It's right about this time when whoever is organizing the Thanksgiving meal finds out, or assigns, who's bringing what to the dinner. May I suggest a little proactivity (I can't believe that's not a word) on your part to volunteer to bring the cranberry sauce.
Fresh, homemade cranberry sauce is like the easiest recipe ever, and as long as you "sell it" properly, your true motives (maximum love for minimum effort) will be our secret. By "sell it" I mean tell them all about your secret tangerine/cherry-spiked version, and how involved it is to make. Of course, since it is a top-secret recipe, you'll not be able to give details, but you're sure they'll be blown away.
I posted this video last night on YouTube, and several of the viewers made a great suggestion for the spices. I usually just fish them out with a spoon once cold, but if you wrap them in a small piece of cheesecloth, you'll be able to pull them out without what can be an extensive search.
I didn't and usually don't, but you can certainly add a pinch of salt and black pepper to this, or any number of other aromatics. This tangerine cherry cranberry sauce is also really nice served warm as a savory sauce to all kinds of game, like venison, duck, goose, etc. I hope you give it a try. Enjoy!
1 (12-oz) bag fresh cranberries
1 cup small dried cherries (larger ones can be chopped a bit)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated tangerine or orange zest
1 cup tangerine or orange, plus water as needed
1 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
View the complete recipe