Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

Pork Rind Cranberry Sauce–Sort Of

Developing a New Tradition

Several years ago my hair stylist (OK, it was really just the woman who cuts my hair…but hair stylist sounds better) and I were talking about traditional recipes for holiday dinners.  She said: “I always made traditional cranberry sauce until I found a recipe that sounded really weird but good and I decided to give it a try. My family loved it and never guessed what was in it!”

I asked her what made it so different and she said, “It’s Pork Rind Cranberry Sauce. And, before you say you wouldn’t like it–I promise it’s delicious.”

I was somewhat incredulous and asked about the recipe. She said, “You cook cranberry sauce just like always. Then, you stir in the pork rinds. It gives it a different taste, but nothing you can quite identify. My kids were absolutely crazy about it.”

I asked if the sauce had a different texture and she said no, that the pork rinds mixed right in. She made me promise I would try it some time, even if I didn’t think I would like it. I said I would, but would probably also make the regular kind.  She said, “You wait and see. People will eat more of this kind.”

I had already walked out of the beauty shop, but the recipe was on my mind and I turned back and interrupted her while she was cutting someone else’s hair. I asked her how much of the pork rinds she put in the sauce. She said,  “Not a lot, just enough for flavor. About a fourth cup for a regular recipe, but you can adjust that to taste. I just buy those little bottles of port wine at the liquor store.”

That was the first time I heard her clearly–and also the first time I realized the recipe she gave me was not for Pork Rind Cranberry Sauce, but for Port Wine Cranberry Sauce. Big difference.

Now you see why I stick to traditional recipes.

Note: As some of you may have noticed, this is a repeat of an article I wrote last year. I received several requests for it this year and thought I should publish it before the holidays were packed away. (Apparently it’s amusing to read about someone else’s crazy mistakes.)

December 26th, 2009 Posted by | Food, Fitness, Fun | 7 comments


  1. Tina, thank you for sharing this delightful anecdote again. This story is as hilarious as it was last year! I guess that makes it a … tradition.

    Bill Vaughn was a well-known columnist for the Kansas City Star. Many years ago he wrote a column called “Tell Me a Story of Christmas,” and it has been reprinted each year since 1959, even though he probably wrote it several years prior to that. Those of us who live in Kansas City have grown up with this story as a tradition. You can read it here: http://www.kansascity.com/236/story/1632711.html

    So, Tina, I think you ought to give consideration to making your cranberry sauce recipe a yearly tradition too.

    Comment by Jeff Adams | December 27, 2009

  2. This post was so unexpected I thought I had the wrong blog. Then I read it and wasn’t sure where it was leading, because I wouldn’t eat pork rinds in anything. Then I got to the punch line. VERY FUNNY!

    Comment by V.K. | December 28, 2009

  3. Happy Holidays, Tina! I’ve been gone a lot lately but have been reading everything, just not commenting. This one is funny again! I loved the one about not CCing on unpleasant emails. Before we improved as a section, I would get an email just like you describe, as a way to tattle on someone. I also like the one on excuses. And, I’ve forwarded the link about Highlights to a bunch of people. That should catch me up! I hope your New Year’s celebrations are fun.

    Comment by P.A.H. | December 28, 2009

  4. Hi! I’m working days in Jan. and I’m starting early to help out with vacations. (Applaud!) Phyllis just sent you a comment to say we laughed as much at this story this year as we did last time! My MIL made cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving and I thought of this then, because now I never eat cranberry sauce without thinking aobut pork rinds!

    Comment by denisek | December 28, 2009

  5. Great story, and since I’m a fairly new reader I didn’t have a clue that this wasn’t serious until the end. I can only imagine the surprise for your family if you had actually cooked this. Ewww! My elderly dad mishears many things and we usually all end up laughing with him over it. A few days before Christmas, just this last week, I asked him if he was going to join us in a cup of Christmas Cheer, referring to the eggnog we were serving right in front of him. He looked shocked and said, “You know very well I would never drink a beer anytime, especially not at Christmas! But, I’ll have a cup of this eggnog though.” All day we ended everything with, “But, I’ll have a cup of this eggnog though.” I guess that will be our new tradition!

    Comment by Tastee | December 28, 2009

  6. Tina says: Thanks to all of you for your comments. Getting comments on my posts always makes me happy! I’ve written emails to each of you, but want to especially acknowledge “Tastee” for the hilarious story about her dad. What great memories those will be!

    Comment by TLR | December 28, 2009

  7. I don’t know if there is a time limit on comments or not, but I had to comment on this one, even if Christmas is over. I just sent this link to my entire family because we have some similar stories. My sister was supposed to put cream of tartar in meringue. She put in two teaspoons of tartar sauce. I don’t know what she thought it would taste like, but even that little bit definitely gave it the taste of seafood sauce. We never have let her forget it, because she was not just a kid at the time!

    I sure admire all the things you’re able to do, Tina.
    The Q

    Comment by Qwerty | January 29, 2010

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