By Carol Burnside
Ever wish you could cook an old-fashioned Thanksgiving Day dinner, but don’t know how? Well, here’s the scoop!
Never cooked a turkey? No problem. Log onto http://www.butterball.com/ and check out their ‘tips and how-tos’ section. They’ve got everything there you could possibly want to know about turkeys and cooking turkeys including temperatures and times for different weights. NOTE: If you’re running to the store today, buy a FRESH turkey, not frozen to prepare for tomorrow.
Now that the turkey is covered, you’ll need some gravy to go with it. At our house, the bird was always accompanied by mashed potatoes with giblet gravy. My granny believed strongly in the ‘waste not, want not’ philosophy, and with four kids to feed, my mother followed her example. This recipe reflects that philosophy.
3-4 cans chicken broth
Packet of giblets from turkey (heart, gizzard, neck and liver)
2 eggs, boiled, peeled and chopped into 1/4” pieces
½ cup chopped onion
1 can Campbell’s Healthy Request Cream of Chicken Soup
Salt and pepper to taste
Put eggs on to boil in small saucepan. Next, empty chicken broth into a large (3-4 qt) pot, and bring to boil. Remove giblets from packet and add to boiling broth along with onions. Simmer about 5-10 min. until done. Remove from heat. Keep broth in pot, but remove giblets to a small bowl to cool.
Chop giblets organs when cool. Remove skin from neck and discard. With small knife, cut the meat from the neck bones and add to chopped organs. Return to broth and bring back to boil. Add eggs. Stir in soup with a whisk. Add poultry seasoning, sage, salt and pepper to taste. (Easy on the sage! A tiny amount goes a long way. )
If gravy is too thin, thicken with a Tbsp. or so of cornstarch dissolved in a ¼ cup of milk, repeat until it reaches desired consistency, giving it about 2 minutes between batches to thicken.
Mashed potatoes are easy. Fill a med to lg pot about ½ full of water. Put on stove to boil. Peel and cube potatoes (1 lb for every 2-3 people). Add to boiling water. When potatoes are fork tender, drain water off. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, add butter or margarine and milk or cream. I like my potatoes creamy and light, so I use an electric mixer. Start on low and increase speed as the potatoes begin to puree. End by whipping for a couple minutes or until all lumps are gone. Add salt and pepper. Stir and serve. If you don’t want to make from scratch, there are really tasty prepared mashed potatoes and believe it or not, instant. Both are fast and easy.
Cranberry Sauce can be bought pre-prepared. Just chill and slice. Heat and butter purchased rolls, prepare a green vegetable and a dessert, and you’ve got a fabulous first-time Thanksgiving Dinner!
Still feeling confident? Okay, then let’s go whole-hog and do a Sweet Potato Delight. Ingredients:
3 cups sweet potatoes, cooled, peeled and mashed, 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1 Tbsp. vanilla, 2/3 cup butter or margarine, 1/2 cup milk
And for the topping (delight):
1/3 cup flour, 1/3 cup butter or margarine, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup chopped pecans
Mix sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, vanilla, milk & 2/3 C butter. Pour in greased casserole dish.
Mix topping ingredients in small bowl. Pour or dot over sweet potato mixture. Do not mix in.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 min. Top will be crunchy.
Note: My family requests I add marshmallows to the top and brown for 5 min., but be warned, this makes it extra sweet! Enjoy.
What? You want a dessert recipe too? Okay, okay, but I must say, you must be awfully hungry. Let’s go with something that’s easy – a pie. Trust me, it’s mix and bake.
I’m from the South and there’s nothing more fitting at the Thanksgiving table than a…
Southern (Molasses) Pecan Pie.
3 eggs, slightly beaten
¾ c. Dark Karo syrup or molasses
¾ c. light corn syrup
2 Tbsp. butter or marg. Melted
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3 Tbsp. flour
1 cup pecans
1 unbaked deep-dish pastry shell
Combine eggs, molasses, corn syrup, melted butter salt and vanilla in mixing bowl. Make a paste of a ¼ cup mixture and flour; stir into remaining mixture. Add pecans. Pour into unbaked pastry shell and back at 325 degrees F. for 1 hour or until firm in middle. Cover edges of pie crust with thin strips of foil until the last 15 minutes so it won’t burn. Let cool some before serving.
Veggie tip from Susan May: An easy dish that’s very popular is the Green Bean Casserole. The recipe can be found on the back of any Durkee French Fried Onions can. If that doesn’t suit you, here’s another:
MAXINE’S GREEN BEAN RECIPE Buy the canned green beans (Kentucky Wonder or Pole beans).
DRAIN the water.
Pour beans in pan, add water to cover
Pour in some oil
Add a vegetable bouillon cube (I use 1/2 of a Knorr lg. cube)
Salt and either Herb de Provence, or, my favorite, Cracker Boy Seasoning (buy online) and sprinkle that on top.
Bring to boil
Turn down temp, cover and cook "a little while."
There you have it, a Thanksgiving feast to please any family.
We at Petit Fours & Hot Tamales wish you and yours a pleasant Thanksgiving Day with your loved ones. Bon appétit!