Skip to comments.Just as you thought, it's one more of those dreaded Thanksgiving Recipe Threads
Posted on 11/21/2006 9:56:19 PM PST by carlo3b
As many of you know by now, every year we post an annual Thanksgiving thread to get things off on the right foot for our holiday festivities..
Well, it's that time again, when we old timers dust off the holiday recipes. For you newcomers, just bear with us, it won't take long, and you could just move on if this is too corny for you to handle. Otherwise, cut and paste, and have a great Thanksgiving.. This is a bit early because I will once again be on the great oceans this years cookin and spinnin my tales of the kitchen.. ENJOY..
God bless you and your family!.. Chef
Remembering Our first recorded Thanksgiving Day The Mayflower 1620- 2002
The voyage of the Mayflower in 1620 from Plymouth England, to Plymouth Rock started as a journey to find peace and justice in a new world. It began as a fervent prayer to give freedom a chance, and remains today as the promise each year for a new beginning. Thanksgiving Day is a celebration of hope, and remembrance.
Today, we bring our families and friends together to share our tables and our hearts, and give thanks for all that we have to be grateful for in our new and glorious country. From this grand experiment and it's courageous settlers, to the greatest nation of the world, we have a lot to be thankful for, indeed.
Remembering my Italian family Thanksgiving
My earliest memory of Thanksgiving was the fuss over preparation of the wonderful food being planned in advance of our holiday feast. Being a traditional Italian American, midwestern home, a full cornucopia of cookies of every ethnicity was in abundance. Thanksgiving morning was a special treat with a home filled with the scent of baking bread, and roasted turkey which transformed our tiny cold water flat in "Little Italy" on the lower East side of Chicago into a 3 room palace.
Everyone was involved, family and friends, young and old, with 4 generations of our own majestic women. An unspoken but respected hierarchy prevailed, with the eldest women in control, and a dance like rhythm appeared to take charge of this traditional and noble endeavor. It didn't take long before our small kitchen and dinning room filled, and every flat surface was covered. People scurried into the hallway, where neighbors shuffled pans and pots, in and out of their apartment kitchens to make room for more, always more so everyone could share in the abundance.
Preparation started days earlier, with the making of the pasta. I recall my great aunt bringing in the clothesline from our back porch, the one that strung across the small yard to the adjacent porch and back. She washed and bleached this cord to string across our living and dining rooms, from sconces to chandelier, and doorjambs to windowsills. It was strung as tight as possible to hold the pounds of lasagna noodle, and spaghetti needed to hang dry, to satisfy the hearty Italian appetites. I recall as if it were yesterday listening to our nightly radio programs with the shadows of stringing pasta on the faded floral wallpaper, lending an eerie overtone to the Green Hornet, or Gangbusters.
How could I ever forget opening my eyes in the morning with the sight of hanging pasta overhead, but then, why in the world would I want to forget that magical moment after all, and what it meant to a young boy that a wonderful and glorious holiday was just around the corner?
The Family and Friends
Each family was represented in the choice of menu items. Every wonderful cook in each branch of the family offered to prepare their own special version of the chosen food. This made for a memorable feast indeed, there were at least 4 successful individual restaurant owners in our family. The competition was playful and fun filled, with chunks of bread, ladles, and spoons dipping into everything, testing, tasting, and teasing.
It should not be construed that the food preparation was the exclusive provence of our family women, to do so would be to underestimate the culinary contributions of some of the finest cooks in the clan. A few of my uncles, cousins and grandpa were cooks in the Army, Navy, and Marines, as well as in their own restaurants. My great uncle served as a cook in the Italian army, then captured and recruited to cook in the prisoner-of-war camp, when upon his release, served 2 tours as a cook in the US Marines during The Korean War. However, whatever greatness the men may have achieved in the outside world, the kitchen was ruled by those formidable, yet diminutive, strikingly gorgeous, black clad matriarchs of the family. Great grandmothers from both sides of the lineage, grandmothers, great grandmother-in-laws, and great great aunts.
Man I'll tell ya, it was a sight to behold at best, and an Italian culinary rivalry at least. Although sharing an Italian heritage, the 6 uncles married outside the Calabrian niche, creating a scrumptious provincial food fight.
Children weren't immune from the holiday chores. Chairs were pulled up to the stove for short perpetual stirrers. The teens were given the sink, for the never-ending pots and pans, and preteens were runners for last minute fetches and food deliveries. I was honored almost exclusively with the delivery of food for the church and hospital shut-ins because I had the bike with a giant basket. Trying to describe my cousins and most of the local kids wasn't hard, the first thing I recall was, hair, lots of black hair, big doe eyes, dozens of beautiful children with wide grins. At least one kid, sometimes more, was forced to bring his or her accordion, and at every holiday gathering some poor child was browbeaten into playing "Lady Of Spain"!
The Holiday Table
Serving 30-40 people, in a one bedroom apartment on the 3rd floor, rear, walkup, was a challenge, but doable. It took the coordination of most of our wonderful neighbors, and the cooperation of all of the residence, which were always invited anyway. Everyone brought pots, pans, dishes, and utensils, at least a chair, and some brought their kitchen tables. Everyone brought something eatable, most were prearranged as in bread, but some were heirloom dessert recipes, enough for at least a good spoonful, for everyone to get a taste. Older adults, always got a chair at the table, all adults got a seat, and kids sat at the card tables, on the stairs or on a carpet in front of the radio in one of the neighbors homes.
All kids had to be within earshot of the saying of the formal Grace before dinner. Then everyone recited their own prayer in various languages of their native tongue. Our family and friends were of many faiths and nationalities, the overwhelming majority of coarse were Italian. Most remembered a loved one not present, and the names of every absent serviceman and woman were individually read aloud. With all heads bowed, everyone gave thanks for the wonderful gifts of food and health, and each and every person present, gave a special thanks and how grateful they were for being in the United States of America.
Any good excuse to gather the clan in our family was and still is, paramount. Weddings, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, births, baptisms and unfortunately funerals are used as good excuses to get together and, you guessed it.... eat. This is usually done at the familial home of eldest member of the family. The Italian family circle is close and tight, and many families still living within their hometown even today, and still live within walking distance of one another. In our family as in many, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins grow as one single family unit.
The elders live within the homes of their offspring or siblings. The hierarchy is established by the ability of the surviving parents to have living arrangements central to the greatest number of kids and kin. Love of family is the reason, and love of food is the cement. Thanksgiving is one of the most popular days of the year, and has been since my earliest memory. Even today as I did with my parents in my youth, I talk to each of my 5 children and each of my grandchildren with rare exceptions, every single day, I am truly blessed.
Food for an Italian holiday is second to only to the family. Present at every holiday feast were several types of entree, lasagna, ham, veal, and one or more specialty pasta and of course, the giant stuffed Turkeys. There were Kosher dishes aplenty for our many Jewish friends. Our next door neighbor kept a Kosher kitchen and always shared their wonderful food with us as we did in return. No holiday would be complete without homemade sausages, meatballs, and grilled peppers. A strange calzone, one I recall with nuts and octopus was always somewhere on the table as was Braciole (Italian beef rolls), and great cannoli desserts were always compliments of our Sicilian side of the family.
Salads and antipasto were a mainstay, with favorites cellentani con Insalata di Pepperoni (cellentani with pepper salad), and the ever popular soups, usually a bean, as in minestrone. Breads, rolls, pizza and a mixed variety of biscotti, were always in abundance. Side dishes were a meal in themselves. A vast array of vegetables prepared as specialty items, like artichoke and bacon frittata rounded out every holiday meal. Even our popular lasagna, the recipe that created a chain of famous restaurants, has broccoli or spinach as a principle ingredient to the recipe. Desserts... oh my, great custards, and pastries, ice creams and cakes such as lemon berry tiramisu or frittelle di zucca (pumpkin fritters)
The Moment of Truth
My great grandfather sat at the head of the table, and next to him sat a gallon jug of his homemade Italian red wine. Almost everyone seated for dinner were given a glass of his wine, if only for the many toasts that were posed, to the cooks and a milieu of other celebrations.
The moment of truth came when he would call the name of the boys that he felt were to be worthy of manhood, a scholarship know only to him, usually by some unknown merit method. If you attained that status in his trusted eye, he would invite you to accept a glass of wine and he would toast your new position and with everyone's applause you drank a glass and thanked him.
When my moment came, I had just turned 10, and having worked with him on his paper stand in downtown Chicago for 3 years and to my surprise he felt I was ready! Proudly I swallowed a huge gulp, and felt the heat go down my throat and explode at the core of my stomach and began to rush back up. I forced a smiled and swallowed again and hugged him as tight as I could, until my uncle secretly handed me a chunk of bread, which I bit into and forced down before I let my pa loose, perhaps in the nick of time because he slapped me on the back and everything went back down... I never drank another drop of his wine, but accepted his offer to take a glass, each time he offered it until he passed a year later. How I loved that man.
The Carving was done at each end of the long tables where the huge turkeys were displayed. The male head of each of the households was given the honor of carving these beautifully prepared golden trophies. It was a ritual and with surgical skills each bird was sliced and distributed to all in attendance until nothing remained but the bare bones. At the conclusion of this wonderful occasion, the men stood and with glasses raised toasted the blushing ladies as we sang... in our best voice, and in Italian, a song dedicated to our wonderful women, .. "Momma"
Holiday Roast Turkey with Herbal Rub
* 1 13 pound whole turkey, fresh or thawed
* 1 medium onion, quartered
* 1 lemon, quartered
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil
* 1 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
* 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
2. Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey and reserve for the broth.
3. Rinse the turkey with cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.
4. Place onion and lemon quarters in the neck and body cavities.
5. In a small bowl, mix the oil with the herbs, salt and pepper.
6. With your finger tips, gently loosen the skin from the breast without pulling off the skin.
7. Place 1 tablespoon of the herb mixture under the skin; and replace the skin.
8. Rub the cavities and outside of turkey with the remaining herb mixture.
9. Secure the neck skin to the back of the turkey with skewers. Fold the wings under the back of turkey. Place the legs in tucked position.
Note: May be prepared to this point, covered, and refrigerated for several hours.
10. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a large shallow (no more than 2-1/2 inches) deep roasting pan.
11. Insert an oven-safe thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, being careful it does not touch the bone.
12. Cover bird with a loose tent of foil. Roast turkey in the preheated oven for about 2-1/2 hours.
13. Remove the foil and baste bird with pan juices.
14. Continue to roast for about another hour, until meat thermometer registers 180°F in the thigh.
15. Remove the turkey from the oven and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.
16. Transfer to a large platter and serve with gravy.
Yields 18 servings at 6 ounces per portion
Good Old Fashioned Bread Dressing
* 3 to 4 loaves of white bread (or 5 if you like leftovers)
* 2 cups water
* turkey inners
* 1 or 2 onions
* 2 bunches of celery
* 2 to 3 tablespoons butter
* 1/2 teaspoons sage
* oysters (optional)
* mushrooms (option)
* chicken broth
The night before
1. The night before you want to eat the stuffing, break the bread into small pieces (about 1 inch squares) into 2 huge bowls or pots.
Let the bread sit overnight to dry out.
The next day
2. The next day, remove the insides of turkey and boil them in water in 2/3 quart sauce pan until cooked (about 20 to 30 minutes).
3. Remove the insides from the saucepan for later use or discard. Keep the broth and set aside.
4. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
5. Chop the onion and celery and place into food processor until minced.
6. Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
7. Sauté the onion and celery in butter until heated through. Do not brown! (Sauté the mushrooms also at this time, if wanted).
Note: Depending on how much stuffing you want and how much celery and onion you've chopped, you may have to sauté the onion and celery in two parts.
8. Once cooked, pour the onion mixture directly over the dried out bread.
9. Sprinkle the sage over bread mixture.
10. Take your turkey broth and pour slowly over the bread mixture. The bread will shrink as you do this. Be careful not to pour too much water in.
11. Mixture thoroughly.
Note: If you need more liquid, open a can of chicken broth and pour over bread. If you need more spice, add more sage.
13. If you are using oysters, add them now.
14. Once stuffing is of a consistency that it will stick together and does not look too dry, do not add more liquid.
16. Either stuff in turkey to be baked in oven, or put in 9 x 13 pan.
17. If using oysters, it is recommended that you bake the stuffing in a pan so as to ensure the oysters will be cooked through.
18. Bake in 350°F oven for 45 minutes to an hour. You want the stuffing to have a nice brown crust on top.
Note: If you are cooking the stuffing in a pan and not inside the turkey, try stuffing the turkey with small apples.
It smells wonderful and the apples have a great flavor when you take them out.
Real Homemade Turkey Gravy
* 1 package.. neck, heart, gizzard from turkey giblets
* 1 medium carrot thickly sliced
* 1 medium onion thickly sliced
* 1 medium celery rib thickly sliced
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 turkey liver
* 3 tablespoons fat from poultry drippings
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
1. In a 3-quart saucepan, place neck, heart, gizzard, vegetables, and salt in enough water to cover, and cook over high heat.
2. Heat to boiling.
3. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
4. Add the liver and cook for 15 minutes longer.
5. Strain broth into a large bowl; cover and reserve broth in the refrigerator.
6. To make gravy, remove the cooked turkey and roasting rack from the roasting pan. Pour the poultry drippings through a sieve into a quart size measuring cup.
7. Add 1 cup giblet broth to the roasting pan and stir until the crusty brown bits are loosened.
8. Pour the deglazed liquid/broth into the measuring cup.
9. Let the mixture stand a few minutes, until the fat rises to the top.
10. Over medium heat, spoon 3 tablespoons of fat from the poultry drippings into a 2-quart saucepan.
11. Whisk flour and salt into the heated fat and continue to cook and stir until the flour turns golden.
12. Meanwhile, skim and discard any fat that remains on top of the poultry drippings.
13. Add the remaining broth and enough water to the poultry drippings to equal 3-1/2 cups.
14. Gradually whisk in warm broth mixture.
15. Cook and stir, until the gravy boils and is slightly thick.
Makes 14 servings at 1/4 cup per serving
Home Sweet Home Potato Casserole
* 2 pounds sweet potatoes, boiled, peeled, and mashed
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 1 tablespoon margarine, melted
* 1/2 cup brown sugar
* 1 cup buttermilk
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Mixture will be very soupy.
Bake for 1 hour.
Crackpot Crockpot Scalloped Potatoes
* Cooking spray
* 6 to 8 potatoes, thinly sliced
* 1 can cheddar cheese soup
* 1 cup Velveeta cheese, chunked
* 1-1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, grated
* 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
* Salt and pepper
1. Spray the crock pot with the cooking spray.
2. Fill the crock pot with half of the sliced potatoes.
3. Layer half of the soup, velveeta cheese, Cheddar cheese, and milk.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Layer remaining the remaining potatoes.
6. The layer the remaining soup, velveeta cheese, Cheddar cheese, and milk.
7. Cook on high for about 6 hours.
Note: You need to check to see if you need to add more milk. You can pre-boil the potatoes for quicker cooking.
Uncle Joe's Favorite Stuffing
This stuffing is for a big bird, not to be confused with stuffing"Big Bird", or as a side for any roast. It will easily stuff a 24 pound bird and have a little left over. If you are using a smaller bird, you can halve this recipe, or else freeze the extra. One of the best things about this stuffing is how well it freezes. Take any extra stuffing and place it in a foil lined casserole dish. Bake like normal and cool to room temperature. Freeze for a day or two. Remove your casserole dish and you will have a nice package of frozen stuffing for whenever you need it.
* 2 cups diced dried apricots
* 1 cup diced dried cranberries
* 1/2 cup amaretto liqueur
* 1 cup pear or plain brandy
* 1 1/2 cups butter
* 2 large yellow onions, chopped
* 1 bunch scallions, sliced
* 6 stalks and leaves celery, chopped
* 8 cups day old egg bread cubes
* 2 pounds bulk pork or turkey sausage
* 2 cups chestnuts, peeled and coarsely chopped
* 3 pears, cored and chopped
* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
* 3 beaten eggs
* 1 cup apricot nectar
* 3 cups chicken stock
* salt and pepper
Soak the apricots and cranberries in the amaretto and brandy overnight. Saute the onions, scallions, and celery in 4 tablespoons butter until soft. Once cooked, transfer to a large bowl. In the same pan crumble the sausage and cook until browned. Add the sausage and bread cubes to the onion mixture. Add the chestnuts, pears, apricot mixture (including soaking liquid) and rosemary to the stuffing mixture. In the same skillet heat the rest of the butter, apricot nectar, and chicken stock until the butter is melted and pour over the stuffing. Salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Loosely stuff the turkey if desired. Bake any leftover (or all of the stuffing) for 40 minutes along with the turkey.
American Patriot Bread Pudding
* Unsalted butter, softened
* 1 (1.5 lb.) loaf cinnamon egg bread *
* 2/3 cup golden raisins
* 1.5 cups sugar
* 4 cups milk
* 2 cups heavy whipping cream, yep, no substitutes
* 1/4 cup vanilla extract
* 8 eggs, beaten
* 1 tsp. cinnamon
Coat the bottom and side of a 2" deep baking dish heavily with butter.
Tear the bread into 1" pieces.
Mix with the raisins in a bowl.
Spread the bread mixture evenly in the prepared dish, turning crust side down as this tends to burn easily.
Whisk the sugar, milk, 2 cups whipping cream, vanilla, eggs & cinnamon in a bowl until blended.
Pour over the bread mixture.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Place the baking dish in a 4" deep baking pan.
Add water to reach halfway up side of the baking dish.
Bake for 1 hour.
Remove from water bath.
Let stand for 20 minutes.
Spoon into dessert bowls, and serve while still warm.
Heavenly Caramel Sauce
* 1 cup butter
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1 cup cream
* pinch of salt
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
Mix all the ingredients together and simmer for about 5 or 6 minutes.
Serve over Bread and butter pudding, apple pie and ice cream, warm
Cinnamon Swirl Egg Bread
* This Cinnamon Swirl bread is great in this recipe, but make extra for toast and butter for breakfast or anytime..
* 4 3/4 to 5 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 package active dry yeast
* 1 1/3 cups milk
* 3 tablespoons sugar
* 3 tablespoons margarine or butter
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 eggs
Combine 2 cups of the flour and the yeast. In a saucepan heat and stir milk, sugar, margarine or butter, and salt till warm (120 - 130 degrees Fahrenheit) and margarine almost melts. Add to flour mixture along with eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl; turn once to grease surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place till double (about 60 minutes).
Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Lightly grease two 8x4x2 inch loaf pans. Shape each half of the dough into a loaf. Place in pans. Cover and let rise till almost double (about 30 minutes). Bake in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 25 to 30 minutes or till done. Cover loosely the last 10 to 15 minutes of baking, if necessary. Remove from pans; cool.
Makes 2 loaves. (32 servings.)
Get ready for PETA'S media blitz and the TOFUrkey recipes. Another great reason to hate the media.
Thanks Carlo...And Happy Thankgiving to you.
THANK YOU Carlo for this thread and a blessed Thanksgiving to you.
A THANKSGIVING CELEBRATION Online
Artichoke and Bacon Frittata
* 1 small onion, chopped
* 2 Tablespoons butter
* Two 6-ounce jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained & chopped (reserve liquid from one jar)
* 8 eggs
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 1/3 cup bread crumbs
* 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
* 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
* Paprika for color
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a skillet, saute onion in butter until transparent; add artichokes and liquid from one jar. Heat for 2 minutes. In a bowl, lightly beat eggs; add cheese, bread crumbs, artichoke mixture, and bacon. Mix together and place in a greased 9-inch quiche pan. Back for 25 minutes, until set. Sprinkle frittata with jack cheese, if desired, and bake for 5 more minutes.
Note: All can be done the night before; keep the egg and artichoke mixture separate. Add together in morning and bake.
Triple Pepper Salad with Cellentani
Cellentani ( whirls, or large elbow macaroni) con Insalata di Peperoni
* 12 oz Cellantani ( whirls, or large elbow macaroni)
* 2 red peppers
* 2 green peppers
* 2 yellow peppers
* 1 small onion, finely chopped
* 1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, crushed
* 3 tbsp olive oil
* 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Pre-heat oven to 190°C, 375°F, Gas Mark 5. Place the peppers on a baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes until soft and browned. Meanwhile, cook the whirls in salted boiling water as directed on the packet. Drain and leave to cool. Deseed and skin the baked peppers and cut into strips. Mix with the remaining ingredients. Add the pasta and toss well. Serve chilled.
Cinnamon Swirl Egg Bread
Where's the cinnamon in the receipe??
What a wonderful link.. Thank you my dear girl.. Happy Thanksgiving
Thank you, carlo! And a blessed and happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!!
I think it's appropriate that Election Day and Thanksgiving are in the same month.
Both involve big turkeys.
Yesterday morning my total guest list was at 11, suddenly it's ballooned to 18 :-)
I'd love to hear of anyone's experience doing a turkey this way.
You are blessed!
1 1/2 c. raisins (optional)
2 tsp. cinnamon
Thank you sweetie.. Have a great holiday.. :)
PLEASE......somebody at one time had a recipe for brussel sprouts that really took the "edge" off of them and they were terrific......any help with that would be appreciated...thx
"picky, picky, picky.. :).."
lol you're good!
I love these kinds of threads. No pressure, lots of fun and food, glorious food!
Peta can kiss my Turkey.. HA! .. :)
To you and yours.. A Healthy and Happy Thanksgivings Day