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kayb

Thanksgiving 2019

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It's early, but I ordered my turkey (farm-raised, to be delivered never-frozen after processing the weekend before T'giving), and it got me started thinking. I have a long list of traditional dishes which MUST be served at Thanksgiving, else the children would revolt, but I do have a little latitude with a side or two and dessert.

 

Staples on the menu:

  • Turkey
  • Cornbread dressing (which I buy, uncooked, from a local diner that makes to-die-for dressing, and, unlike mine, it's foolproof)
  • Gravy
  • Cranberry salad (my family recipe, the recipe for which I posted in Food 52 years ago and apparently they're going to write about it this year for their holiday edition, so watch for it!)
  • Sweet potato casserole -- boiled sweet potatoes mashed with egg and butter, topped with a streusel of flour, brown sugar, butter and pecans
  • Homemade yeast rolls (which I really should not eat this year, but likely will anyway)

 

From there, I have some leeway. Daughter No. 2 always requests "a green thing." It may be broccoli, may be Brussels sprouts, may be green beans, may be peas. Son-in-law 1 will be mortally hacked off should I not have homemade mac and cheese, so I guess there'll be that. 

 

Dessert ideas? I usually bounce between coconut cake with ambrosia, cheesecake, or lemon icebox pie. 

 

Appetizers are light, usually Prosecco, cheese and nuts. I'll generally go with a pinot noir or a dry rose for dinner. A rose I had this summer that I liked a lot was this one:

 

rose.thumb.jpg.998c4ff8b9ecf3de854e698570a89a9b.jpg

 

What's on y'all's menus?

 

 

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www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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I'd like to sit right down at your table.  I would sit for hours and just nibble at all of it.  Very cool about the Food 52 thing.  Will you please let us know when it happens?  Woo-hoo!  I found the recipe 1st try.  That's getting printed out and I'm making that for sure!  I grew up on my grandmother's - lemon jello instead of raspberry, no apple , but she did add celery (??) .  And I'm thinking that her's was more 'gelled' than yours is.  If I'm allowed to make something for Thanksgiving, I'd love to do that.  I have no idea what we are having.  My MIL is having dinner this year and she's odd about what I bring.  She and my SIL will do a jillion dishes each (you know that southern thing where you do every vegetable in existence) and she'll ask me to bring some random thing, but "make sure that it isn't too heavy".  😑  She's a great cook, so it's not jealousy.  She's just odd when it comes to either Jessica or me bringing food to her house.  LOL

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Posted (edited)

I usually make a double recipe of cranberry salad, because I'll go to the fridge and get a bowl of it like you'd get a bowl of ice cream. And I'll eat it for breakfast, too. It keeps a couple of weeks in the fridge.

 


Edited by kayb (log)
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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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My husband and I are flying in from a short vacation the afternoon before Thanksgiving, so I am relying on my mother, brother, and sister to do all of the shopping and advance prep work this year. Here is the menu with cooking assignments:

 

two turkeys (prepped by my sister, roasted by me)

gravy (made by my mother--she makes the best gravy)

sage stuffing (prepped by sister, finished by me)

cranberry sauce (made by my mother)

whipped macomber turnips with crispy shallot garnish (me)

mashed potatoes (me)

dinner rolls (sister and niece will make these)

roasted green beans with toasted almonds (me)

whisky-glazed carrots (me)

apple pie (made by my mother)

 

My family does not do appetizers.  My husband is in charge of the wine.  My sister, husband and I will be in charge of clean up.  My niece and nephew will set and clear the table, my brother is in charge of turkey acquisition and packaging leftovers, and my father gets to do nothing  🙂  Luckily I have two full kitchens so there is room for everyone to spread out and work, and clean up is relatively fast.

 

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It may be early for you Yanks, but it's this weekend for us in Canada.

 

We are not exciting at Thanksgiving and eat the same things every year.  Turkey, savory stuffing, gravy, carrots, Brussels Sprouts, mashed potatoes, and for dessert my go-to Lime Cheese pie with a topping of 1/4 dark chocolate ganache and 3/4 milk chocolate.   Our traditional guest (with her three... count'em...three Border Collies who seem to hate our two Rotties) from South Africa loves milk chocolate and after Ed and I each have a small piece of pie, she takes home the rest.

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Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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Invited out!   Invited out!   Invited out!     Had thought it would land in our dining room this year again but we're all (7) invited out!

We will bring baked stuffing, gravy, 2 loaves 18-hour bread, maybe cranberry sauce, just because, since no one ever eats it.

Son and d-i-l will bring wine and desserts.

 

Am TRULY thankful!    

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eGullet member #80.

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The expats here are mostly Canadians, so some of the local eateries will have a Thanksgiving dinner on Monday.  Of the 5 ads I've seen, 3 are serving Waldorf salad.  I don't see it mentioned yet in this thread....is it traditional?  

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1 hour ago, gulfporter said:

The expats here are mostly Canadians, so some of the local eateries will have a Thanksgiving dinner on Monday.  Of the 5 ads I've seen, 3 are serving Waldorf salad.  I don't see it mentioned yet in this thread....is it traditional?  

 

Nope.

 

It's probably just "one of those things"...an early expat liked it and asked for it, and everyone else went along. We pretty much adopted the holiday wholesale from the US, so it's more or less all the same up here. Turkey and the trimmings, pumpkin pie and apple pie, etc. You get the occasional regional variation: Perogies and cabbage rolls are pretty common sides on the Prairies.

 

Green bean casserole is much less of a "thing" here - I never saw or heard of it until I was an adult, and never ate it until I was in my 40s - and pecan pie is less common that it would be Stateside.

I don't personally know any Canadians who do oyster stuffing, cornbread stuffing or chestnut stuffing IRL, either, though presumably there would be a few exceptions among the present company.

 

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Posted (edited)

I made Chefsteps sous vide pumpkin pie in jars as a run-up to T'day.   Just for testing, yes, yes,  that's the ticket.    I am not a big fan of pumpkin pie.  The Costco pie is normally the choice for T'day, but it's so friggen huge.  The sous vide jars seemed more manageable and it tastes better to me.  More pumpkin and less spice.   Those retail pies are way too heavy on the spices for me.


Edited by lemniscate (log)
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Posted (edited)

Thanks @chromedome

 

FYI, 2 of the 5 eateries are including butter tarts in their dessert offerings, but also have the requisite pumpkin pie.  I have heard Canadians rave about butter tarts, but have never tasted one.  I may try to grab one of those if I can (my husband detests TDay foods so we don't participate in either US or CDN meals).   

 


Edited by gulfporter (log)
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My girlfriends and I do the day. She gets gifted a generic turkey from a client - it works. I am not a gravy girl - host does traditional plus mashed potatoes/gravy/rolls  I go more off the chart and do cornnbread, orange/calamansi butter w/ honey and a green salad with bitter greens. Sister does  cranberry relish. Pumpkin pie and whipped cream of course. I ALWAYS claim the carcass for stock. 

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My mom passed away about two years ago. I have an older brother who told us not to worry...that he and wife would host the holiday dinners at their home.

Last year at our first Thanksgiving dinner without my mom, he told me they weren't going to make stuffing /dressing because they liked StoveTop Stuffing and would be making that instead of the "real" stuff. 

:(

This year he told me they weren't going to roast a whole turkey for Thanksgiving. He said "No one eats the dark meat so it just gets wasted." O.o

He said they're going to buy one of those fully cooked turkey breasts that Costco sells and heat that up instead.¬¬

What he neglected to mention is that without a turkey carcass, there won't be any Turkey Noodle Soup made after Thanksgiving. My mom would make a veritable vat of Turkey Noodle Soup from the carcass and turkey meat leftovers. She'd portion it out  into giant glass jars that she would freeze. She would foist the jars of soup onto us, which we all loved getting, when we left her home after a visit.

So no carcass means no more Turkey Noodle Soup.:(

What's next? Instant mashed potatoes? :sad:

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“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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3 hours ago, gulfporter said:

The expats here are mostly Canadians, so some of the local eateries will have a Thanksgiving dinner on Monday.  Of the 5 ads I've seen, 3 are serving Waldorf salad.  I don't see it mentioned yet in this thread....is it traditional?  

 

No.

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1 hour ago, Toliver said:

My mom passed away about two years ago. I have an older brother who told us not to worry...that he and wife would host the holiday dinners at their home.

Last year at our first Thanksgiving dinner without my mom, he told me they weren't going to make stuffing /dressing because they liked StoveTop Stuffing and would be making that instead of the "real" stuff. 

:(

This year he told me they weren't going to roast a whole turkey for Thanksgiving. He said "No one eats the dark meat so it just gets wasted." O.o

He said they're going to buy one of those fully cooked turkey breasts that Costco sells and heat that up instead.¬¬

What he neglected to mention is that without a turkey carcass, there won't be any Turkey Noodle Soup made after Thanksgiving. My mom would make a veritable vat of Turkey Noodle Soup from the carcass and turkey meat leftovers. She'd portion it out  into giant glass jars that she would freeze. She would foist the jars of soup onto us, which we all loved getting, when we left her home after a visit.

So no carcass means no more Turkey Noodle Soup.:(

What's next? Instant mashed potatoes? :sad:

 

Oh babe -  just come down here - we will take care of you. Not that we are a great family but food is sometimes our only connection. 

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Posted (edited)

Our local turkey farm sent an email very early Monday morning and I called to reserve  a turkey at 9 am on Monday morning ;)  I wasn't the first one, either!

 

It will just be myself, husband, child and my father; but I will cook a 13 pound turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, the brussels sprouts recipe from Epicurious that calls for chestnuts (but I usually end up forgetting them) because the recipe is sublime and I could eat an entire pound By. Myself. and candied sweet potatoes (no marshmallows!) and probably roasted carrots.  And since I am a baker, we will have my favorite brown butter pear tart, my husband's favorite triple chocolate mousse, and chocolate chip cookies for the  kid. I also love the cranberry walnut tart from Epicurious so I might indulge there too; or at least hope that one survives the holiday rush at the bakery and I can just bring one home. My father is the least fussy eater I know so he will be thrilled with everything and I will send him home with lots of leftovers so he doesn't have to cook for three days and neither will I!

 

Such a bounty to be thankful for! 

 

PS, Toliver if you find yourself near Boston, there's a seat here at the table for you.


Edited by JeanneCake to add invite for Toliver (log)
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@Toliver -- Come east. We'll pull up another chair to the table for you.

 

The one problem I have with my fresh turkey is that I have no say in how big it is; it is however big it gets by the week before T'giving.

 

One year, there were just four of us eating, and the damn turkey was 23 pounds. Kids left with turkey, I froze turkey, and I made an huge vat of stock. And I froze half the breast whole, and thawed/warmed/sliced it for Christmas.

 

I have been reminded that corn casserole is requested, as well. Sigh.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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56 minutes ago, kayb said:

 

I have been reminded that corn casserole is requested, as well. Sigh.

 

 

What is corn casserole and how do you make it?

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5 hours ago, Toliver said:

My mom passed away about two years ago. I have an older brother who told us not to worry...that he and wife would host the holiday dinners at their home.

Last year at our first Thanksgiving dinner without my mom, he told me they weren't going to make stuffing /dressing because they liked StoveTop Stuffing and would be making that instead of the "real" stuff. 

:(

This year he told me they weren't going to roast a whole turkey for Thanksgiving. He said "No one eats the dark meat so it just gets wasted." O.o

He said they're going to buy one of those fully cooked turkey breasts that Costco sells and heat that up instead.¬¬

What he neglected to mention is that without a turkey carcass, there won't be any Turkey Noodle Soup made after Thanksgiving. My mom would make a veritable vat of Turkey Noodle Soup from the carcass and turkey meat leftovers. She'd portion it out  into giant glass jars that she would freeze. She would foist the jars of soup onto us, which we all loved getting, when we left her home after a visit.

So no carcass means no more Turkey Noodle Soup.:(

What's next? Instant mashed potatoes? :sad:

 

For family dinner on Tday my husband and I inherited the job of cooking the bird. Typically about half the people at the table are vegetarians, so we end up with a lot of leftovers. Some of the meat has gone to the few who like it, but we take home the turkey carcass plus lot's of leftover meat. I don't even like turkey, but since we make the bird, we get the leftovers and that means soup, which I adore. Could you stand to roast the turkey yourself if you had all rights to the remains?

 

A friend of ours who is a chef gave me detailed instructions for actually roasting the turkey (and of course the gravy) a day ahead and packing it up so that it really doesn't dry out and can be heated the next day. For those of us who don't care if anyone sees a platter with a whole critter ready for its Hollywood moment, and for someone like me who just hates the "day of" frenzy, this has been a revelation. 

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@Katie Meadow

A friend of ours who is a chef gave me detailed instructions for actually roasting the turkey (and of course the gravy) a day ahead and packing it up so that it really doesn't dry out and can be heated the next day.

 

What did he say to do?  I don't like turkey so we never have it, I roast a capon instead.  We cook it up the day before and make the stock the day before do I can chill it and remove the fat before making the gravy the next day.  The beauty of capon is that it is moist unlike turkey which can be dry.  I usually re-heat the meat covered, in the oven, but I wouldn't mind knowing a better way to do this.

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Several thoughts.   re Waldorf salad, it does seem to be traditional for some people.    Decades ago, I was out of town when Husband called to say that we'd been invited to Tdinner in the country and asked to bring Waldorf salad.   Saint and engineer that he is, but no cook, he said that he'd pulled out Joy of Cooking, ascertained and bought the ingredients, all ready for me to put together after sliding into home base later that day.    So Waldorf is definitely part of some people's Thanksgiving meal.

 

Regarding the travesty to your expected bird and remains, rather than throw an ax into a family gathering that is at best fraught with emotional chaos, I'd just look for turkey sales at your neighborhood supers, pick up the smallest birds you can, like a 13 pounder, and roast one for your nuclear family, resulting in gravy, stuffing, and carcass.      

 

This meal, so uniting is also so dividing.    I need stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy.    All else is fall decor IMHO.  


Edited by Margaret Pilgrim (log)
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2 hours ago, JeanneCake said:

 

What is corn casserole and how do you make it?

It's the iconic casserole using Jiffy cornbread mix, the sweet kind.

 

I box Jiffy

1package frozen whole kernel corn

1 package frozen cream style corn

4 eggs

1 stick melted butter

8 oz sour cream

 

Mix all together and pour in casserole dish. Top with  crumbled Ritz crackers drizzled with aittle more melted butter. 350F for 40 minutes or so.

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www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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I always make my turkey gravy ahead of time and freeze it.  I use turkey necks to make it and it is good enough to elevate even the driest, dullest breast of turkey to sublime.  There are only two things in this world that I think I make better than anyone else - peanut butter cookies and turkey gravy.  I wish I thought my MIL would let me supply the gravy, but she likes the drama of the last minute gravy prep.  

 

I think I would actually like that Cantonese Chicken Salad, @heidih!  It calls for "rice sticks".  Do you reckon that these would work just as well?

 


Edited by Kim Shook (log)
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7 hours ago, Toliver said:

My mom passed away about two years ago. I have an older brother who told us not to worry...that he and wife would host the holiday dinners at their home.

Last year at our first Thanksgiving dinner without my mom, he told me they weren't going to make stuffing /dressing because they liked StoveTop Stuffing and would be making that instead of the "real" stuff. 

:(

This year he told me they weren't going to roast a whole turkey for Thanksgiving. He said "No one eats the dark meat so it just gets wasted." O.o

He said they're going to buy one of those fully cooked turkey breasts that Costco sells and heat that up instead.¬¬

What he neglected to mention is that without a turkey carcass, there won't be any Turkey Noodle Soup made after Thanksgiving. My mom would make a veritable vat of Turkey Noodle Soup from the carcass and turkey meat leftovers. She'd portion it out  into giant glass jars that she would freeze. She would foist the jars of soup onto us, which we all loved getting, when we left her home after a visit.

So no carcass means no more Turkey Noodle Soup.:(

What's next? Instant mashed potatoes? :sad:

Family. You can’t choose them.  But it’s more about getting together etc. (as horrifying as the menu is) ...but yeah. 

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I sous vide the breast and roast the rest. Perfect and moist. 

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