Cranberries: From Bog to Table

In the spirit of the season, today’s post is all about cranberries. You know, those tasty, nutrient-dense, little red morsels … you most likely passed them (or passed them by—folks usually love ’em or hate ’em) around your Thanksgiving table last week. And maybe you’ll enjoy them again at a Christmas feast. Their bright-red hues bring a festive touch to any holiday meal.

When I think cranberries, I think New England, where many of the cranberries in the U.S. are grown and harvested. I don’t think my neighboring Washington state … until now. Turns out, Washington state is the fifth largest cranberry-producing state in the U.S. Who knew?

And cranberries are grown in a unique, almost other-worldly setting called a cranberry bog. According to, “[Cranberries] can grow and survive only under a very special combination of factors. These factors include acid peat soil, an adequate fresh water supply, and a growing season that extends from April to November. Cranberries grow on low-lying vines in beds layered with sand, peat, gravel and clay. These beds are commonly known as bogs or marshes and were originally created by glacial deposits. Commercial bogs use a system of wetlands, uplands, ditches, flumes, ponds and other water bodies that provide a natural habitat for a variety of plant and animal life.”

This gorgeous slideshow of cranberry production in Washington state will make you appreciate these little gems even more. And here’s a holiday-inspired recipe to get your creative cranberry juices flowing!

Day-after Thanksgiving Turkey Sandwiches


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  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I had no idea cranberries free in Washington state either. I love these wonderful tart red jewels and have been enjoying them for several weeks now when they became available. I tried a new recipe I saw where you take one bag of raw berries, a stalk of celery, one apple, zest of one orange, juice of one orange, and walnuts. Place all ingredients in a food processor and rough chop. Place in a bowl and add sugar (1/2-3/4 Cup depending on taste). When you place in the fridge, the berries and sugar melt a bit and you end up with this tart, juicy, crunchy fresh cranberry salad. Wow, was that ever a delicious treat for lunch and on morning oatmeal!

  2. Diane Benjamin says:

    I and my family are cranberry lovers! Cranberry muffins and breads, cranberries in granola and on yogurt. And did you know that a cup of dried cranberries added to your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe really punches it up! More than half the cranberries grown in America come from right here in Wisconsin. If you’re ever in our neck of the woods in the fall, check out the Warren WI cranberry fest – it’s real down home fun!

  3. Lisa Von Saunder says:

    And here I thought Cranberries were only in Maine, where I visited the bogs on my last visit.
    You can never have enough cranberries in my opinion so I am glad other states grow them now too.
    And remember they freeze so well for future baking

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Who Let the Cow In?

Ah, geez …

Wait, before I go on, let me throw out this disclaimer:

If you’re allergic to cuteness (or cows), cut your losses and get outta here while you still can.

Still there?

I knew you’d risk it.

You will be duly rewarded with smiles …

The video below chronicles what happened when Pennsylvania farm mom Billie Jo Decker discovered an unexpected house guest hanging out with her 5-year-old daughter, Breanna. Be sure to keep watching to the halfway point and beyond if you can stand the sweetness:

In a YouTube update a couple of months ago, Billie Jo admitted that Izzy the Cow has secured a pretty solid place in the family. “Izzy has turned into quite the spoiled cow. She is literally like dealing with a 2-year-old child throwing tantrums,” she said. “If she is not in the mood to share my company, well, let’s just say she MOOOOOOVES it out of the way. She is a very jealous cow and doesn’t like to share Mom’s attention.”

Izzy is a bit big for house visits now (she makes an appearance in this video). Hmmm … maybe Breanna needs a mini Jersey?

  1. CJ Armstrong says:

    Adorable! Reminds me of my childhood on the farm . . . we never had a cow in the house.

    There is no way we can get this close and cuddly with our Longhorns!

  2. Krista says:

    I just love kids and their huge hearts! This video is super adorable and it’s funny hearing how she has become apart of the family now. We have introduced my son to little baby cows and he loves them. I wouldn’t be surprised if he wants to bring a cow inside some day!

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