I love cranberries. I do. I love Ocean Spray whole cranberry cranberry sauce. It has to be whole berry and I’m addicted to it. I can’t even serve a roast chicken without cranberry sauce. We were once out of cranberry sauce (which I didn’t realize) as I put the chicken on the table and I started crying. Literally.
Alan was so annoyed at me he stormed out and bought ten cans of whole berry cranberry sauce and we had a very pleasant dinner. The roast chicken was very good by the way. But it just feels naked to me without the “sauce” and gravy might do the trick but it’s fattening and bad for you and over-indulgent on a Wednesday night.
On Thanksgiving, I like to take two to three cans of Ocean Spray, put them in a decorative mold (like you make a bundt cake in) but I have one that’s in the shape of a rose, put it in the fridge for three hours and then carefully place a plate over it, hit the bottom of the pan and serve it on the plate and pretend I made it myself.
My friend Carol Caldwell once made a spiced up cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving that we thought was pretty great. She has no recollection of this. But I do. What I remember is that it had jalapenos in it, a kind of zingy (or California) addition and some kind of alcohol (which may be why she doesn’t remember it). I think it was bourbon. She thinks it was Vodka. I’m pretty sure I’m right. And for sure, a little bit of grated orange rind for flavor.
Thanksgiving is an annual American holiday celebrated by families, friends and magazines. Yes. Magazines. In fact, you could say our current version of Thanksgiving was invented by a magazine or more specifically a magazine editor.
Around this time every year, historians regale us with stories of what the first Thanksgiving was really like. We learn that it was unlikely they ate a stuffed turkey, there was no pumpkin pie, no cranberry sauce, and most of the food was provided by the Wampanoag not the pilgrims--who feasted on venison, lobsters, clams, oysters, and fish.
Harvest festivals were a long standing tradition for the Wampanoag natives going back way before the arrival of the pilgrims. The pilgrims and colonists, devout Christians, observed many days of "thanksgiving" throughout the year in which prayer and fasting were the order of the day, not feasting.
The first national Thanksgiving was held in December of 1777 by colonists to celebrate the surrender of British General Burgoyne at Saratoga. But Thanksgiving was not celebrated consistently all over the country until much, much later.
Forget about Thanksgiving dinner. I can’t wait until the day after Thanksgiving for leftovers. When else during the year can you look forward to turkey soup, turkey chopped liver, smoked turkey sandwiches, and above all turkey hash in a single day? All this month, on www.barbecuebible.com, we’ve been telling you how to cook turkey on the grill. Make sure you manage to squirrel away a pound or so of the cooked turkey meat for hash.
Our word hash comes from the French verb hacher, "to chop." (Yeah, it’s the same etymological root as that chopping device favored by George Washington, the hatchet.) Hash originated as a way to use up leftovers, but it now turns up not just at hash houses (a nickname for diners) but at high-falutin’ restaurants from coast to coast.
The most common version of hash contains corned beef and potatoes, but you can make hash with an almost endless variety of ingredients. Rural New Englanders combined corned beef, potatoes, and beets to make red flannel hash. In seafaring communities it was common to find salt cod and fish hash. Hachis parmentier, garlicky chopped lamb and potatoes, is classic comfort food in France.
This is a delicious fall/winter soup that makes a perfect first course at Thanksgiving. It’s packed with carrot flavor that’s enhanced by a double dose of ginger.
Cook’s Illustrated suggested adding fresh carrot juice to enhance the flavor of the soup which really appealed to me. I’ve been using my Hurom Slow Juicer to create all types of fresh, nutritious vegetable and fruit juices, so making fresh carrot juice is quick and easy.
If you don’t have a juicer, bottled carrot juice will also work just fine.
From the Editors: For those of you looking for a fancy side to grace you holiday tables, give this recipe from Top Chef Master Ludo Lefebvre a try. Filled with the best produce of the season it not only looks pretty, but will add a spicy flair to your dinner as well.
4 side-dish servings
2 cups water
3/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
1 Ceylon cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 firm but ripe Bartlett pears, peeled and stemmed
8 baby turnips, peeled
8 baby beets, peeled
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup Duck Stock (or other homemade stock)
Fleur de sel and freshly groung pepper
Stir the water, 3/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and cloves in a heavy medium saucepan to blend. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the sugar mixture; add the bean. Bring to a boil over medium-hight heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the pears. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the pears are crisp tender, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a bowl; cool. Cut the pears lengthwise in half. Using a melon baller, remove the core. Discard the poaching liquid.
Sometimes you want a gallette instead of a pie. You’re shocked hearing that from me? Well, don’t be. Apparently I enabled a gallette to be the winning “pie” at the last pie contest. And you know why? Because of the increased caramelization possibilities of more exposed crust and the ability to make a really big one for a wow presentation.
Like this one here which served almost 20. Also, I find that for bakers who are nervous about the whole cooking fruit inside a crust + thickener thing, cooking the apples separately can be an easy anxiety fix.
To size up the recipe just use more dough to make a bigger circle for your gallette and prep more apples. For this gallette that was 14″ across I made my Ratio Dough using 15 oz of flour. I used 10 small apples. You actually don’t need to use many more apples than for a regular pie, they’re just spread out in a much thinner layer.
Thanksgiving is almost here and it's time to nail down those menus. Serving homemade bread is one of the best parts of the holiday meal.
We have so many choices when it comes down to what kind of bread or roll to serve. For me, it comes down to how many people I have to serve and what flavor am I looking to add to the meal.
Since Thanksgiving has so many savory dishes, I am always looking to add a little more sweetness to the meal. I love when dried fruit is added to stuffing. It helps give diversity to the meal. Since I often add the dried fruit to the stuffing, I thought maybe I would try adding it to the dinner rolls instead. It's always fun to change things up a bit.
I did not want the rolls overly sweet, so I added a little bit of cinnamon and only a half cup of dried cranberries to my regular dinner rolls recipe. It. Was. Perfect. The slight hint of cinnamon and a bite of dried cranberry smothered in butter was the perfect way to round out the meal.
My grandfather and several of my great uncles had a fur store in N.Y. It was called Windsor Furs (to indicate, one can only guess, a regal presence previously unknown to 14th Street and 7th Avenue). Uncle Simon and Uncle Harry kept Windsor Furs well into their 90’s. And I would like to tell you all the funny, memorable stories I know about them and the shop. But the thing that springs to mind at this moment is their business card.
“Windsor Furs - Shop Here! Soon you will know the reason why.”
It would not be a holiday without this dish on our table. It takes a bit of time, but like all good things it is worth it.
Hot Water Cornbread + Cornbread Dressing/Stuffing From Old-time Tennessee
Hot Water Corn Bread
4 Cups Martha White Plain Enriched White Corn Meal
Heat Oven to 400ºF.
Add dry ingredients to Boiling Water and Bacon Drippings. Stir until all Bacon Drippings are melted. Mix well.
Use more Bacon Drippings or Crisco shortening to grease a 10 inch cast iron skillet. Some folks add a spoon of sugar and a cup of flour and others preheat the skillet for a few minutes, but according to Fannie Karnes Miller, no need to do any of that.
Pour in mixture and bake for 28 - 30 Minutes until lightly brown.
Set aside and let cool for at least 15 Minutes. The center should be a bit moist.
Remember this is not to be stuffed into the bird, but served separately... a dressing. And note, while cooking the turkey spoon off a half cup of the juice for the Stuffing.
When I decided to move across the country, my parents believed that I would quickly get over my folly of living in the Golden State and return to life in New England. Unfortunately for them, California felt like home the minute I crossed the border and I haven't looked back since. The only time I regret being so far away is at Thanksgiving.
It's all about the food and a fairly simple concept of sharing one's bounty. A day to give thanks for the good things in your life. Everyone eats too much, drinks too much, maybe says things they shouldn't, but in the end it's a holiday of inclusion. Even when I was single, I've never had to celebrate Turkey Day alone. Unlike Christmas, with its unwavering traditions, which usually include immediate family only, on Thanksgiving I've found it's "the more the merrier."
After 20 years, my parents still hope that I will return for a Thanksgiving. That they could travel here, never occurs to them. They know we're not coming, but that doesn't stop them from complaining about it. It's just too expensive and difficult. Every year travel horror stories on the news prove that it's not worth the trouble just to share turkey and cranberry sauce. Over the years, my family has come to indulge us with a Thanksgiving dinner on our early Fall sojourns East. Believe me, it tastes just as good in late October. They pull out all the stops and never fail to include the one item I still sorely miss – my mother's meat stuffing.
Ever since I first tried it, bread pudding has become one of my favorite homey desserts. Growing up I never knew it even existed. In my household, old bread was made into breadcrumbs not dessert (blame it on eastern European frugality). If you like French toast then there's no reason you wouldn't like bread pudding—they have similar preparations but with different cooking methods. I actually love it more than French toast, which is hard to say for someone who, as a kid, demanded his mom make French toast for breakfast every Saturday morning.
There's something special about the soft, moist cubes of bread in this dessert that makes me go weak in the knees. When I traveled through England during college, I couldn't help noticing bread and butter pudding (or spotted dick as they commonly call it) on almost every restaurant menu—and I always ordered it without restraint. It always came drenched in custard, which is the traditional way to serve it.
It's already in full swing. Thanksgiving turkey mania. You know what I'm talking about. The endless, frenzied debate over how to cook the perfect turkey. With all the food magazines, cooking shows and turkey hotlines available, I know you'll find more information than you ever wanted on the bird. That's why I'm posting about Thanksgiving side dishes: They're much less controversial. You can't brine sweet potatoes or deep fry cranberry sauce. At least, I don't think you can.
Last year I shared four Thanksgiving side dishes with a twist: Perennial favorites like sweet potatoes and string beans got a makeover. They looked fabulous. But we can't make the same veggies this year. Well, except for the String Beans with Prosciutto, Pine Nuts, and Lemon. I have to make those again. Don't worry though. I've got a few new ones for you that won't disappoint.
Let's start with Festive Stuffed Acorn Squash. A robustly sweet and tangy filling of shallots, cranberries, prunes and pecans is nestled inside of a hot roasted acorn squash half. If you've just wrinkled your nose at the word "prunes," trust me, they're the ideal foil to tart cranberries. But if you just can't abide the thought of them, swap them for sweet Medjool dates. Everyone loves Medjool dates.
by Sue Doeden
I’m not real keen on pumpkin pie, but I love pecans…and butter…and brown sugar…with just a little pumpkin in the mix. That’s what these tiny tarts are made of. One-Bite Pumpkin-Pecan Pies remind me of pecan tassies, those rich little treats that often show up on holiday cookie trays. A little pumpkin and spice added to the mix adds delicious...Read more...
by Susan Salzman
Pumpkin is going to be with us for the next two months and I want to capitalize on all that it has to offer. As I start to plan my Thanksgiving feast, in my head, I take into consideration all the wonderful flavors of the season; pumpkin, chestnuts, sweet potatoes, corn, cranberries, brussel sprouts, citrus, apples, pears, pecans, baby squash,...Read more...
by Susan Russo
When you grow up in Rhode Island, you just can't comprehend 90 degree temperatures in October. While San Diego enjoys nearly perfect 70 degree weather year round, its hottest days are often in October, when dry desert air blows westward and bakes us like cookies in a convection oven.
No, no, no. October should be pumpkins, apples, and 60 degree...Read more...
November in Paris
by Jamie Wolf