Thanksgiving: Honeyed Cranberry Relish and Sweet Potato Balls

Let’s start off our Thanksgiving series with two of my favorite traditional foods–cranberries and sweet potatoes. (Who am I kidding? They are all my favorites!) In case you missed Monday’s post, I’m going to be testing recipes that you can add to your holiday table later this month. In fact, by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, there will be enough recipes here to create an entire WWII-era dinner menu!

Today I’m using an article from the November 1942 issue of Woman’s Day. The article included an entire month of menus that would feed a family of four for $14.50 a week. That would allow the home front housewife room in her grocery budget to have a Thanksgiving feast. If you look at the calendar you’ll see that Thanksgiving 1942 was also November 26.

Honeyed Cranberry Relish

  • 1 seedless orange
  • 2 c cranberries
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 1/2 c sugar

Put orange and cranberries through food chopper. Add sugar and honey and mix thoroughly. Let stand overnight before serving. Makes 1 pint.


We almost always have some sort of a cranberry dish at Thanksgiving, but I’ve never made cranberry relish before. The honey and sugar took the bite out of the cranberries. If you are someone who usually avoids cranberries because they are too tart, this might be a good recipe to try. Honeyed Cranberry Relish is a versatile dish. We used it as a sauce over ham. It would be great on ice cream, crackers, or even as a sandwich topping. We’ve eaten a cranberry dip that was very similar to this. Add a little cilantro and scoop it up with a tortilla chip. It would also be a great glaze for chicken, and I can see it being refreshing on top of your favorite burger. It’s also a lovely addition to a holiday table. The bright red is festive and eye-catching and adds a pop of color to your plate. I highly recommend trying this one.

Sweet Potato Balls

  • 3 lb sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp margarine
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 c crushed cornflakes

Boil sweet potatoes in jackets until tender. Peel and mash. Add honey, margarine, salt, and pepper. Allow to cool. Form into balls about 3 inches in diameter. Roll in crushed cornflakes. Place on a greased cookie sheet and brown in a moderate oven, 375°F, for 15 minutes. The potato ball may be made the day before. Roll in cornflakes and brown while making gravy and heating rolls. Serves 8.


What a fun way to serve sweet potatoes! The cornflakes make a crunchy coating around the soft, smooth balls of sweet potatoes for a nice contrast of textures. While these were good, if we make them again, we’d adjust a few things. As the recipe is, the sweet potato balls aren’t sweet. If you are looking for a sweeter dish, adjust to taste before forming into the balls. We would add more honey, salt, and pepper. We’d also like to try Frosted Flakes instead of corn flakes to add a little more sweetness.

Later this week I’ll share an article about mashed potatoes. I’m trying to find versions of favorite recipes that have a little bit of a twist compared to what we tend to eat today. Of course, different families have different traditional foods. Do you have a family favorite that you’d like me to find a 1940s version to make? Let me know and I’ll do my best to find it for you.

Looking for more of this series?

Thanksgiving: Mashed Potatoes

Thanksgiving: Green Beans

Thanksgiving: Corn

Thanksgiving: Susan Makes the Gravy

First Monday Menu: Thanksgiving Month

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