You probably already have tomorrow’s menu planned, or at least your contribution. But if you don’t, here’s a favorite Thanksgiving recipe from each of us.
Jessie: I have a recipe that is more useful after the big day. This recipe is more of a guideline because I am not a big fan of rules in the kitchen. You know how quickly love turns to hate when a couple of days have gone by and there is still so much turkey in your fridge? So when turkey or any cooked meats get to nagging at me I turn them into a sandwich and cracker spread or for the more virtuous, a celery stuffer. Here’s how to do it:
Soften a stick of butter. Round up dribs and drabs of interesting condiments and sauces from your fridge. You know, those bottles with too much to throw away but that everyone in your house is inexplicably avoiding. Mustards, jams and impulsive chutney purchases are all good here. I often dig out that leftover bit of cranberry sauce.
Now toss however much turkey you are itching to use up into a food processor. Only add the meat, no skin or bones! Pulse the turkey until it gets all crumbly and looks a bit like turkey sawdust. Add a bit of butter and pulse some more. Add some of the condiments and pulse some more. Check the taste. You may want to add some salt or pepper. Keep adding condiments and softened butter until the flavor pleases you and the consistency is spreadable. Enjoy!
Julie: Oh Jessie, this sounds SO good!! I have one tip, one recipe to share. First, the tip. Overspice your apple pie. I use 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of nutmeg.
Second, the recipe. Sweet Potatoes by Julie. The day before, put your sweet potatoes on a cookie sheet, and roast them until soft. (Probably an hour.) Don’t prick them, just put them on the sheet. Let them cool. Them peel them, cut them into big chunks, and put them in a 13x9x2 pan. Meanwhile, melt a stick of butter, Stir in brown sugar–1-1.5 cups. Bring to a soft boil, and let it bubble for a few minutes. Pour some bourbon (2T-1/2 cup, your choice). Drizzle this over the sweet potatoes. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour until it bubbles. Note, you can sprinkle the potato concoction with lightly toasted nuts (pecan or walnuts) before you bake them. Or, if you want to walk on the wild side, soften butter and mix with brown sugar and nuts. Drop by dollops on the potato mixture and bake.
Barb: Here is my grandmother’s family recipe (undoubtedly at least her mother’s and probably further back) for Yellow Turnips, which some people call rutabagas. Before you wrinkle your nose, I’ve had plenty of people who tell me they “don’t like turnips” tell me they love this dish.
Ingredients: One large (2-3) lb yellow turnip, peeled and cut in chunks, one large potato, peeled and cut in chunks, 2 large onions, cut up, 1 tsp salt, 4 Tbsps butter. 1 Tbsp flour, sugar, salt, pepper.
Instructions: Boil turnip, potato, onion and salt for 40 minutes or until soft. Save one cup turnip water, drain put and mash. In a small fry pan, melt butter and then mix in flour stirring rapidly with a wooden spoon. Slowly add turnip water to make a roux. Add the roux to the mashed turnips to thicken. Add sugar, salt and pepper to your taste.
Liz: If you know me, you know I’m all about the dessert. I don’t eat turkey anyway, so dessert is usually what I look forward to on Thanksgiving! Here’s one for the health conscious. Stay with me, now – don’t laugh. It’s good. I swear.
Gluten, Wheat and Diary Free, Vegetarian Pumpkin Pie
(It’s free of a lot of other things too: soy, corn and casein)
Wholly Wholesome Pie Crust (available at whollywholesome.com or your local co-op)
One 15 oz can organic Farmer’s Market pumpkin pie mix
3/4 cup vanilla almond milk
2 organic cage free eggs, slightly beaten
Empty pumpkin into mixing bowl, stir in almond milk and eggs, pour into pie shell, bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Then reduce temp to 350, bake for 35-40 minutes. Let cool. Garnish with Whipped Rice Topping by Soyatoo (vegan and dairy free). Serves 6-8 people. Enjoy!
Sherry: This is a new addition to our table but I love butternut squash. I buy squash that is already cut and dump it in a big mixing bowl. Add a little olive oil to coat and then a bit of adobe chili powder. I just eyeball it but start with 1/4 teaspoon if you don’t like things too spicy. You can always add more to taste after it’s cooked. Bake in single layer in a 425 degree oven until lightly browned — 25-30 minutes. You can do it the day before and reheat on Thanksgiving Day. Happy Thanksgiving!
Edith: How can I match those fabulous contributions? My pumpkin pie recipe from my great grandmother via my mother was: Follow the recipe on the Libby’s pumpkin can, but use half the milk and twice the spices. It makes a darker, richer, way more delicious pie. My crust recipe for the last few years is Julia Child’s food processor crust – no fail, all butter, perfect every time.
This year I’m going to brine our local turkey and stuff it with a couple of whole peeled oranges and a couple of home grown garlic bulbs, slightly smashed first (and with the dirt dusted off). I’ll bake a couple more bulbs in foil and add them to the smashed Blue Adirondack potatoes. And the roasted side dish will be beets, cut in inch-cubes, cleaned Brussels sprouts, and small whole sweet onions tossed in olive oil and then roasted a long time with a sprinkle of salt, curry powder, and cumin. Nearly every ingredient of our dinner will be from a local farm or my own garden.
Happy eating, friends! What will you be making or eating tomorrow (or already have made today)?
We buy local too. A fresh turkey is like nothing else. One year our granddaughter brined it – it was not as juicy.
Interesting about the brining, Gram. When I do it it comes out really nice. Have a lovely holiday!
Sherry, one of my memories of Seascape was the butternut squash soup we had the last day for lunch! I have been looking for a good recipe ever since then.
My Thanksgiving was yesterday (people have to work on Thursday) but I’m not allowed to change the traditional menu. Ever. Once I begged to go from the mushy broccoli casserole (his grandmother’s recipe) to a crunchy broccoli salad, but that is all. No More Changes. Good thing I like the traditional menu!
I love the traditional menu, too, Ramona, although it does morph over time. Half the group tomorrow doesn’t eat turkey, so we’re also going to grill some shrimp and I’m making a goat cheese-leek-mushroom tart for them. But I do my mother’s same bread stuffing, green beans with slivered almonds, and pumpkin and apple pies!
Speaking of which, I’d better get down there and get started on those pies.
It seems like most butternut squash recipes are with something sweet. I never thought about tossing it in the blender and turning it into soup. Yum! My daughter isn’t a big fan of turkey so we are doing a roast.
Edie, what do you put in your brine? Why do I always feel like a witch when I am cooking a Thanksgiving meal? (BTW, ours is going to be Saturday, so I can still brine my turkey.) Enjoy the holidays, everyone, and thank you for the great recipes.
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