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Sen Marsha Blackburn on Thanksgiving blessings, including family, food, country: 'Time to express gratitude'

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., shared with Fox News Digital a favorite homemade recipe for Thanksgiving, a cranberry chutney. She also shared what all Americans can be grateful for this year.

For this Thanksgiving, and really any special occasion in the fall or winter, Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., shared with Fox News Digital one of her favorite recipes.

"There are some of us who do enjoy cooking," she said in a phone interview in a lighter moment this week as she spoke about preparing for Thanksgiving.

She said that all her life, she has been able to share the joy of cooking with people in her family over the years, including her mother, her grandmother and her aunts.

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"Coming together as a family, celebrating holidays and a good meal — that was all just part of the way of life in our family."

Blackburn talked about a favorite cranberry chutney recipe — something relatively easy to make for those who may be juggling busy schedules this week but still prefer a home-cooked dish to something bought at a store or right out of a can.

"Chutneys are so easy, and especially so during the holidays. You do your simple syrup — water and sugar — and heat that up."

She added, "you put those cranberries in there, and for children, it's so much fun, because the cranberries pop and sizzle as they cook. And as you simmer it, you see that beautiful cranberry-red color really begin to gel and take place."

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Cranberries on their own are just fine, she suggested, or other ingredients can be added for even more flavor. 

"You can add apples, or pineapples, or citrus — and just have something that's good and fruity. And it's the perfect accompaniment as a dressing for chicken dishes, in addition to turkey," she said.

Beyond the specific recipe, Blackburn reflected on the much broader blessings of Thanksgiving.

"For our family when we gather, it's important for us to talk about all the things we're grateful for, and who we're grateful for — and the difference and the impact that someone has made or had on our lives," she said.

"Expressing that gratitude," she added, is also so vital. 

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"It is so important that we do that and not take our freedoms and the comfort that we enjoy in this country for granted."

Blackburn mentioned being at the University of Tennessee recently for a fall football game.

"And there was all of this excitement, and fun, and conversations, and laughter — and the band was playing, and a video was playing. And I thought, This is the sound of freedom."

"This is what we enjoy that people around the globe are not able to enjoy," she continued. 

"They can't experience that ability to gather and to have that enjoyment and to sing those songs."

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She said it is critical that "we have this time of relationship building and of expressing happiness. And we just can't take that for granted."

She added, "There are men and women who fight for this country and who work every single day to make certain that they are protecting our nation."

"We have law enforcement officers in every community that are protecting our streets and communities and keeping them free from crime."

She said that was why "taking the time to express that gratitude, this week especially, I think is paramount."

For more about Sen. Blackburn's cranberry chutney recipe for Thanksgiving — including all the ingredients — watch the video at the top of this article, or click here to access it.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

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