The Cranberry Bog Charcuterie Post
Happy holiday seasonal anxiety and excitement! If you're anything like me, you're thigh deep in target and amazon boxes, hidden in the spare room in your basement binge watching How to Get Away with Murder and having yourself a merry cocktail. This is "me" time for parents during the Christmas season folks, I'll be honest, I don't hate. This is how I do laundry too, so as far as I'm concerned, at least it's wrapping my kids presents I can't wait to give them, and there's no sock searching going on.
I decided that the blog needed a new festive cover photo for the next few months. I've never done a charcuterie board before, not a really fancy one and I though WELL, get both done at once. Attempt a pretty dish with my kids, dog and cats all living in the house AND upgrade the site with a nice new pic! But of course, I had to make a drink too.
I needed like two handfuls of cranberries for the board, but they didn't sell that at Market 32 so, a full bag it was. I didn't want them to go to waste waiting for the weekend so I froze the bag and went about my week. After this long day of the usual cleaning, refereeing, scream-singing the Frozen 2 soundtrack with my kids, and chasing my dog around, I needed a dang drink.
Normally it is wine. It's really always wine. But, I had this bottle of Titos Vodka in my liquor cabinet and I thought; lower carb, because mac + cheese? It was a nice thought but really anything you eat with an alcoholic beverage, the booze gets flushed out first and the crap you ate gets put on the back burner, turning into fat, so there's no best way to do it, other than hopping on the exercise bike for another mile the next day to burn that fat out ;)
It's a simple drink, vodka, orange liquor, club soda, a splash of cranberry juice and a handful of frozen cranberries on top!
The cranberries chill the drink, but they don't melt and make it watery. They float on the top just like the bogs in Cape Cod, and it looks like a festive Christmas miracle. Especially paired with sneak wrapping the load of gifts going under the tree two Tuesday nights from now!
As far as the charcuterie board goes, this is what I found. Put some kind of spreadable cheese in the middle, cut a few slices and fold them down like slow-falling dominos. Surround the cheese with cracker stacks, round spread out meats, fruit bunches and then fill in the spaces with assorted nuts and sprigs of green herbs. I like rosemary for the holiday season because it looks like little tiny adorable pine tree branches.
Both are a slam dunk for holiday gatherings. Also transportable, if you cling wrap really carefully. I do not recommend transporting the cranberry bog pre-made, definitely just bring all the ingredients to the gathering location, pour it all together and dump the frozen cranberries on top. You could garnish with some mint leaves on top to get real fancy.
INGREDIENTS & DIRECTIONS (for the charcuterie board)
1. Plain brie cheese, I used the brand presidenté
2. Wheat or multigrain crackers
3. Salami slices, spread around the corners of the board to save space and add flare
4. Port wine cheese
5. Cracker Barrel sliced white cheddar, sliced in the same domino fashion
6. Grapes on the vine
7. Pickles or olives or both
8. Prosciutto wrapped provolone cheese
9. A smooth berry preserve
10. Elfie's homemade original oatcakes (holy yum)
11. Assorted nuts and berries to fill the spaces
12. Sprigs of rosemary, also to fill the spaces and add some green herby texture and color
INGREDIENTS + DIRECTIONS (for the Cranberry Bog drink)
1 1/2 oz. of vodka
3/4 oz. of orange liquor
club soda, unflavored OR cranberry flavor if you want
a splash or cranberry juice
a handful of frozen cranberries
for a group sized amount
1 750mL bottle of vodka (I use Tito's)
10 oz. of orange liquor
fill nearly to the top with club soda
pour in cranberry juice, but leave enough room to top with a complete covering of frozen cranberries