The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

T-Day Traditions...

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Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

T-Day Traditions...

I've enjoyed seeing Dsnyders T-Day Bake and the questions put out for suggestions for this special family celebration. Since I've moved from Connecticut to Oregon 6 years ago, I find we have lots of special family recipe traditions.


My family has a recipe handed down from my Grandfather, who I never had to the chance to know, passing away before I was born. There is always Scalloped (Escalloped) Oysters on our Thanksgiving table. My Oregonian husband and his children have no interest in ever eating this wondrous dish again..ha ha, more for me. Except I can't see the sense in making it just for me. I will just have to wait until we celebrate T-Day in CT again.


On the other hand..my husband makes his Grandmother's dressing or stuffing, your preference for term. White bread, butter, sage sausage, hot sausage and carmelized onions. Our first T-Day together, I asked, where are the herbs, the celery? I'm thinking there is way too much butter!!! After being married for six years, I think it tastes pretty good. Traditions change..although I would love to sneak some herbs and celery in. And cut back on the butter..can't help it..


Would you please share your have to have item on the Thanksgiving menu..


Wishing you and yours all the blessings which we celebrate on this holiday.


Betty

Erzsebet Gilbert's picture
Erzsebet Gilbert

So, having moved to Hungary we haven't got Thanksgiving here... but my family in the States does, and we have a tradition they still do - Thanksgiving is make-your-own-pizza night!  We have the best dough, and everybody gets their own pizza with their favorite toppings... thank you!


But I know that probably doesn't help you - so, a real Holiday Menu item I recommend is some sort of baked squash - acorn squash is a lovely one, and spaghetti squash is my favorite, especially with a little nutmeg or cinnamon on top!  Good luck!


Erzsebet

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Wow..see, traditions are so varied!


We loved any winter baked squash. In fact, tonight, we are having a stuffed sugar pumpkin. We cut off the lid, clean it out and stuff it with a mixture of cooked lean ground beef, different peppers, onion, tomatoes, garlic and herbs.

Jain's picture
Jain

Betty,


I'm all about celery, herbs, and scant butter, also; but whole wheat, not white!  No sausage nor turkey in ours, but that's another story.


Enjoy your table and your holiday!


Jain


 


 

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

would be wonderful. I hate to say this, but the bread he uses the fluffy stuff. ICK!


We never eat that type of bread, ever! For Thanksgiving, though, it has to be. Traditions are so important. Our children, mine by good fortune, love Great-grandmother's stuffing and fruit salad with marshmallows (Umm.. I respectfully say no thank you, when passed to me).


Enjoy your family too!


Betty

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Betty,


I enjoy Oysters very much and my Grandmother was known to have a casserole of oyster dressing on the table every Turkey Day. I have made an attempt to recreate this dish but with out much success. The oyster flavor just isn't what I want it to be.


Your comment about Scalloped (Escalloped) Oysters got me thinking. Does your family recipe use saltines and start with softening onions first? Milk/cream and butter seem to be the common thread in the recipes I have found.


Eric

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

made by Nabisco. I can't find them here in Oregon. It is a large cracker, maybe 3" in diameter and a 3/8" thick. If you break one open you will see it is multi-layered akin to puff pastry. They have a slightly sweet flavor. No onion in our version and yes, milk.


Personally, I think the key to this dish is the milk crackers. They make almost a pudding texture to the dish (like bread pudding, not Jello).


When I was a child a favorite summer time lunch, with my Grandmother, was broken up milk crackers with ice cold milk poured over them. That slightly sweet flavor and ice cold milk was so yummy.


Sigh..maybe next year I will have some scalloped oysters...


Betty


 

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Triple layer jello salad:  strawberry jello, sliced bananas, sliced strawberries and crushed pineapple.  First layer of gelatin sets up, a layer of sour cream is spread on top and another layer of gelatin is poured on top of that to make the third layer.  We sometimes substitute raspberries and raspberry jello for the strawberries.  Good enough for desert; but it's a side dish with the turkey here. 


Another favorite is a sweet potato casserole that our daughter-in-law makes,  Sweet potatos mashed with brown sugar, sherry, cream cheese, eggs, chopped pecans and nutmeg. 


My own contribution is not as exotic.  But without freshly baked dinner rolls it just wouldn't be the same.

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

are the BEST! I can't tell you how many Thanksgivings we ate store bought rolls, the bake it your self tubes that you break open.


Ah.. I do give thanks for having learned that fresh baked rolls are so easy to make and taste so much better!


I like the added ingredients of sherry and cream cheese to the sweet potato casserole. That sounds intrigueing (sp?)


Betty

rainwater's picture
rainwater

I'm sorry, but being from Texas, stuffing has to be made with cornbread.


Diced onion, celery, bell pepper, and a little garlic......optional, one can boil the giblets, drain, dice, and add to the dressing.


This should be moistened with Turkey broth and drippings from the Turkey and be very moist (nothing is worse than dry dressing)....add one egg and bake until crisp and browned on the top. 


I always order about 10 pounds extra of Turkey thighs and a whole chicken to make a stock for the dressing and the gravy when cooking a Turkey. This assures plenty of rich gravy, and very savory dressing.

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I'd be very happy to sit at your table and enjoy that stuffing! It's hard to change tradition though, isn't it?


Sounds like you have a very big table at Thanksgiving! An extra 10 lbs of thighs and a whole chicken for stock! Yikes! How many at your table?


 


Betty

rainwater's picture
rainwater

Not an unusual amount of people...I cook a small bird.....maybe 10/12 pounds.  The extra broth is so there is a load of gravy mostly because the leftover turkey, dressing and gravy are really good.....then if there is some gravy left after this....it's great over plain rice. 

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

We lived in Texas when I was small...my fathers family was from Memphis and my mothers English and Irish...it just would not be Thanksgiving without cornbread stuffing in the bird and giblet gravy.  Never tasted bread dressing until I was much older.  I remember mum complaining how she disliked bread dressing.  Everything I make...is always made from fresh and scratch just like at home.  My n laws were from Memphis.  What great cooks.  Chili, bar b que pork, canned their own tamales and always mustard and green beans on the table...she also put hard boiled eggs in here turkey gravy..delicious!


Sylvia    

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I saw a recipe for cornbread stuffing and offered it over for my husband to peruse. He didn't bite. It sounded so good though! Just the same as I can't get him to add any herbs or celery!


Hard boiled eggs in the gravy..in lieu of flour, to thicken?


Betty

Floydm's picture
Floydm

For me the essential ingredient is sage in the stuffing.  My mother's stuffing is full of fresh sage.  I love it.  Without that Thanksgiving just isn't the same.

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

YUP, the best. We have a big sage plant in our garden. I'm always looking for anyone who might want some. My husband makes the best whole baked chicken..sage and lemon slices under the skin and stuffs the cavity with it also. YUM!!


Betty

rainwater's picture
rainwater

Oooops......I forgot.....the stuffing, of course, has fresh sage......pardon.

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

For 27 years I had Thanksgiving and we had up to 30 people at the table. A lot of years we had three stuffings, one cracker, one bread/sage and one sausage. All the usual trimmings and always rutabaga.


 


Our daughter has Thanksgiving now and Thursday there will be 27, I think. The rutabaga will be there but there are a lot fewer of us left who like it. Makes me sad to remember all those who are gone and all those who can't make it in from out of state but I'm thankful for all of us who will be together for this favorite holiday.


Happy Thanksgiving to all members of TFL and their families.


weavershouse

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

mashed rutabaga!!! with butta, salt and peppa..another YUM! I don't think people eat a variety of veggies or introduce them to their kids. I can hardly think of a veggie I didn't eat or try as a child.


Please don't be sad. Those who are gone, are still with you, because you keep them alive in your heart.


Betty

asicign's picture
asicign

I always make the same stuffing for my turkey: based on James Beard's recipe for turkey.  The recipe calls for bread crumbs, tarragon, butter, green onions, shallots and pinenuts.  Instead of bread crumbs, I always bake bread, and do a fine dice.  The only variation is the kind of bread I bake.. haven't decided this year.  Also, for the past 25 years or so I've made dinner rolls based on Julia Child's french bread recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, volume 2.


 


Andy

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The side dishes varied, but the turkey was always rotisserie barbecued with an onion, garlic, olive oil, sherry and rosemary marinade. The "stuffing" my mother made was really a savory bread pudding. She used a combination of a commercial packaged stuffing mix with herbed bread cubes and Jewish egg bread. She added lots of sautéed onion and celery, gribbines (chicken skin cracklings) and a variety of dried seasonings. She moistened it with eggs and chicken broth and lots of schmaltz and baked it in a low oven for hours. It came out with a crunchy top and moist interior. It was served in cubes of about 3"W X 4"L X 3"D. 


I have no idea where the recipe came from. I don't recall if she invented it or if my grandmother did. I've never had a stuffing like it. 


However, the heart of our tradition was that the whole family was in the kitchen all day. Everyone (5 kids and the parents) had his or her part of the dinner to work on. My mother didn't raise any kids who don't love to cook.


David

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Well, YUM! I've never had a turkey rotisseried.  The marinade sounds exceptional. Do you still carry on this tradition? How big of a turkey? Please pass me some of that stuffing!


I agree, the more in the kitchen, the merrier! I love Thanksgiving, the reason, being with my family. I was raised by my 2 Aunts and a Grandmother. My 5 cousins are my siblings. A tiny kitchen filled with love! Now a days..it's everyone and their spouses and children.


Now I live on the west coast and am not able to be there for every holiday gathering. I treasure the moments we do get to spend together, but am happy to be making new traditions for my inherited children.


Betty


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

We do still use this marinade. I love spit roasted turkey (or chicken, or duck). It's good oven roasted too, but not as good. I think the marinade was originally from a Sunset cookbook, and it was for chicken. That's good too. My Dad usually made a 25-28 lb bird. In later years, there were only 16 or so for Thanksgiving, but "in the good old days," it was generally in the 22-28 range.


I've never made my mother's stuffing. After she passed away, my father made it, but he's gone now too. I have the recipe in my mother's handwriting on a thoroughly grease-spotted scrap of paper.


David

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

You're so fortunate to have your Mom's recipe. So many times we hear of someone longing for "whatever" made like their Moms and they've tried and tried but can't duplicate it.


In your Mom's own handwriting, definitely a treasure!!


Betty

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I'm extra thankful.  My new washing machine is destined to arrive.  It didn't make it today.  I ordered it two weeks ago when the laundry was already piled up.  Today the sales lady called to tell me bad news, they were unpacking the machine to prepare for delivery and it was all broken, glass front shattered etc..  Obviously fallen at one time or another.  She put an express order thru and I may get it Thursday.


Unlike the "States" we had our Thanksgiving in October and this week is quite a normal one.  I actually like the holidays separated by more than a month.  I would like to wish everyone celebrating the holiday a Happy Thanksgiving.  (Those of you not celebrating, can celebrate with me and do a load of laundry.)   Don't eat too much and enjoy the floats and football.  If the stress gets to be too much, make use of all the helpers around you. 


Go in Peace, 


Mini

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

May your colors never bleed and your socks always come out in matched pairs.


David

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Oohh..I'm glad I'm having T-Day..but you enjoy that new washer of yours!


Betty

KansasGirlStuckInMaryland's picture
KansasGirlStuck...

As a single person, my friends have me over to their house.  I am, of course, expected to bring the bread.  But I am never offered leftovers to bring home.  I love turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and gravy.  Because my friends don't see fit to offer me leftovers and they keep the leftover bread, I make my own turkey during the weekend following Thanksgiving.  This gives me a chance to make my mother's dressing recipe which is SO much better than my friends (they use Stove Top, which I consider a sin) and my mother's gravy.  Her gravy may take longer to make since it involves making broth with the turkey neck, onions, celery and the giblets beforehand, but it beats making "turkey" gravy with canned chicken broth.  And the stuffing has Pepperidge Farms stuffing (the blue bag), cornbread, sausage, apples, onions, celery, the turkey liver (after making the broth), eggs and butter.


Yum.  My turkey is in the refrigerator right now defrosting.


Oh, almost forgot, I make my mashed potatoes with hot milk, butter and healthy amounts of cream cheese.  Gives them just a bit of a twang.

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

the left overs??? or the main attraction? That's a tough one!! I too, have made another Thanksgiving dinner so that my hubby could have left overs!


Betty

summerbaker's picture
summerbaker

My family wouldn't have Thanksgiving without homemade cranberry sauce.  The recipe that we use is from an old hippie vegetarian cookbook from 1972 called The Vegetarian Epicure Book 2, by Anna Thomas.  Here is the slightly abbreviated recipe:


Cranberry Relish:


1 1/2 cups water


2 cups sugar


3 cups of clean picked over cranberries (12 oz pkg)


1 med navel orange


1 tsp ground ginger


1 dash cinnamon


1 dash ground cloves


crushed seeds from 4 cardamom pods (or 1/8 tsp ground cardamom)


 


Dissolve sugar in one cup of the water in saucepan over med high heat, then add cranberries.  Bring to simmer and cover (turn down heat) for 10 min.  Then uncover and simmer 10 more min.  Cut orange (not peeled) into chunks and put into food processor to chop finely.  Add remaining 1/2 cup water to cranberries with the ground orange and spices.  Simmer 20 min stirring often.  Chill and serve.


We have tried many other cranberry sauce recipes over the years and always return to this one!


Summer

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

except for the oranges, not peeled. Do you get any bitterness from the pith?


Betty

summerbaker's picture
summerbaker

No bitterness.  I guess because it's simmered long enough to cook that out.  However, I wouldn't use one of those super thick skinned oranges.  Living in FL, we use Florida oranges that tend to be thinner skinned juice oranges that are cheaper.  Funny, I suppose we never actually use a navel orange like she calls for.  To me though, the inclusion of the skin is what makes the relish so good and tangy.  It really is a surprising flavor and easy to make so even if you don't want to make it on Thanksgiving you might try it some other time during the cranberry season.  Not that I limit myself to having them only in the winter since I'm someone who hoards them in my freezer all year long because we like to have cranberry relish year round!  


Summer

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

One of the usual guests at my family's Thanksgiving dinners always brought a delicious cranberry sauce much like yours, except it was uncooked. The cranberries and orange were chopped in a food processor or blender. There was enough sugar to cut the bitterness.


It was actually quite delicious.


David

summerbaker's picture
summerbaker

Uncooked!  Wow, I wonder how long it has to sit for the flavors to incorporate with each other fully.  Maybe not long since the cranberries are chopped finely with the orange.  It sounds like a relish that would get better with time, though.


Summer

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Is another great use of those holiday cranberries. Slightly sweet and spicy salsa ladled over cream cheese. Yum..if anyone is interested let me know.


Actually, it would be great with the turkey dinner or on a sandwich!


I also stock up with cranberries and keep them in my freezer.


 


Betty

tbednarick's picture
tbednarick

Cranberry Salsa sounds delish!  Please share the recipe if you have time.


Thanks,
Tonya

summerbaker's picture
summerbaker

I'd love the salsa recipe as well!


Summer

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

3 c of fresh cranberries
4 scallions,
2 sm jalapenos, seeded (if you want)
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c cilantro, finely chopped
2 T fresh ginger
2 T fresh lemon juice


Finely chop fresh cranberries in a food processor. Place in bowl.
By hand or processor, chop scallions, jalapenos and ginger. Add to cranberries.
Add sugar, chopped cilantro and lemon juice to cranberries.
Refrigerate for 4 hours.


You can serve this ladled around a 8 oz block of softened cream cheese with crackers, as a side to your turkey or a topping for your sandwich!


 


 

tbednarick's picture
tbednarick

This looks great.  I wish I had some cilantro on hand.  I would totally make this for today's feast.

summerbaker's picture
summerbaker

Looks great.  Thanks!


Summer

Marni's picture
Marni

This has got to be the most processed, bad- for- you stuffing around, but my grandmother (who didn't like to cook) made it every year and it became the family tradition.  My mother kept the tradition and now I make it- enough for 25 this year. I have to admit it tastes great.  (Great family memories probably enhance the flavor)


Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate!


Marni

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

as they say "the fabric of our lives". Ain't that the truth! I bet that stuffing is dynamite and loved by all your family. I can hear everyone around the table saying, Oh Yum, Grandma's stuffing!


Betty

Oldcampcook's picture
Oldcampcook

I make the uncooked version every Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I usually let it set in the fridge overnight to "marry". 


Love the stuff.  I had originally bought some from a local store and then "googled" it and found the recipe I use.


Bob

summerbaker's picture
summerbaker

I'll definitely have to try that technique sometime.  I've always wanted to be able to eat cranberries raw, just never figured out how!


Summer

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Summer, I am going to try your recipe tomorrow.  I'll give the report later.


Jeff

summerbaker's picture
summerbaker

I hope it works out for ya!


Summer

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

It worked quite well.  Very easy and very good...I did cut back the sugar a bit but that is simply a reflection of my taste preferences.


Jeff

summerbaker's picture
summerbaker

I'm glad to hear it!  I could see cutting back on the sugar, especially if you like to have a lot of it with your turkey.


Summer

proth5's picture
proth5

For years a good friend of mine and I have hosted six people for Thanksgiving.  I cook, she invites and acts as hostess. The Thanksgiving meal concentrates on foods that I have grown or at least are seasonal and local and allows me to indulge in my true love - pastry chefing.


It is as elaborate a menu as you will find at a fine restaurant.  This year, scheduling constraints had us having it early.  The menus was as follows:


Amuse Buches


Cream of Tomato Soup with Parmesan Tuile


Orange with Tapenade


Carrot and Parsnip Chips


Date Stuffed with Duck Foie Gras


 


Appetizer


Soft Egg Ravioli with Sage Butter


 


Soup


Chestnut Apple Soup


 


The Main Event


Mesquite grilled Turkey


Caramelized Onion Gravy


Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta


Baked Corn Supreme


Sweet Potatoes with House Made Marshmallows


Some Kinda Cranberry Sauce


Celeriac and Potato Puree


Braised Baby Bok Choy (grown on premise)


Bread Basket - Home Ground Whole wheat, baguettes, Olive Fougasse, Cracklings Fougasse


Our House Made Cultured Butters - Plain, Tapenade, and Vanilla


 


Pre-dessert


Chipotle Caramel Corn


Candied Nuts


Earl Grey Truffles 


 


Dessert


Pumpkin pots de crème with currant dougnut


 


To Finish


Our House Made Marshmallows - Orange and peppermint - chocolate coated and plain


This year I also made brioche as one of the guests was having a birthday and I wanted to present him with a "Birthday Brioche."  My tradition is to get all that food out and collapse with a wee dram of scotch with that same tired, but happy feeling that one gets at 6 AM with a full proofer.


Sorry, no pictures.  There was no time...


My most memorable Thanksgiving, though, involved some truly bad food and being a stranger in a strange land.  But that's another story...


Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

So how do we get on the guest list??


That's an incredible menu. Hats off to you!


Betty

proth5's picture
proth5

taking applications for next year...  Must demonstrate conversational ability and the ability to not only eat a lot of food, but appreciate it... (Oh, and be in the Denver area.  Anthony Bourdain was in town as I was whomping up this feast.  He didn't know what he was missing.)


I am now making caramels for the upcoming holiday season.  Application must also be made for these.  There is a waiting list.


This is why I'd like to do food related stuff in my next life!


Thanks.

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

I'm the designated chef this year so I can replace the pumpkin pie with something I like much better, pumpkin cheesecake. Plus some risotto cakes for my vegetarian grandgirl and Floyd's sweet potato rolls. My DIL will bring her favorite candied yams and we'll have roast potatoes and Brussels sprouts and green beans along with the turkey. Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving, A.


Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

this year I'm trying something different..Pumpkin Flan.


Dinner sounds wonderful. Have a Happy one Annie!


Betty

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Thanks Betty, hope your Oregon weather is nicer than ours. Just spent time at the dentist getting a crown fitted (installed?) and I am running behind with the preparations. I thought I would save some time by making graham cracker crumbs with the coffee grinder I use for flax seeds - and ended up with graham cracker flour! More haste, less speed. I may crush some crackers and use half crumbs and half powder. Any ideas? A.