Susan Stamberg of Washington, D.C. discovered that her mother-in-law's old "family" recipe, Mama Stamberg's Frozen Cranberry Relish, was really a creation of the venerable food writer, restaurant critic, and cookbook author Craig Claiborne. It's ok, Mama Stamberg, we will keep that secret under our hats. When Susan sent the recipe to Southern Living, she said she was "delighted to share the recipe for Mama Stamberg's Frozen Cranberry Relish—the relish that sounds terrible, but tastes terrific." We tend to agree, because even the food photographers gave us a quizzical look when they were shooting the images for this recipe. Readers, however, have loved this recipe ever since it was published in December 1995. Cranberries are a popular food item during the holidays, turning simple everyday food into festive holiday meals. Cranberries can be added to muffins, used in cake fillings, or added to glazes for meat. This Frozen Cranberry Relish is a different twist on the usual cranberry relishes. Fresh cranberries usually hit the markets during November and December, so consider freezing some fresh cranberries so you can enjoy them throughout the year. This recipe makes three cups and instructs you to freeze the relish in an 8-inch square pan. If you don't think your family will use all the relish in one or two meals, consider dividing it up into smaller pans or freezer-safe dishes.

Craig Claiborne


Credit: Laurey W. Glenn

Recipe Summary test

3 cups


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Position knife blade in food processor bowl; add cranberries and onion. Process 10 seconds, stopping once to scrape down sides of bowl. Pulse 3 or 4 times or until finely chopped, but not smooth.

  • Combine cranberry mixture, sugar, sour cream, and horseradish in a medium bowl. Spoon into an 8-inch square pan. Cover and freeze until firm.

  • Remove from freezer, and break into chunks about 1 hour before serving. Store any remaining relish in freezer.