In a small saucepan, mix together the cranberries, sugar, water, splash of orange juice and vanilla extract. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, pressing the cranberries with the back of your spoon until they pop (beware--they'll splatter!). Add the fresh thyme and smash with the back of your spoon--this will release its aromatics. Note: The mixture should be much looser than traditional cranberry sauce. Pour the mixture through a strainer, discarding the solids, and reserving the cranberry syrup.