Those Wonderful Thanksgiving Recipes
I have received several requests, both via email from this blog and in person from friends, for one or more of the recipes I used for Thanksgiving dinner. Since I got them all online, they are easy to share.
My goal is to have a variety not only of flavors but also of textures and colors. That would seem to preclude doing both mashed potatoes and the Amish turnips, which are also mashed and a similar bland color as the potatoes, but I added the turnips because my mother and I really like them and only have them once a year. I did dinner for seven people and had plenty of leftovers.
- Cornbread stuffing with fresh and dried fruit and Buttery cornbread (used in the stuffing recipe)
This recipe stuffed a 15 pound turkey, both neck and body cavities, with some left over to bake in a small dish.
- Roasted butternut squash with balsamic vinegar
Despite what the recipe says, I remove the skin.
- Maple-glazed carrots
I cut this recipe in half and still had plenty. WARNING: use ONLY pure maple syrup, NOT regular pancake syrup!!! If you can’t get pure maple syrup, pick another recipe.
- Green beans with crushed almonds
I tripled this recipe and substituted slivered almonds.
- Amish turnips
I use only about 3/4 of the milk the recipe says.
- Mashed potatoes
No recipe for this one — I use one large potato per person, boil until tender and drain, then beat with butter and milk.
- The Den Mother’s Mother’s giblet gravy
No recipe for this, either. Cook the giblet, neck, heart, and liver in water and simmer while the turkey roasts. Combine the turkey drippings, cooking water from the giblets, and some water from the boiled potatoes. Stir over medium heat, add flour a little at a time to thicken the gravy, then add salt and pepper to taste. DMM also adds the finely chopped heart and liver but discards the neck and giblet, which are bony and tough, respectively.
Most of the vegetables can actually be cooked the day before and then microwaved to reheat. The exception is the mashed potatoes, which are never quite the same reheated. The cornbread has to dry out at least overnight before combining it with the rest of the stuffing ingredients, then the prepared (but not baked) stuffing can be refrigerated. But to avoid the growth of bacteria, don’t stuff the turkey until right before you put it into the oven. If you just bake the stuffing but don’t use it in the turkey, you can bake it in advance and then reheat it.
Obviously, the only thing missing is the turkey. I bought a fresh one, but if you buy frozen, make sure it’s thawed before you go to bed the night before, then stick it in the refrigerator. Even if you don’t plan to stuff the bird or use the giblets, remember to take them out of the cavities. I’ve heard stories of people who have roasted turkeys not realizing that there were internal organs wrapped up inside. Eeewwwwww.