I adore Thanksgiving. My loyal readers already know this, but I like Thanksgiving so much that I celebrate two days of it.
The first night always includes the traditional turkey, stuffing, cranberries, decadent desserts and going around the table explaining what we are thankful for. You know, the usual.
The second night was came from my mom’s side. Since Friday night begins Shabbos, the Jewish day of rest, and the family got together anyway there was always leftover turkey but also generally a roast in addition to three types of cranberries, mashed potatoes, stuffing, challah, four desserts and of course a healthy dose of the family. (This year’s second night is Italian, frankly though, I am off topic.)
I set out this week to create a Thanksgiving meal for a smaller crowd. Trying to cram in all the standards without having leftovers until finals is a bit harder than it sounded in the first place.
To accommodate everything I like into one meal I had to make a few phone calls. My first was to my mother, she is the keeper of most family recipes so I figured she would have them all on hand but alas, she was at work so I had to try for Plan B.
Aunt Linda, many years ago, used to make a casserole that had sweet potatoes, cranberries and marshmallows in it. I would not go near sweet potatoes unless they were in this form and really it is more like dessert than anything else. I called her up to get the recipe and she said she would hunt it down and call me back. She did, but didn’t have the recipe so I called my mom back to make sure she knew which one I was looking for and had to wait until she got home from work.
In the meantime I called up my grandmother for her stuffing recipe. Her stuffing is famous in our family. Grammy listed off the ingredients how she makes it and told me of how she inherited the recipe (It is from Esther, my great-grandmother, originally and used to have four more eggs).
Mom finally got home as I was in the grocery store picking up my ingredients and regaled me with Aunt Linda’s recipe as well as her traditional turkey rub recipe.
Cooking went off without a hitch, the turkey finished in the prescribed two hours, the stuffing and casserole finished at the same time. An excellent gravy was made from the turkey drippings and dessert was waiting in the freezer (I made pumpkin pie parfaits, pretty fancy in a martini glass).
The same cannot be said for my guests though. Two of them were unable to make it at all and one got called in to stay longer at work so I was left with just two other people to eat all the food.
We did alright if you ask me, even if I will be eating turkey sandwiches until I graduate.
L’Chaim and B’Tay Avon (To life and eat well).
Mom’s Turkey Breast
/ cup canola oil
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
Mix together to make a paste and rub over skin. Bake until inner temperature reaches 150/. Let sit for about 15 minutes before carving.
Aunt Linda’s Sweet Potato Casserole
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup oats
1 stick of butter
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
2 (17 ounce) cans of yams, drained
2 cups fresh cranberries
2 cups marshmallows
Combine the first five ingredients until a crumble is formed. Mix in one cup of the crumble with the yams and cranberries and place in the bottom of a casserole. Top the casserole with the rest of the crumble. Bake at 350/ for 30 minutes. Top the cooked casserole with marshmallows and place under broiler to brown.
Grandma Joyce’s Stuffing
1 (14 ounce) bag of Peppridge Farm stuffing mix
2 medium onions, diced small
2 cups celery, diced
2 cups water
1 stick butter
In a large pot bring water, celery, onion and butter to a boil. Take pot off of heat and stir in stuffing mix as well as the eggs. Bake at 350/ for 30 minutes or until brown.