Cranberry Crumble(d)

This Cranberry Crumble is a sight to behold. It looks so pretty and yummy. This is not anything like what my cranberry crumble looked like last night. This crumble must have been made by someone who either (a) baked it earlier than 1 am on a Wednesday night without a whining dog jumping on them the entire time, or (b) is an elf (elves are responsible for many magical incidents in my life when I’m too lazy to fully understand them).

I don’t have a picture of my crumble to share today. I, er…my, uh, dog ate it? I left it at home? It’s too embarrassing to show publicly and, unfortunately, not quite good enough to feed my coworkers today for a little afternoon snack. No, my crumble is better left to the imagination.

I thought I had picked the easiest recipe in The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook (Hardcover, $22.95, ISBN-13: 978-1-55591-747-0). Wait. Yes. Yes, I did. There are only six ingredients, for gosh sakes! The entire prep and bake time can be done in less than 45 minutes! You can play fetch with your whining dog, talk on the phone to your best friend, wash the dishes, and sing aloud all while creating this yummy concoction. Or, wait. Maybe you can’t do all those things while creating it. Maybe that’s where I went wrong? My 1 am multitasking?

No, where I went wrong was trying to bake something when its main ingredient is out of season, or at least in the wrong holiday season. It’s more Easter-Bunny-and-chocolate-egg season around here, less turkey-gobble-gobble-and-pass-out-watching-football-on-TV season. Where do cranberries go in April? I ask you. Because I went to three grocery stores and this is what I found at the first two:

I found one bag of frozen cranberries at the third store (as if elves had put it there). The amount of cranberries called for in this recipe is more around the amount of two bags. No problem, I bought the bag anyway, mainly because I finally felt victorious in my search (and it’s hide-plastic-eggs-around-your-backyard-and-send-your-kids-looking-for-them season).

I was tired by the time I got home and started the simple tasks of adding and simmering cranberries, cornmeal, sugar, butter, maple syrup, and honey. Maybe I was too tired to notice that I should alter the amount of cranberry to sugar/maple syrup/honey ratio based upon the smaller amount of available cranberries in the state of Colorado during the month of April. Alas, I was not.

I was pretty thrilled with the smell, though. Simmering cranberries and maple syrup has to be one of the most divine aromas in the universe. And, I would like to think that even though my end result wasn’t so pretty, my cranberry soup smelled just as amazing as Chef Hetzler’s elves’ cranberry crumble (see above).

I wish you luck in your baking endeavors. This recipe is simple, fast, and really impressive when you follow the recipe. It’s a great recipe for the holiday season, should you be anything like me and will-not-be-cooking-a-turkey-because-you-prefer-Tofurkey-but-might-have-the-perfect-dessert-to-bring-to-dinner-now. Do me proud and stock up on cranberries now.