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I don't know if it's this way for you, but for me, time seems to speed up to hyperdrive this time of year, starting with Thanksgiving. The daylight hours get so short and there's always so much to do preparing for all the holidays that come one right after the other.

Honestly, I'm not great at handling the holiday season due to my poor time management skills. And I tend to overdo it, which can make something that should be heartwarming and enjoyable a little stressful. But I really do love spending time with my family and holidays are the best way to get me out of my day-to-day routine.

Fortunately for me, eating together is often the main feature of holiday gatherings, and one of the things I do to show my love is making food. It's a way for me to do something that I've put time and effort into that I hope people will enjoy. And it's actually the entire reason I started making jam in the first place, it was specifically for holiday gift-giving.

Food gifts are really neat because they show you care about someone without them having a thing that will go out of style or sit on their bookshelf forever. It's easy to give and easy to enjoy, then it's gone. Kind of like the holiday season, it's ephemeral.

So today, to kick off the beginning of all our fall and winter festivities of every inclination, I'm cooking up my annual giant batch of cranberry sauce. It's made with whole cranberries, fresh-squeezed orange juice and flavor-packed little strips of julienned ginger and orange and lemon zest. It's super textured and brightly flavored, it will stand up to any slice of Aunt Evelyn's desert-dry turkey breast you throw it on (bless her heart).

I make it for my family every year (it's also rescued my own dry turkey more than once), and I offer it to you, hoping to make a small part of your holiday feasts a little fancier and less stressful. I'm thankful for all the love my friends, family and customers give me.

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