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Thanksgiving Dinner

 
 
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2010 01:46 pm
I love to cook. I also feel life is just too short to eat the same old things over and over. For example, the beef stew we ate yesterday began with sauteed carrots, onions and celery, and included beef stock, beef, some fresh chopped spinach, sweet potatoes and peas. The previous batch was made without celery and carrots but started with onions, included lots of spinach, canned tomatoes and beef.

While I nod to tradition, by which I do not mean the 'tradition' of the 1950s*, by using the American basics, I try to do a different dinner every year.

This year's dinner will include two of us. It begins with gorgonzola and caramelized onion tarts; features turkey with ginger, onions and fresh rosemary; green beans amandine (the one constant because it is my kids' fav); cranberry-apple chutney, and finishes with a pumpkin pie made from a fresh New Jersey cheese pumpkin flavored with caramel in a butter crust flavored with cinnamon.

WHAT WILL YOUR DINNER BE LIKE?


*Growing up, THanksgiving dinner at my Granma's house always included roast turkey and stuffing; candied sweet potatoes (our family did not do marshmallows); mashed white potatoes; canned jellied cranberry sauce; green bean-Campells cream of mushroom-canned fried onion casserole; an orange jello mold with walnuts and canned tangerine slices.

It was the same, year-in-year-out. I hated some of those dishes, like the canned cranberries and the heavily sugared sweet potatoes. However, what really put on end to the "1950s tradition" did not involve dinner, but, a Christmas concert. I took the kids to a performance of Nowell Sing We Clear, John Roberts' and Tony Barrand's annual celebration of English carols. We ex chose not to go. He was even angry that I took the kids and made a point of talking about seeing The Nutcracker, because it was traditional. I love the Nutcracker, which dates to the 19th C., but the Balanchine choreography has only been with us since the '50s.
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Mitzy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2010 02:44 pm
@plainoldme,
Quote:
The previous batch was made without celery and carrots ...


That deeply saddens me. Confused

My Thanksgiving dinner will take place in an Upper East Side diner with a few friends. Most likely will be the typical turkey feast with all the fixins. However, I will fight anyone who will deny me my carrots!
Mitzy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2010 03:48 pm
@Mitzy,
I'm off to dinner now. Wish me good luck that I don't drown in any rain storm or some kind of fluke weather that one can not truly be thankful for.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2010 03:49 pm
We're invited and I hope our Thanksgiving dinner will be edible.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2010 04:39 pm
We had our roasted turkey dinner about 10 days ago and ate on the leftovers for the following 7 days. I still have some turkey stock that is now in the freezer because we're absolutely sick of turkey at the moment. I bought a frozen turkey two weeks ago, thinking there'd be plenty of room in the freezer for it. There was not, so in the refrigerator it went and we had to have the early turkey dinner before it spoiled.

For today I am making our favorite holiday dinner. I'm marinating a flank steak with soy sauce, a head of sliced garlic and a finger of ginger. Will broil it in another hour or two. I also made a couple of BBB's crustless cranberry pies, a braid of fruited egg bread, mashed potatoes and a medley of vegetables. All the prep work is done and ready for the oven when we're ready to think about eating dinner.
dyslexia
 
  2  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2010 04:55 pm
I spent 4 1/2 minutes slaving over a micro-wave heating a frozen entree that was some kind of meat, mashed potatoes and green beans. Lady Diane ate a piece of chicken she got at the market deli yesterday. we will probably nuke some popcorn for dessert later.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2010 04:59 pm
Turkey (Whole Foods organic yadda yadda) roasted in a clay pot -- really worked this time! (Has only worked once before, several failures in between.) Took only 2 hours (10-lb bird) and was cooked through but moist and about as yummy as turkey gets (I'm not a huge fan of turkey qua turkey).

Dressing (harvest stuffing, bread + butter + celery + onions + sage, in turkey and then a bunch separately too).

Fiery sweet potatoes (mashed sweet potatoes + coconut milk + thai curry paste + brown sugar + butter -- fabulous).

Cranberry sauce (minimalist, cranberries + sugar + water, boiled for a bit).

Cranberry nut bread (orange zest = yum).

Green beans (just threw together bacon + onions + green beans, not recipe-based)

Carmelized corn (corn + butter, pan-fried 'til carmelized then fresh mint folded in and some salt on top -- really good).

I think that's it.

Planned to make a pie but didn't get around to it. Have Jeni's pumpkin spice ice cream (so good).

The turkey surprised me by being finished in actually 2 hours (that's what the clay pot cookbook said but I didn't believe 'em) so I had to scramble a bit to get everything else ready in time, I'm happiest that that part worked and everything was on the table fresh and hot. (The turkey rested a bit longer than planned but was still warm.)

Ate at 1, about time for dinner (leftovers) now...
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2010 05:00 pm
Every year:

smoked on the Weber turkey
cornbread stuffing
mashed potato
rolls
gravy
fresh cranberry sauce
candied yams
scalloped oysters
hot veg dish-varies
pumpkin pie with whip cream...almost always with fresh pumpkins obtain in prep for Halloween

when we have a big group:

second hat veg or salad
second kind of pie
jello mold
fruit salad

Never changes, we do it even when we live overseas.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2010 06:28 pm
Well, one year I made cornish game hens stuffed with a rice, minced onion, raisins soaked in brandy, and pine nut dressing with a jalapeno-leftover brandy glaze; served with pistachio nut, shrimp and avocado salad, gingered carrots, and spicy brussel sprouts (we love them Smile, plus another salad - Persian cucumber (cukes, minced onion, mint, and chopped pecans). No dessert. No thanks.

I can only do turkey once a year.
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2010 06:33 pm
@Butrflynet,
Butrflynet wrote: "For today I am making our favorite holiday dinner. I'm marinating a flank steak with soy sauce, a head of sliced garlic and a finger of ginger. Will broil it in another hour or two. I also made a couple of BBB's crustless cranberry pies, a braid of fruited egg bread, mashed potatoes and a medley of vegetables. All the prep work is done and ready for the oven when we're ready to think about eating dinner."

This dinner was my children's favorite dinner. I'm surprised and so happy Butrflynet is making it. She is so thoughtful. Too bad my son is not in Albuquerque to enjoy it.

BBB

Ceylon Ruby Mine Pie (Crustless Cranberry Pie)
By BumbleBeeBoogie

One of my favorite desserts which I created for my family for the holidays. But using frozen cranberries will allow you to make it all through the year.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
Butter the insides of two 10-inch pie pans.

FILLING:
3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
3/4 cup of white granulated sugar
1-2 to 1 cup of chopped walnuts

Optional: You may lightly toast the walnuts if desired.

In a large bowl, combine the cranberries, sugar and walnuts. Spoon the mixture into the two pie pans.

TOPPING:
2 large whole eggs
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 cup melted butter
3/4 cups white all-purpose flour

In an electric mixer, beat the eggs until they are lemon colored. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is creamy.

Gradually add the flour to the mixture, alternating with the melted butter, and beat until the mixture is smooth.

Spread the topping over the cranberry mixture in the two pie pans.

Place the two pie pans on a cookie sheet or spread foil under the pan to catch any drippings.

Bake for 45 minutes until the topping is golden brown.

The pie may be served at room temperature or cold.
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2010 10:19 pm
@Mitzy,
I love NY. I hoped to get in to the Met to see the tree and a few galleries this Christmas. It isn't December yet, so we shall see how the month unfolds.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2010 10:20 pm
@Butrflynet,
Sounds yummy. My older son decided to have ham, "just for something different."
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2010 10:21 pm
@sozobe,
Those sweet potatoes sound wonderful. My younger son would like them. He talked me into making peanut sauce last week and ended up eating most of it with a spoon. He complained that it made him thirsty but kept eating it anyway.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2010 10:23 pm
@Mame,
Some friends from Ireland always say they don't understand Americans because we eat turkey both for Christmas and Thanksgiving.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2010 10:25 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Your crustless pie sounds like another dish my kids would love.

For some reason, last week, my daughter, a cousin and I all made apple-cranberry pies.
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2010 10:27 pm
@plainoldme,
Quote:
For some reason
I'm curious, did you determine the reason?
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Nov, 2010 06:06 am
@dyslexia,
We had a busy coupla days so we had as much of the Thanksgiving meal bought pre-prepared(except for the turkey and pumpkin pie and mince pie)
This year we bought lots of preprepared foods and , as such, I understand that you always take a chance hoping that the taste of the preparers would be somewhat in accord with our own. Well, it wprked out petty good (with the exception of the stuffing, cranberry cocktail, dried corn pudding, and the pickled chow chow).
I will only describe the cranberry cocktail since this is almost as traditional as the turkey and, while as a kid, I always loved that big Jelly roll that came out of a can and was served like a big tin can sculpture . Well our tastes have moved on and we like these cranberry onion and cranberry citrus mixtures that are best how made. I would never have figured that a "cranberry /strawberry JELLO cocktail would be any good had I known what it was, AND , as it turned out, I was correct. WE bought this cocktail from an AMISH farmers market on Tuesday. It looked like it was the cranberry orange stuff (we could even see what appeared to be the orange and lemon rinds which give a nice tang to the whole thing. WELL, anybody who eats AMISH made foods should know that the "Holy trinity" of Amish food is Sugar, Corn syrup, and JELLO. They seem to want to make every dessert extra sweet and gooey.
Everybody tsted the cranberry thing and , to a person , it was agreed that this recipe was something that wed not want to be kept for any more generations. Everyone, after the initial revolting taste of cranberries and Jello , with carrot strips (I saved that information till now because that was the **** we thought was ornge rind), and a bit of cinnamon and even more KAro SYrup.
We laughed and laughed at how we could craft a menu with many of these relly garbage dishes and serve em up to some unsuspecting person from away. I mean we conjured up the old dishes like\
tuna noodle casserole

string bean casserole (the one with the swampy melange of string beans,Campbells Cream of Mushroom soup and whatever that crunchy **** youd put on top was (I think they were ANDY CAPP ONION FRIES)

Fondue

fish fingers
corn dogs
sweet pepper cabbage

and for dessert wed serve JELLO cubes served in Kraft brand Miracle Whip
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Nov, 2010 06:42 am
My mother, who was a very good cook (she doesn't cook so much anymore as it is only her now and she doesn't eat very much) always loved (to my father's great chagrin) tweaking her traditional recipes (that he loved) and adding spices or ingredients to make them 'special'.
I remember one time she made these pork chops in some sort of wine sauce and my dad was like, 'Nita - why in heaven's name can't we just have normal PORK CHOPS?!'

So one Thanksgiving, she asked me to put together this sweet potato recipe she'd found in the newspaper and I'm reading it and I'm reading, 'sweet potatos, pecans, coconut...' and while it sounded good to me I said, 'Mom - Dad won't like this. You know how he loves plain old baked sweet potatoes...don't do it.'
And she says, 'Your father loves coconut.'
And I said, 'Yeah - but not in sweet potatoes.'
So she says, 'Okay, bake two of them and leave them plain and then use the rest in that recipe.'
So I did - and it was AWESOME! Although my dad stuck to his own plain baked sweet potatoes.

Last night we had leftover five bean chili for Thanksgiving...just another work and school day.
But my daughter cracked me up. I got out to the car and to my cell phone at 5:00 pm and she had called twice from home at 4:30 and 4:45 so I called her back and she said 'Do you want me to cook the turkey?'
I'm like, 'What?'
She said, 'There's a turkey in the freezer - do you want me to cook it for dinner tonight?'
I said, 'Um - Olivia - it'll take about eight hours to thaw and then about six hours to cook - so if you start now, we'll be looking at Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow at about 7 am.'
And I'm thinking, 'Jeez - I need to do some intensive cooking catch-up work with this child.' She thought she could start cooking a frozen turkey at 5:00 and have it be ready for dinner at 7.

But I got a great recipe for smoked haddock and root mash with cheese sauce that I'm gonna make for Christmas to be served with a few petit pois (for color), as I was advised yesterday. My friend gave it to me.

I don't know when we'll have that turkey....I don't really like turkey and I hate the clean up from it. I just bought it because it was Thanksgiving. Maybe I'll give it to a shelter to cook for their Christmas dinner.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Nov, 2010 10:15 pm
@dyslexia,
No, I didn't but somehow the three of us, in our separate houses spread over two states all decided to make cranberry-apple pies.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Nov, 2010 10:20 pm
I like turkey and so do the cats. They like shrimp best, followed by turkey. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, the cats pace back and forth in front of the stove. The smell of turkey drives them crazy.

I made rice tonight and sliced some turkey which we ate with the leftover green beans and chutney. Both the beans and the chutney improved overnight.
 

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