing dishes from scratch. Our frequently used, hand operated, red handled Wear-Ever can opener opened up as many doors to freedom from cooking as it opened up steel rimmed cans.
In 1959, I turned the “big girl age” of five and I was invited to join the women of my family to help prepare Thanksgiving dinner. Grandma Ethel handled the bird and the stuffing. My mom boiled the frozen block of Bird’s Eye mixed vegetables, cracked open the tube of Pillsbury ready-to-bake dinner rolls, and smashed the potatoes. My job was the essential cranberry sauce.
1959 Perfect Jellied Cranberry Sauce
One 16oz can of Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce. (Not the “bumpy” Whole Berry kind)
Always wash your hands before cooking. Wipe down the top and bottom of the can with a damp dish towel. Avoid sharp edges and cutting fingers at all times.
Set can with label facing up and open the top of the can. Leave the detached lid in place. Flip the can over onto a small plate and open the bottom, again leaving the lid in place. Carefully grasp the can and slide it straight up and press firmly down on lid. The jellied can imprinted sauce will easily slip out. Set can aside.
Place a fork under the bottom can lid with your left hand and place your right hand on the top lid and carefully lay the crimson log on its side. Remove both can ends and place them inside the can body…so no one will get cut taking out the garbage.
Now, slice the translucent cylinder into nine one-half inch slices. Gently, slide each slice onto their sides to make a stack of perfectly round glistening sticky stepping stones.
2012 edition. Ocean Spray has redesigned the cans so the top is now rounded and unable to be opened by a can opener. The label illustrates how to extrude the sauce to keep its can shape by inserting a knife and running it around the inside of the can. This works just great and you still get to hear the same tinny whooshing sound as the jelly jiggles to freedom.