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Monday, November 15, 2010

The Holidays are in full up...Thanksgiving!

We've had a long, hot summer, and a short, warm fall...

And now we're in for a snappy cold November!  Already had a couple of light snows between the sleet storms, cold rain storms, thunderstorm, and wind storms.  I have the feeling that this will be a white Christmas.    

I have fully harvested my garden...took all the remaining green tomatoes and packed them into paper towels in a box to allow them to slowly ripen at room temperature.  I stripped all the baby green peppers and Jalapenos, the half-grown strawberries that were struggling along under the wildly thick strawberry plants, and the apples that have been knocked out of the top of my dwarf Golden Delicious tree, and I left all the sad looking ones in the garden heap for the birds to snack on when the pickings get slim.

I have a quart ZipLock bag stuffed with tiny bitsy little hot peppers, inch-long or so.  I also have a bag stuffed with green bell peppers about an inch long.  I freeze these and add them to soups, stews, salsa, etc through the winter.

Waste not, want not.  My son grinned at the bag of tiny peppers I handed him, but he did make a salsa last night and called me to tell me I was trying to kill him.  Said they were the hottest he'd ever tasted. Sigh.  When will kids learn that mom always knows what she is doing?

This Thanksgiving I am going to do the family traditional 21-pound turkey with my special dressing...cornbread and crouton breads mixed up with about two sticks of butter and chicken bullion, sauteed onion and celery bits, fresh rubbed sage from my still flourishing herb garden, tiny mushroom caps, slivered almonds, and a few pinches of coarse ground black pepper.  Prepared in a baking bag, outside the turkey.  

I put my large turkey into another sealed baking bag, on it's tummy, with about three tablespoons of fresh dairy butter inside the washed cavity.  I put the large roaster into the oven and forget it until the stove alarm goes off...20 minutes per pound...and out pops a tender, juicy, piping hot turkey just as I finish the walnut laced, heavy cream and raw brown sugar yams that are drizzled with melted butter.  (The sauce on these yams is to die for. They fight over them instead of go "Yams? Ugh!")

And the homemade cranberry sauce. Only a few like cranberry sauce, so I don't make much.

Five to ten pounds of white potatoes (depending on the number of people who are coming, and how much I want to give away leftovers).  Whipped with half a pound of creamery butter and a cup of heavy cream.  White pepper and a dab of sea salt to taste.  Complemented by the giblet gravy...some with giblets and some without...and a fresh frog eye salad made with acine de pepe, lemon sauce, pineapple, oranges, huge maraschino cherries, and a pint of freshly whipped heavy cream... YUM!

Needless to say, it takes about three days to recover from the fat/sugar/turkey coma that everyone has after they eat.  Oddly enough, I seldom have leftovers to eat here because the minute dinner is over, the daughters-in-law begin loading the leftovers into portions for each family unit to take home.  And since I don't have a dishwasher, I use the highest-quality paper dinnerware and napkins. LOL!  I do use my good silver, though.

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?  Any favorite dishes?  What is YOUR traditional Thanksgiving dinner composed of?
Hugs, and many happy days ahead!

Fran Lee


Paris said...

Other holiday menus may vary but I think I'd have a revolt on my hands if I didn't make turkey and dressing for Thanksgiving! I make my mom's cornbread stuffing and of course there has to be one pumpkin and one pecan pie. Veggies and snacks may vary but those are the absolutes!

My favorite is a recipe that I found years ago for baked mashed potatoes. Butter and sour cream, cheddar and parmesan are added to the potatoes that are boiled with onion and garlic. I can make it a day ahead and bake the next day. My kind of recipe.

Have you noticed that everything yummy has butter in it:-)

Tina Donahue said...

You sound like one great cook, Fran - can I come over to your house for Thanksgiving dinner? Please??? :)

Molly Daniels said...

Hmmm...never thought of using cream instead of milk in the mashed potatoes! I'll have to try it:)

YAY! I'm not the only one who uses the Holiday Chinettes? My current house doesn't have a dishwasher either (oh kids are!), and this year since money's tight, we're having a pitch-in. We're providing the turkey, and the various adopted family members are bringing the rest. I think I'll also be able to provide a few desserts and appetizers, so there should be plenty to eat.

Katalina Leon said...

Some years our family is so big we roam between houses on the holidays. Fortunately a few of us live very close. We have to share the cooking duties, it's too much for one person to manage or afford. I sneak lots of creamy butter into everything I make. It's my secret weapon against several of my siblings who are excellent cooks.

jean hart stewart said...

All that lovely butter! Seems more unanimous than the turkey, and no wonder your menu makes me drool. I quit with the turkey last year and switched to boneless pork loins smothered with apricot jam. Easy and everybody loved it. Butter will be ladled into everything else.....Jean

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