It depends on whether or not you want to appear like a generous, or a stingy host 🙂
Calculating Portions for Guests
The standard amount is 1/4 cup of cranberry sauce for each guest that will choose to eat it. Not everyone does surprisingly, so if they say “no” simply send them to eat at the kids table until they learn to appreciate the most awesome berry in the world that people seem to forget about 11 months of the year.
That’s the recommended or standard amount. But who ONLY eats the “recommended” amount of anything? Especially during the holidays.
Assuming people will be feasting at your Thanksgiving/Christmas feast, making the standard amount carries the risk of you not having enough and looking like a complete and utter failure of a host, AND a cheapskate as well.
If that risk is acceptable to you and you don’t wish to heed the advice here at Cranby.com then go ahead and see what happens. Give your in-laws a real excuse to badmouth you. At least before your ‘cranberry sauce quantity failure’ they were doing it because they were just resentful people and everyone knew better. Now everyone will be looking at you with shame.
And you should feel shame. How many great, family dinners and feasts were ruined by this kind of thinking? Your lineage will talk about it for generations and …
Well, let’s get back on track here.
Cranby.com’s recommended Portion
I’d go with 1/2 cup per person. You’ll have leftovers which is fine because leftovers can be used for all sorts of things later on.
Most importantly though, not only will you not have failed, your status as a host and as an all round good person will skyrocket!
You will have ‘taken the whole crowd on’ and won. Nobody can out-eat your kitchen, it’s so badass it just keeps coming.
You also will be able to let guests take some home. “Not only am I feeding you, but I have enough to give you a parting gift after you have your fill and go home.” Who doesn’t like a loot bag?
In their minds, your image will have a positive glow attached to it and they won’t even know why. They just know that when they think of you they feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Your performance on that day determines your self worth and your status for many Thanksgivings to come.
Be prepared or face eternal shame. Hopefully you choose the former. That’s why we at Cranby exist, to have your back for all things cranberry and to make sure you are ready for battle.