Upside-down Cranberry Pecan Coffee Cake

Name the foods that remind you of the holidays. Pumpkin, peppermint, gingerbread, squash, split peas, apples and cranberries. Those are mine. Cranberries are undeniably festive with their pungent tartness and their gorgeous jewel tones that, sadly, only appear for a short time each year. But perhaps their fleeting presence is what makes them so special. Would we really love them like we do if they imposed themselves upon us twelve months a year? We would take them for granted. We would forget what a perfect foil they are for everything from warm spices to braised meats. We would resent them for their flashy coats masking their pucker-inducing, almost inedible sourness. Instead, every year when cranberry season comes around we get to look forward to everything they bring to a holiday table. I think that’s for the best.

Ooh! What’s in this drink?