Tis the season for cranberry ice, a combination sherbet/granita that was found at my grandma's Thanksgiving and Christmas table every year since I can remember. The woman was a genius, all the kids couldn't wait to get to the table to slurp this delicious frozen treat, which my grandma served alongside the turkey as a "palate cleanser" instead of the kid-incompatible cranberry relish. She wrote the book on how to give your grandkids plenty of sweet stuff on holidays, disguised as a lesson in sophisticated gastronomic understanding. After my grandparents were gone, my aunt (their daughter) continued to make cranberry ice for fall and winter holidays.
That's me, lower left-hand corner, between my Grandma and my cool, Chesterfield-smoking Dad. Behind my Dad is Aunt Ada, (everyone has one, right?) and across from her, my mom. Aunt Patty, on the right, was responsible for passing on the Cranberry Ice recipe.
Put 1 pound cranberries and 3 ½ cups water in a saucepan, cook over medium heat until skins are broken. Rub cranberries through a sieve to make a smooth pulp and return to the stove. Add 2 ½ cups sugar, cook over medium heat stirring often until sugar is dissolved. Soak ½ envelope Knox gelatin in ¼ cup cold water till softened, then add to warm cranberry juice and stir. Add 1 cup orange juice and the juice of two lemons. Put in a 9 x 13 pan and freeze. When partly frozen, add two egg whites, stiffly beaten. Stir twice with a fork, breaking up chunks over the next half-hour.