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What Absolutely Positively Has To Be On Your Thanksgiving Table?


gulfporter
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In my husband's family, it's creamed onions.  For my family (I'm first generation from Lithuania), it's fresh kielbasa.  Yes we have turkey, but also the kielbasa.  

 

What's your family's one must-have Turkey Day menu item?

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Turkey, DH's stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes (which I don't really care for), Brussels sprouts ( which DH doesn't really care for), carrots, cranberry sauce (which DH won't touch).  The rest is up for grabs.  Ed does most of the cooking.  I make the dessert.  That's it. 

Thanksgiving is not such a big holiday in Canada as it is in the USA and it's more than a month earlier this year.  (Can't recall if ours moves around like Easter or not.) 

 

Oops.  Sorry.  It was supposed to be only one thing.  Too late. 

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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My mom's bread stuffing.  The best.  (It's from the 1950 Betty Crocker cookook, but reduce the salt a whole bunch.)

 

We could get by without any of the other stuff, or with the other stuff changed, but not that stuffing.  We have it once a year and no matter how much I make there are almost no leftovers. 

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I'm a little lithuanian too, but we don't do kielbasa on thanksgiving. We do kielbasa on christmas and easter I think. Cool.

My family HAS to have the chopped up giblets and next in the gravy. Last year I strained them out after they gave all of their flavor up and my grandmother stormed back into the kitchen and took them from the strainer and put them back in the gravy. So weird.

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Turkey.

 

And I personally don't fool around with the stuffing. Mine must be sage-y and savoury, no sausage, no apples, no oysters - purely made from childhood taste memory.

 

As Darienne said, Thanksgiving in Canada is more of a low key event - though the food is central to its celebration. It is not about the pilgrims either. It started in Canada to celebrate the end of the harvest season, which in northern climes is earlier than it is in most of the US. It is wonderful if family can congregate for the meal, but, people usually don't rush from all corners of the world to get home for that weekend. And football isn't (as far as I know) the main activity aside from eating.

 

When I am putting on a T-giving dinner (which unfortunately recently I have not been able to do), I generally serve brussel sprouts in some form (these days usually quickly pan fried and tossed with pecans, not like the overboiled version my mother served), green beans (but not in a southern mushroom soup casserole style - fresh, very green, slightly crisp, with perhaps some lemon zest and/or almond slivers), mashed potatoes (I grew up with rice to go with turkey but over the years have migrated to potatoes as the standard), fresh cranberry sauce with oranges and Grand Marnier, and pan gravy. My mother would have also served a carrot/parsnip/rutabaga mash - and I have done that on occasion too. Pumpkin pie is probably the go to dessert - though I have been known to play around with that course too.

 

While living in TX I learned that Thanksgiving dinner there is not complete without a lot of 'grey-green' green bean casserole topped with mounds of deep fried onions and an overpoweringly sweet marshmallow'd, pecan sweet potato casserole. In deference to my late husband's southern upbringing I added those to the menu down there, but, also kept my own more colourful, crunchy and less sweet versions on the table. I also dumped out a can of cranberry jelly for him to use as he never 'got' my fresh version - apparently it was too lumpy, tart and undercooked. And devilled eggs seem to be the de rigueur appetizer in many southern households during the Thanksgiving weekend.

Edited by Deryn (log)
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Well, if you set aside the usual suspects (turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy) the one non-negotiable for my husband is jellied cranberry sauce straight out of the can. He pouts if I suggest skipping it in favor of homemade. So we usually have both.

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"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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Thanksgiving is not such a big holiday in Canada as it is in the USA and it's more than a month earlier this year.  (Can't recall if ours moves around like Easter or not.) 

 

Canadian Thanksgiving is the 2nd Monday in October now, though it used to move around.  

 

I like to have some kind of pumpkin (not necessarily pie, pumpkin bread is good) and/or yam or sweet potato (maybe in soup). 

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Didnt realize

 

Canadian Thanksgiving is the 2nd Monday in October now, though it used to move around.  

 

I like to have some kind of pumpkin (not necessarily pie, pumpkin bread is good) and/or yam or sweet potato (maybe in soup). 

Happy Thanks giving!!  Monday  BTW   :)

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Its good to have Morels

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Garlic butter Mushrooms.  I make a large dish and usually none left. Considering at least half of the fam won't eat them, you get the idea that the other half are hobbits. :) 

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"Why is the rum always gone?"

Captain Jack Sparrow

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Cranberry orange relish with a splash of Grand Marnier and buttery bread stuffing with celery and onions and, as per hubby.,NO embellishments.

 

Would you mind sharing this recipe?

 

I love turkey and I love it with gravy.  And I love it even more with any kind of sweet potato that's been highlighted with butter, brown sugar, orange zest, etc.  I do actually like marshmallow with it and will buy some high end marshmallows and eat it that way upon occasion.  Along with this, one needs cranberry sauce.  I grew up with the can, but I make my own.  I can do nicely with this.  One year I made the blow out because everyone at work was making me feel somehow diminished with their tales of a thousand and one dishes and a dish.  I hated it and will never do or participate in that again.  I adore the simple pared down Thanksgiving with a glass of wine watching the fall shadows witch around on the wall.

 

I can also skip all that and make a pan of my mother's bread, celery and mushroom stuffing, let it sit a day and refry it with gravy.  Best eaten in pajamas.

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I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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Turkey, stuffing and gravy are "must have". Almost everybody goes for the stuffing. One or two in the family prefer mashed potatoes so i make a small batch for them. Everything else can vary from year to year. Sometimes i get requests to bring back an item. Changing the menu keeps it interesting.

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Would you mind sharing this recipe?

 

I love turkey and I love it with gravy.  And I love it even more with any kind of sweet potato that's been highlighted with butter, brown sugar, orange zest, etc.  I do actually like marshmallow with it and will buy some high end marshmallows and eat it that way upon occasion.  Along with this, one needs cranberry sauce.  I grew up with the can, but I make my own.  I can do nicely with this.  One year I made the blow out because everyone at work was making me feel somehow diminished with their tales of a thousand and one dishes and a dish.  I hated it and will never do or participate in that again.  I adore the simple pared down Thanksgiving with a glass of wine watching the fall shadows witch around on the wall.

 

I can also skip all that and make a pan of my mother's bread, celery and mushroom stuffing, let it sit a day and refry it with gravy.  Best eaten in pajamas.

Lindacakes, I don't really have a recipe as such for either. But, I can tell you what I do. The cranberry orange relish is simply a package of cranberries cooked with 1cup of fresh orange juice and one cup sugar. Once the berries start popping, I add in some Grand Marnier, maybe 3 tablespoons. I just eyeball it. Sounds as though you make the same type of stuffing that I do, except I don't add mushrooms. For the stuffing I use a loaf of cubed plain old sandwich bread. Cook up a large diced onion and a couple of stalks of celery in about 3/4 cup of butter. Once softened, mix with the bread, celery salt, savoury, thyme, poultry seasoning, sage, and pepper, all to taste. When that part seems right, I add enough chicken broth to moisten, just enough so bread sticks together. We don't like it too moist.

I like the idea do frying slices of it and eating it with gravy. Given that there are only two of us, there will be stuffing and gravy left after tonight's dinner so I will try that out. Thanks!

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Turkey, stuffing and gravy are "must have". Almost everybody goes for the stuffing. One or two in the family prefer mashed potatoes so i make a small batch for them. Everything else can vary from year to year. Sometimes i get requests to bring back an item. Changing the menu keeps it interesting.

Not so in our family.  Keeping everything exactly the same...except for the dessert...is just what the tradition calls for. 

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Nothing in particular.  My grandfather was born on Thanksgiving Day at home on 29 November 1899.  His mom made the meal, fed the family and went upstairs and had her last baby.

We always celebrated my sister's birthday(28 November) on Thanksgiving so she decided the menu or picked the restaurant. 

When we went to my in-laws my MIL made a sausage and bread crumb stuffing then incinerated the turkey breast for 4 hours...sigh.

 

The last two years she was in a nursing home and insisted she hated turkey, ham and everything else so it was pizza for her.

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Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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My stuffing using "croutons" from a local bakery that's been in business for decades, sausage, pecans and dried cranberries.  Oh, and eggs, melted butter and chicken stock also go in to make the dressing incredibly rich and moist yet with a browned crust on top.  (Not stuffed in the turkey).

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We usually make a raw cranberry and orange relish for Thanksgiving. It's definitely better than any of the canned cranberry relish if you buy and being raw it has a nice flavor to it compared to cooking them! It's also very easy to make and it's something you can and should do the day ahead.

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I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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I'd be so happy to drop all the traditional fixings. Unfortunately my husband's family loves tradition, as long as it's their own. We make the turkey, and truthfully the only reason I am willing to keep on doing that is so I can take home the carcass for soup. In all fairness my sister-in-law makes a mean apple pie which I eat for breakfast the next morning. But I get a reprieve Friday evening, since we go to a friend's for dinner and he doesn't cook a turkey, ever, so there's no chance of leftovers. For that Friday dinner, which I consider the food (and drink) highlight of the weekend, I make a mostarda and bring coppa and the host makes some kind of Italian food. The hostess does dessert, and it is never pumpkin, for which I am eternally grateful.

The most memorable Thanksgiving was a year I lived on a farm. We cooked two of our own geese, and they were such mean critters it didn't feel too bad.

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Gotta have.....Cast iron skillet baked onion bagel, hickory nut and apple dressing, Savory oyster bread pudding and Riesling.

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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