Grandma Knows Best: CranMa’s Thanksgiving Hostess Tips & a Trip to Ocean Spray’s Cranberry Bog

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Sponsorship provided by Ocean Spray. Thanks for reading! Content and opinions, as always, are my own.

There’s nothing like ushering in November with a trip to Rockefeller Center® to wade and dine in 1500 sq. ft. fresh cranberry bog, while getting whipped into Thanksgiving-hostess-extraordinaire shape by a team of Ocean Spray Grandmas, AKA CranMas.   As part of Ocean Spray‘s #ASKCRANMA event, a team of Thanksgiving-feast valedictorians (yup! The Cranmas who happen to be multi-generational Ocean Spray farmers) schooled me alongside other writers with hands-on instructions and no-nonsense first-time Thanksgiving hostess advice – to ensure that our holiday goes off without a hitch.  This is the 13th year that Ocean Spray has brought their iconic 2,000-pound fresh-cranberry bog to Rockefeller Center®, and it was a true treat to attend again (this time solo!) – catch last year’s fun with my kiddos here

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As someone who knows that I’ll never match the level of Thanksgivings dinners produced by my mom and mother-in-law – I nod my head in understanding over common fears discovered in a recent Ocean Spray survey. 

First Time Hosting Fears

  • Not cooking the Turkey properly (under-cooking or burning).
  • Not timing things properly.
  • Not being able to live up to their parents or grandparents Thanksgivings (hello, yes!).
  • Forgetting something (important ingredient, etc.).
  • Disappointing guests and not having them enjoy the meal.

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The team of CranMas is helping to squash these fears with their tried-and-true advice. Best of all? They’re dedicated to helping you! Now through Thanksgiving Day, first-time hosts (and others who want advice!) can access Facebook Chat to talk to Ocean Spray’s virtual CranMa AKA the Cranbot in real-time! I was all ears amongst CranMa Sue, Mary Ann, and Diane, as they dished out expert advice. I’m hanging on to CranMa Mary Ann’s simple yet wise words, “Thanksgiving is a time to be together and you should never lose sight of that”.

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First Time Hosting Tips

  • Do as much as you can ahead of time (cooking and setting the table)!
  • Set the scene with beautiful and simple holiday hacks including a napkin ring made out of Ocean Spray® Fresh Cranberries. 
  • Welcome guests with a themed-cocktail (try Ocean Spray® Cranberry Juice Cocktail, Vodka, and Cassis.  And delight the kids with a glass of Ocean Spray® Cranberry Juice Cocktail).  
  • Consider timing when going with a frozen vs. fresh turkey (frozen takes multiple days to thaw – 1 day for every 5lbs of turkey!)
  • Most importantly, remember to focus on the togetherness and meaning of the day. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect!
  • Ocean Spray cranberry products can help to set the scene and are a healthy and delicious component of Thanksgiving meals, sides and drinks. 

You better believe that I plopped myself right into the cranberry bog -waders and all – to indulge in a pre-Thanksgiving feast! Everything was beyond delicious from the meal to the stunning decor.

 

A post shared by Monica Marino (@marinobambinos) on

First -time Thanksgiving host?  Have questions on how to make your dinner perfect? Don’t forget to ask CranMa your pressing questions and chat with “her” anytime! Happy hosting friends!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ocean Spray®. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Comments

  1. Thats really cranberries your walking through? Thats awesome.

  2. I love a Cranberry and Vodka. So yum! That last pic of you in the Cranberry bog makes me a tad bit jealous. 🙂 What an awesome experience.

    PS: We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in Trinidad. However, I think we definitely should, in our own way. It sounds like such a meaningful holiday.

  3. I had no idea this even existed! This looks like so much fun and learning hostessing tips from the Cran-mas is so fantastic.

  4. Victoria Heckstall says:

    What a fun experience! I’ll make sure to bring my family there soon!

  5. I had no idea an event of this sort existed! I am intrigued and would want to try it in the future.

  6. Elizabeth O says:

    This is such a fun and exciting event. By the way, have you trodden the Cranberries?? It seems that you really enjoy that event.

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