What's on your Thanksgiving menu? & Recipes
The turkey is the star of our Thanksgiving table, if you ask my husband. I like it too, but I don't have the same devotion to the bird that he does. If I just made a BIG turkey, lots of mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, fresh cranberry salad, and pie, my menfolk would consider the meal perfect.
But for my sister and I, it is the other things that make the meal complete. We love tossed salad with homemade vinaigrette dressing and a vegetable such as fresh green beans or fresh broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots with browned butter*. These are must haves in our book. (She usually brings the salad and veggies.)
Baked-in-their-skins yams are on the nice to have list. I just cut the ends off to let the steam out and toss on the oven rack at 350 degrees until tender. Sometimes I might serve pickled beets or a sweet pickle of some sort to act like a taste-bud punctuation mark.
In other words, we like vegetables that taste like vegetables. No pistachio pudding/fruit salad or green bean casserole or sweet potatoes with marshmallows for us. (If those items are on your must have list, great. I just figure we consume enough calories at this meal, I rather save my appetite and capacity for important things like the main course and pie!)
Every family has their standbys and favorites that make their Thanksgiving meal complete, and I would like to hear about your traditions.
But let's not forget that whatever is on our menu, Thanksgiving is a day to gather together with loved ones and give thanks to God for his blessings.
Today, I must go finish up some shopping at the Elm Grove Sendiks. They are one of my last convenient sources for pasteurized whipping cream (not ultra pasteurized) for the pumpkin pie and Gille's vanilla custard for the apple pie. (Pick 'n Save used to carry these items but don't anymore. Maybe that is one reason they are falling behind on the Brookfieldnow grocery store preference poll?)
Homemade gravy: 1 C flour, 1 C pan drippings, 8 C water. (Use your potato cooking water, green bean water, and plain water to make 8C.) Soak the flour in some of the water at least 1 hour before you make the gravy. After removing the turkey, pour off the fat and save.
Deglaze the pan with about half of the water, stirring constantly. Add the 1 C fat, then the flour and remaining water to make the proper consistency. Salt as needed. Strain if desired.
Stuffing: Thanksgiving favorites: Kyle's stuffing
Cranberries: Kyle's Fresh Cranberry Relish: A happy accident (I also make the cooked ones: 1 bag berries, 1 C water, 1 C sugar. Simmer until all berries are popped.)
Pie: As American as Mom and Apple Pie Includes a cranberry apple variation
Pie crust: Easy as pie...really! Pie Crust Recipe
Turkey leftovers - soup: The Turkey's Last Stand
Browned butter: In a heavy sauce pan or small saute' pan, place butter, whatever amount is desired, and put on low to medium heat. Butter will melt and as time goes on, the milk solids in the butter will start to brown and the mixture foams a bit. Watch it and stir it occasionally to prevent burning. Brown until a medium brown. It will continue to brown a bit after you remove it from the heat, so until you are experienced, err on the side of underdone. You can always heat it more. It has a delicious nutty flavor that goes well with vegetables.