Orange-Ginger Lingonberry Sauce

THANKSGIVING IS JUST around the corner. No other holiday is more focused around food. We gather around the table, and give thanks. Thanks for our life, our food, our many blessings. Everyone has different traditions, but in our house, we stuff ourselves with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans and pumpkin pie. We unbutton the top button of our pants as we sit on the couch and watch the Detroit Lions get annihilated. These are memory makers: food, fun, football and giving thanks.

I love it that food is so closely tied to memories - good or bad - tastes and smells can bring back a moment in time. Food is so much more than just physical nourishment. It nourishes our body and soul. 

I want my children to associate food with good times and wonderful memories. I savor the moments when they’re in the kitchen with me, creating memories to last a lifetime. My heart beams when I hear my children say, “Someday, I’m going to make this for my kids, Mom.” Or, my favorite: “Will you give this recipe to my future wife?” Um…that might not be the best idea.

Part of our family memories are picking berries every summer. In our house, it’s a crime to serve the canned cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving - especially when we have a freezer full of Alaskan berries. I look forward to breaking out the lingonberries (aka low-bush cranberries) each Thanksgiving. They are very similar in taste to commercial cranberries, but are smaller and have more flavor and color.

Kids rule at picking lowbush cranberries because, well, they're closer to the ground...

When we serve lingonberry sauce each Thanksgiving, our family loves to reminisce about the fun we had while picking them. This year, we had to forage for a long time, since our usual picking spots didn’t produce very well. Thankfully, we still had some from the year before, when the yields were plentiful. When properly stored, lingonberries can last over two years. 

This is our favorite lingonberry sauce. In other words, this is the “give-the-recipe-to-my-future-wife” recipe. If you don’t have lingonberries, substitute cranberries. This can be made ahead of time, as it will keep for over a week in the refrigerator. We like our sauce tart. If your family prefers it sweeter, add more sugar.


Orange-Ginger Lingonberry Sauce

  • 4 cups fresh or frozen lingonberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 8 ounces pomegranate juice
  • 1/3 cup candied ginger, sliced thin or chopped
  • 1 mandarin orange, sliced thin with peel


Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

For more berry delicious recipe ideas, check out Low-fat Mini-cheesecakes with Berry Compote; 5 Things to do with Berries.  



Talking about raising Alaska's future today!

Mental Health & the Alaskan Family

Being Young in Rural Alaska





Looking for
fun stuff to do
with kids?

Find something by