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In praise of cranberries

I’m a selfish eater, especially when it comes to the holidays, and I want what I want.

My latest target is the poor, little old cranberry, which gets no respect in my book.

A long time ago, I ditched the cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving, and I politely decline to eat it to this day.

Perhaps it’s acceptable when mixed with other juices to tone down its tart taste, but I can never see cranberry sauce mixed with things like turkey and dressing, corn pudding and my favorite Thanksgiving treat, sweet potato casserole.

The late comedian Rodney Dangerfield, he of the “I don’t get no respect” tagline, would have a great time with cranberry jokes.

Those of us who grew up in the 1960s remember the fruit drink mixes with names like Choo Choo Cherry, Freckle Face Strawberry, Goofy Grape, Jolly Olly Orange, Loud Mouth Lime and Rootin’ Tootin’ Raspberry.

Maybe if you could somehow associate cranberries with Halloween instead of Thanksgiving, you could come up with a name like “Creepy Cranberry.”

What about the favorite drink of insomniacs everywhere, “Cranky Cranberry?”

I don’t see any book titles out there such as “Cranberries for the Soul,” either.

Along with the ever-popular grape and the emerging pomegranate, cranberries seem to be surging in popularity.

They have entered the hallowed halls of popular culture with the airing of the cranberry juice cocktail commercial depicting two New Englanders knee high in a cranberry bog.

In deference to cranberry support groups worldwide, there are benefits to cranberry consumption.

Cranberries are high in antioxidants that promote weight loss, prevent dental problems and assist in fighting cancers, along with strengthening the immune system and relieving skin conditions.

The citric acid found in cranberries can help prevent kidney and bladder problems, but this is a family column, so I won’t go into detail on those.

I’ve almost convinced myself to give the little, red buggers another try, and anyone who has developed a taste for prunes, myself included, can stomach a few cranberries. 

Studies have shown cranberries can improve your mental health by lifting your mood and relieving stress and anxiety. 

Cranberries also are supposed to help improve your memory which is probably the reason I can’t come up with any better column ideas for this week.