It’s that time of year to enjoy a nice helping of sassamenesh. You haven’t heard of sassamenesh? You’ve probably enjoyed several helpings at Thanksgiving dinner. Or perhaps you’ve enjoyed them in their dried form in a morning muffin or scone. Sassamenesh is the Algonquin name for Wisconsin’s state fruit and number one fruit crop: the cranberry. 

The tiny tart berry also holds the title of one of our country’s original native fruits. Early settlers referred to the fruit as “crane berry” due to the cranberry bud’s resemblance to the sandhill crane. Crane berry ultimately morphed into cranberry; a bit easier to pronounce than sassamenesh.

Here’s one of my favorite ways to enjoy fresh cranberries during the holiday season. 

Thanksgiving, Turkey Dinner, Cranberries, orange, walnuts, raisins
Cranberry Fruit Conserve, Cranberry Sauce, Sides
Yield: Makes approximately 4 cups
Bud’s Apple Pear Cranberry Conserve

Bud’s Apple Pear Cranberry Conserve

Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 25 MinTotal time: 40 Min
Here’s one of my favorite ways to enjoy fresh cranberries during the holiday season.


  • One 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries, cleaned
  • 1¾ cups sugar1 cup water
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 Anjou or Bartlett pear, peeled, cored and chopped1 orange, zest grated and juiced
  • 1 lemon, zest grated and juiced
  • ¾ cup dark raisins, golden raisins or dried currants
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans1 tablespoon orange liqueur (if you want an “adult version!)


  1. In a large saucepot, place the cranberries, sugar, and water. Heat on low for approximately 5 minutes or until the skins of the cranberries begin to pop open.
  2. Add the chopped apple, pear, zests and juices. Cook on low heat for 15 additional minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the raisins, nuts, and orange liqueur, if using. Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
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October 12, 2021 — Mary DiSomma