Delfeayo Marsalis’ Cranberry Bog Recipe

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These bright, talented children are a part of the Uptown Music Theater, created by none other than Delfeayo Marsalis. Usually, lessons revolve around the performing arts, but today he’s teaching a culinary classic.
“Alright y’all we’ve got the WWOZ 90.7 That Sounds Good cookbook and in it is a recipe that my mom showed me. It’s called cranberry bog and we have the ingredients here and we’re about to get together and mix it up, let’s go, let’s get to it!” says Marsalis.

He knows this recipe well. He made it with his family growing up. “You’re going to need some cherry gelatin, boiling water, frozen lemonade concentrate, cold water, cranberry juice cocktail and ginger ale.”

“I just know it was around the holidays and we would always look forward to Thanksgiving. Mom would make that big ol’ turkey and some of her gumbo and I would always be in charge of the cranberry bog. Around the holidays it was always a fun time, we’d have nice competitive games, football, baseball, etc. When we all get together it’s not really that often but we usually talk about things other than music.”

It’s hard to imagine that the Marsalis family would talk about anything but music when they get together.

“Well yeah, we weren’t so much like the Jackson 5 where my dad was like get in the closet, or practice, or get in the closet and practice! It was never like that, but we were fortunate, we all attended the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts,” jokes Marsalis.
Now, when he’s not touring with his internationally famous, riff-based jazz orchestra, he enjoys spending time with the kids.

“We’ve been at it since 2000 and I’ve composed 15 or 16 original productions and we have a good time, for the most part. Working with the kids is the same as working with adults, sometimes even easier, so you just try to have a good time and put on a great show, that’s what it’s about, whether we’re here or Carnegie Hall that’s what we want to do… “

“Here’s a toast to the Uptown Music Theater! Cheers!”


Cranberry Bog

1 (3-ounce) package cherry gelatin

1 cup boiling water

1 (16-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate

3 cups cold water

4 cups cranberry juice

28 ounces ginger ale

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water, stir in lemonade concentrate (thawed) and cold water. Pour mixture over ice and add ginger ale gradually.