(**I do not know why Blogger has decided to insert lines in some places and not others. I've tried reformatting in Word and Notepad but nothing corrects it. Just ignore the annoying blank lines.)
The Thanksgiving cooking marathon has begun in earnest. We drew up (and drew on) our to-do list for today:
- Make a pumpkin pie.
- Make strawberry jello.
- Make cranberry sauce.
Well, check off numbers 1 and 2.
But we ran out of sugar completely so I'm not sure we'll get to the cranberry sauce until Mama can make yet another last-minute run to the store.
And then, tonight, in another family tradition, Mama and I will pull together several of the other make-ahead dishes: dressing, her horseradish cranberry sauce, maybe the sweet potatoes. It varies depending on time, energy, and refrigerator space. We're low on all three this year. This means, tomorrow, we will mix up the green bean casserole, make gravy (yes, I can do that without turkey drippings!), poach the pears and make the chocolate sauce, and bake the brie appetizer.
So, with the parade first thing in the morning and relatives coming soon after, the day's timeline looks like this:
Thanksgiving Timeline (times are approximate; and, yes, I like Thanksgiving for lunch)
Dressing and Gravy
#Yams with Marshmallows
#Green Bean Casserole
*Strawberry Jello Salad
*Cranberry Sauce (x2)
-3.0 hrs before dinner (10:00 a.m.) Prepare stock for gravy with sauteed carrots and onions; serve late-breakfast sandwiches
-2.5 (10:30 a.m.) Assemble Brie, baked, and serve with crackers; mull cider and serve;
-1.5 (11:30 a.m.) Begin to wash, peel, and cut potatoes
-1.0 (12 noon) Start gravy; mix dressing; begin to assemble yams and mashed potatoes (separately!)
- .75 (12:15 p.m.) Dressing goes in the oven; begin to assemble Green Bean Casserole
- .5 (12:30 p.m.) Yams and Green Bean Casserole into oven (don't forget marshmallows!)
- .25 (12:45 p.m.) Dinner Rolls in oven; assemble poached pears and cook when dinner starts
0.0 (1:00 p.m.) DINNER
+1 (2:00 p.m.) Poached Pears, Pumpkin Pie; whip cream
+2 (3:00 p.m.) Somebody else does the dishes!
Miss K's Baked Brie
Roll out a boxed pie crust ( I use the Pillsbury pie crust found in the cold section near the orange juice - 2 in a box) with a little flour into a large circle. Spray the baking dish with Pam (or whatever) and put the pie crust in the dish. Place the large brie in the middle (I use the President brand), top with a layer of preserves (for the party I used apricot but I've used others like orange, etc.) then top with sliced almonds (if you use cranberry then walnuts are good). Fold up the pie crust around the brie, pinch closed and tear off extra crust. Put a light egg wash all over and then if desired, put another thin layer of preserves and nuts on top. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until the pie crust is golden brown. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Be patient and really let that roux brown!
Heat 3 tablespoons grease. Add 3 tablespoons of flour. Brown til copper-colored. Stir in 3 cups drippings. Add chicken bouillon and salt and pepper to taste.
It took awhile to get the moisture right, but now I know to double (at least) the stock with the dried bag stuffing.
½ cup margarine
½ cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 bag of stuffing
2 cups dry bread (or 2 more cups of Pepperidge Farms)
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
½ teaspoon sage
1 cup chicken stock (double this amount!)
Saute onion and celery in margarine. In mixing bowl, crumble breads and add spices and onion/celery mix. Add chicken stock. Refrigerate over night. Bake at 350°F for 45 min.-1 hour.
No holiday is complete without these. The browning of the marshmallows was always my job. I only found out when I went to make my own Thanksgiving meal in 1997 that Mom always doubled the recipe so I would have enough for leftovers! This is the pre-doubled version.
29 oz. can yams, drained
4 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Bake at 375°F. Add marshmallows to brown.
A la Martha Stewart in 2000. I’m not sure we ever wrote the recipe down but substituted orange juice for water on the Ocean Spray package, with a little less sugar. It’s almost replaced the canned as my favorite.
12 oz. cranberries (one bag)
1 cup orange juice
¾ cup sugar
Bring orange juice and sugar to a boil in a high-sided saucepan. Add cranberries and return to a boil, stirring regularly. Boil gently for 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate. Make a few days ahead for best flavor.
Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish
Apparently, this recipe is a legend. Two years ago, for Thanksgiving 2001, I believe, my mom made it, having heard it on the radio and liking the horseradish idea. She told me about it and I thought Mama would be intrigued. So I looked it up on the internet—well, there are several sites about it—how awful it is, how it ruined a cook’s reputation and/or family relationship, how pink it is. Only a few letters and sites say it’s any good. Mama liked it but I don’t think anyone else did. This copy of the recipe is straight from http://www.npr.org/. Apparently, Susan Stamberg reads it every year and has only since learned that it was originally a New York Times recipe by Craig Claiborne in 1959.
2 cups whole raw cranberries, washed
1 small onion
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons horseradish from a jar ("red is a bit milder than white")
Grind the raw berries and onion together. ("I use an old-fashioned meat grinder," says Stamberg. "I'm sure there's a setting on the food processor that will give you a chunky grind -- not a puree.")
Add everything else and mix.
Put in a plastic container and freeze.
Early Thanksgiving morning, move it from freezer to refrigerator compartment to thaw. ("It should still have some little icy slivers left.")
The relish will be thick, creamy, and shocking pink. ("OK, Pepto Bismol pink. It has a tangy taste that cuts through and perks up the turkey and gravy. It’s also good on next-day turkey sandwiches, and with roast beef.")
Makes 1-1/2 pints.
Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish
1 12-ounce package Ocean Spray(r) Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, rinsed and drained
1 unpeeled orange, cut into eighths and seeded
3/4-1 cup sugar
Place half the cranberries and half the orange slices in food processor container or food grinder. Process until mixture is evenly chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with remaining cranberries and orange slices. Stir in sugar. Store in refrigerator or freezer. Makes about 3 cups.
Green Bean Casserole
The old standby. Everybody has this for the holidays. Though, it is hard to remember where they keep those onions in the stores. Mama had a devil of a time finding them the first year we made Thanksgiving. She’d never had it before and now loves it.
2-16 oz. cans whole green beans, drained (can also use frozen)
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1-2.8 oz. can of French-Fried Onions
Combine soup, milk, soy sauce and pepper. Stir in green beans and ½ can of onions. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes or until hot; stir. Top with remaining onions. Bake 5 minutes.
Jello Salad--Aunt J’s Strawberry-Cream Squares
The jello recipe my mom remembered and sent along. She recommended substituting mayo for sour cream but I opted to wait. She never has found the recipe pages from her BH&G cookbook that she wanted to copy for me. My edition only had 2 recipes; hers had 3 pages! Such are the times (11/07).
Two 3-ounce packages strawberry jello
2 C water
Two 10-ounce packages frozen strawberries
13 ½ ounce can crushed pienapple
2 large ripe bananas, diced
1 C sour cream
Dissolve jello in boiling water. Add frozen strawberries; stir until thawed. Add pineapple and bananas.Pour half into 8x8 dish. Chill firm (about 20-30 minutes). Spread sour cream on layer; pour remaining jello on top. Chill firm. Cut into squares. Top with sour cream dollops.
Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) Libby canned pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
Whipped cream (optional)
MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.POUR into pie shell.BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.NOTES:1 3/4 teaspoons pumpkin spice may be substituted for the cinnamon, ginger and cloves; however, the taste will be slightly different. Do not freeze, as this will cause the crust to separate from the filling.FOR 2 SHALLOW PIES: substitute two 9-inch (2-cup volume) pie shells. Bake in preheated 425° F. oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F.; bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until pies test done.FOR HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING (3,500 to 6,000 ft.): Deep-dish pie- extend second bake time to 55 to 60 minutes. Shallow pies- no change.
back of the Libby's pumpkin can
Poached Pears in Chocolate SauceYield:
Cooking Time: 20 minutes, plus cooling time
4 pears (about 6 ounces each), preferably Anjou
3¼ cups sugar
2 vanilla beans
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Valrhona or Hershey’s
½ cup heavy cream
Peel and core the pears. Combine 2½ cups of the sugar and 5 cups water in a saucepan large enough to hold the pears. Split the vanilla beans the long way and scrape out the seeds; add both seeds and pods to the water. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.Add the pears and adjust the heat so that the mixture bubbles, but not too vigorously. Cook for 8 minutes, or until a thin-bladed knife inserted into the pears meets with little resistance. Let the pears cool in the liquid for 30 to 60 minutes (do not refrigerate).Meanwhile, combine 1 cup water with the remaining ¾ cup sugar in a small saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Turn off the heat and whisk in the cocoa, along with the cream. Return to very low heat and cook, stirring, just until thickened slightly. (This can be made several hours in advance; keep at room temperature, then rewarm gently.)Serve the pears with the warm chocolate sauce spooned over them.The pears should be large and just about perfectly ripe before cooking. To judge ripeness, gently squeeze their "shoulders," which should yield to your touch.The easiest way to core a pear is with a small melon baller, digging up from the bottom. An ordinary teaspoon works almost as well.NotesIf you are not going to cook the pears right away, once they are peeled and cored, drop them into a bowl of cold water mixed with the juice of a lemon to keep them from turning brown.© 2000 Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mark Bittmancookstr.com