Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Meal Menu with Recipes

This is last year's Thanksgiving Menu that I cooked for our family of four. For the first time in my life, I had to make the entire meal myself - no potluck family get-together! It was a lot of work, but worth every bite. These recipes were gathered from various places. Credit is given where it is due.

I thought I would share these recipes in time for Thanksgiving (well, almost in time). I'll be making the sweet potato casserole this year (tomorrow night I will mix it up and I'll bake it Thanksgiving morning before we leave for lunch with friends). I'm excited that I don't have to do the rest of the work this year. I have a few parties to cook for other days before the holidays, so I am glad for a break on the big meals. We will be in Texas with family at Christmas time, Lord willing (and I'll have to refrain from stuffing myself until I pop). We come from a long line of Texas master-chefs on all FOUR sides of our family. This year we're making pumpkin pie cheesecake for a friend who can't eat nuts (even though our favorite is actually pecan pie). I'll share that recipe some time soon! If you can't live without it before Thanksgiving, email me.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday. What a blessing that we have freedom, food, health, family and friends. Let us all give thanks to the One who makes that possible. By the way, to all of the Native Americans out there... thank you for the wonderful foods that you brought to our tables (we would not have had so many wonderful dishes had it not been for your help), and please accept my humble apologies for any ill-treatment from the pioneers who came before me. I am a small bit Cherokee myself... and I often grieve over the sadness that this holiday may impart for some Native Americans. I hope we can all give thanks together - despite the evils of the past. May God forgive us and heal us all.


Thanksgiving 2005 Recipes

Better Homes and Gardens: All-Time Favorites (Grocery Store Softback)
Page 17
Roasted Chicken (1930) - (*also see Seasoning the Turkey recipe below)

Prep: 10 Min.
Roast: 1.25 Hours

1 3.5 to 4 lb. Whole Chicken
Salt (optional)
1 small onion, quartered
2 stalks celery, cut up
Cooking oil
Dried Thyme or oregano, crushed (optional)

Rinse chicken; pat dry with paper towels. If desired, rub inside of body cavity with salt. Place onions and celery in body cavity. Skewer neck skin to back; tie legs to tail. Twist wing tips under back. Place chicken, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan; brush with cooking oil and, if desired, sprinkle with herb.

If desired, insert a meat thermometer into center of an inside thigh muscle. Do not allow thermometer to touch bone. Roast, uncovered, in a 375 degree over for 1.25 to 1.75 hours or until drumsticks move easily in sockets, chicken is no longer pink, and meat thermometer registers 180 degrees to 185 degrees. Remove chicken from oven; cover and let stand ten minutes before carving. Makes 6-8 servings.

Better Homes and Gardens: All-Time Favorites (Grocery Store Softback)
Page 60
Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Pie (1939)

Prep: 15 Min.
Bake: 45 Min.

1 recipe Pastry for Single-Crust Pie (p 55)
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 15-oz. can pumpkin
¼ cup half-and-half or milk
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp finely shredded lemon peel
½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground allspice
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup chopped pecans
2 tbsp butter, softened

Prepare pastry and line pie plate as directed. In a large bowl, stir together eggs, pumpkin and half-and-half. Stir together granulated sugar, flour, lemon peel, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Pour pumpkin mixture into pastry-lined pie plate. To prevent overbrowning, cover the edge of the pie with foil. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl stir together the brown sugar, pecans and butter until combined. Remove foil. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the top of pie. Bake for 20 minutes more or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean and topping is golden and bubbly. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate within 2 hours. Makes 8 servings.

Better Homes and Gardens: All-Time Favorites (Grocery Store Softback)
Page 55
Pastry for Single-Crust Pie (1930)

Prep: 10 Min.

1.25 cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
4 to 5 tbsp cold water

Stir together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are pea-size.
Sprinkle 1 tblsp of the water over part of the mixture; gently toss with fork. Push moistened dough to side of bowl. Repeat, using 1 tbsp water at a time, until all the dough is moistened. Form dough into a ball. On lightly floured surface, flatten dough. Roll from center to edge into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.

To transfer pastry, wrap it around rolling pin; unroll into a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate, being careful not to stretch pastry.

Trim pastry to ½ inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry. Crimp edge as desired. Do not prick pastry. Bake as directed in individual recipes. Makes 8 servings.

Husband’s Family’s Cookbook
Page 139
Broccoli and Rice Casserole
Submitted by Husband’s Mom

2 Cups Cooked Rice
1 stick Margarine or Butter, melted or softened
1 jar (8 oz.) Cheese Whiz
1 med. Onion, chopped
1 pkg. Chopped Broccoli
1 can Mushroom Soup

Combine all ingredients, put in casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until bubbling in the center.

*note: recipe originated in a church cook-book and everyone insists that my husband’s mom makes it for Thanksgiving each year.

The Frugal Gourmet by Jeff Smith
Page 116
Black-eyed Pea Salad

½ pound black-eyed peas, soaked over-night, drained
4 green onions, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1/8 cup white wine vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
Tabasco to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook black-eyed peas in fresh water until tender but firm, about 45 minutes (if you substitute frozen, cook as directed on package - DO NOT USE CANNED). Drain. Combine all ingredients, chill, and marinate in refrigerator several hours before serving. Serves 4-6.

Internet Recipe (Lost the Link – Sorry)
Sweet Potato Casserole Bliss

2 eggs
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
3 cups canned sweet potatoes (not yams)
3 cups fresh sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
1 cup evaporated milk (pet milk)
1 cup brown sugar
¾ cup butter
1 tsp. salt
1 cup corn flakes, crushed
1 cup pecans, crushed
½ cup brown sugar
¾ cup melted butter

Cook and mash fresh sweet potatoes to make 3 cups. Mix together with canned sweet potatoes, eggs, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add milk, brown sugar, and salt.

Pour into 13X9 inch casserole and bake 30 minutes at 425 degrees. Make topping of crushed corn flakes, pecans, brown sugar, and melted butter.

When done baking, put topping on and brown for another 15 minutes in 400 degree oven.

Best of the Best from Louisiana
Page 143
Seasoning the Turkey

Amounts depend on size of turkey:
Mixture of salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes
Garlic, chopped
Bell pepper, chopped
Pecan halves
Butter, cut into pats

1. Rinse thawed bird and pat dry.
2. Puncture all meaty parts with the point of a knife to form deep but narrow pockets all over the bird. (Be sure to make many pockets all over breasts and thighs.)
3. Mix salt, black pepper and red pepper together.
4. Add chopped garlic and bell pepper to salt mixture.
5. Take small amount of this seasoning and push it down into pockets.
6. Now push 1 or 2 pecan halves into each of the slits.
7. Finish by putting a small pat of butter into each pocket.
8. Rub entire outside with salt, red and black peppers.
9. Season cavity with salt and pepper.
10. Add about 1/3 bunch of parsley, 1/3 bunch of green onions, and 2 or 3 pieces of celery.
11. Cook turkey as desired until tender.
12. The roasting process is not complicated, but timing is important. It takes several hours, whether turkey is cooked in a covered roasting pan or barbecued on a rotisserie.
13. Use the suggested roasting time on the wrapping, but 30 minutes before the end of suggested time, test for doneness. This can be done by inserting a meat thermometer deep into the thigh (not touching the bone). When thermometer reaches 180 to 185 degrees, the turkey is done.
14. Another way to tell is to protect the thumb and forefinger with a cloth or paper towel and pinch the thickest part of the drumstick. When done, the meat will be soft to the touch and the drumstick will move easily in the socket.

(The cookbook above also has a wonderful Louisiana style cornbread dressing with onion, parsley, green pepper, butter, cooked rice, chopped and boiled eggs, (optional oysters and chicken livers for those of you brave souls who like that kind of thing), chicken broth, some seasonings and a dash of Tabasco)

Family Recipe (Husband’s Step-Mom)
Nana’s Turkey Dressing

Large Mixing Bowl
3-4 boxes/packages of cornbread
White or wheat bread, dried and crumbled or stuffing bread cubes
Poultry Seasoning
Rubbed Sage
Salt and pepper
Pet or canned milk and a little plain milk
Chicken or turkey broth (1 or 2 cans if you use chicken)
Celery and onion to taste (browned in skillet with butter)
Boiled eggs, chopped – to taste
Shredded meat from the bird if desired

All ingredients above are to taste. Nana (my husband's step-mom) doesn’t use any measuring gear other than her eyes and hands. I thought my grandma’s stuffing couldn’t be beat, but I have come to savor Nana’s recipe as much (Shhhh! If not more. Don’t tell my grandma!) Here’s her instructions:

Cook cornbread. Brown onion and celery in a skillet with butter until golden and a bit soft. Boil eggs, peel and chop. Mix crumbled cornbread and bread crumbs (toasted or stale), poultry seasoning, sage, salt and pepper together in large mixing bowl. Pour in one can of chicken broth and one can of condensed milk/pet milk and stir… keep adding a little of each until you get the mixture to desired consistency. It shouldn’t be very thin, but also not very thick. Add onion and celery with eggs to cornbread mixture. Pour mixture into cake pan (and some into turkey or chicken cavity if desired). Bake in 400 degree oven for 30 minutes uncovered. Turn heat down to 375 degrees and test to see if stuffing is done to your liking. Some like it more moist, and others like it more dry. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Note: You can blend a bit of the ingredients from the Louisiana recipe above and add a little Thyme if you wish.

Family Recipe (Brother-in-Law)
Richard’s Sautéed Green Beans (a variation of the traditional green bean casserole)

Fresh green beans
Bacon grease or meat drippings from pan
Garlic to taste
Cooking oil to taste
Seasonings to taste (salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, Tabasco, whatever you like)
Worcester, Soy, or Teriyaki sauce (optional)
Sautéed fresh onion, thinly sliced or French’s Onion topping
Toasted Almonds (optional)
Cream of Chicken, Celery or Mushroom Soup (optional)

All ingredients above are to taste. If you use fresh green beans (preferred), you can steam them some before you begin cooking them with the other ingredients. If you use the nuts and fresh onions, toast/sauté them on the pan before you add the rest of the ingredients. Add all ingredients together on a pan with oil and meat drippings/bacon grease (to taste), and pan-fry until beans are desired consistency. Taste as you go, and add whatever you like.


Well, there you have it... all in one post. A couple of those recipes are elsewhere on the blog, but I thought it would be nice to put them in one place so you can print it easily if you want. Be sure to stop in and tell me if you made them this year for Thanksgiving or Christmas and let me know what you thought. ENJOY!

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Anonymous said...

I have been looking for some new ideas for this years thanksgiving. Thanks for those recipes.

Sprittibee said...

You are welcome, James. Let me know if you try them!