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Many immigrants from different countries that arrive in America make Thanksgiving festivities to fit in with their own cultures. I think that is wonderful. We are free in this country to celebrate Thanksgiving any way that is special to each of us.
My parents were German immigrants. They had no idea what Thanksgiving was about. They had never eaten turkey. They wanted to fit in with America and therefore bought their first turkey. My mother learned how to cook the turkey and some of the traditional American trimmings and incorporated some of her traditional German dishes. I married, had children, and we all went to Oma's (grandma) house for a German-American Thanksgiving every year.
Our family moved and it was too far to go home every year for Thanksgiving so I started cooking the meal and kept most of my mother's German dishes and added some of my own trimmings. The kids grew up with my mother's red cabbage and cucumber salad and always loved it. I could never get it just like she made it but it is very close.
We then moved much further away, and I became a single mother, but the Thanksgiving traditions stayed on with me and the kids. Sometimes we would have guests over that had no other place to go for Thanksgiving. Our special meal was always a discussion at the dinner table as they tried some of the delicious fare.
The girls are married. The older one comes home for Thanksgiving when she can. My son does whatever his current girlfriend wants. I now go to my daughter's in-laws for Thanksgiving every year. They have a large extended family, something we never had. Everyone brings a dish. Every year, I am asked to bring my mother's dishes that they now also look forward to every year.
My parents have both passed. I know that Mom would be happy to know that her traditions are still kept alive. This will be an extra special Thanksgiving. My youngest daughter just had a baby girl on Nov 3rd, a sister to a 3 year old brother. In time, they will also enjoy Great Oma's German-American Thanksgiving. A tradition, I hope, that will continue to be passed down for generations to come.
I have tried to get these recipes as close as possible since nothing was measured out and the girls and I know how to make it. I learned by watching my mother and doing it myself and writing things down as I went along. I hope the readers enjoy these simple recipes.
By xintexas from San Antonio, TX
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Inexpensive, quick and easy crowd pleaser.
Combine one packet potato flakes and one bag stuffing mix in bowl with half a cup of hot water; stir. Add one beaten egg and mush together. Dump in can whole berry cranberries and mix by hand as if making meatballs, then make meatballs. Roll in bread crumbs, drop in frying pan and cook less then 2 minutes; turn and cook another 2 minutes until done.
They taste like the Thanksgiving sandwich you make that night, the one with the stuffing and cranberry sauce on it. I have served as appetizers and people eat them like potato chips. I have also have served over egg noodles with a turkey gravy over them. Above recipe makes 24 meatballs
|Time:||10 Minutes Preparation Time|
5 Minutes Cooking Time
By christine from Mount Arlington, NJ
It's almost turkey time again, so I want to share this great dressing recipe with you. It is easy, flavorful, and comes out perfect every time.
Wonderful Recipe for Thanksgiving Yeast Rolls. Why not try making your own this year?
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I'm looking for recipes for Thanksgiving dinner that can be made ahead of time and frozen or can be cooked a couple of days early. We're going to my parents on Thanksgiving Day, and then the next day we're having my husband's family over, so I will not have time to prepare the day before.
Cook your turkey ahead of time. When cool, slice meat from turkey and place in ziplock bags and freeze. If making homemade stuffing, prepare it in a disposable aluminum baking pan, Bake and then cool, cover with foil and freeze in pan it's baked in. Do the same for baked yams, etc.... everything can be thawed in the fridge and re-heated in the oven an hour before your meal.
If you really want to impress your in-laws with your cooking, get your turkey ready the day before Thanksgiving and refrigerate it. Get up early on Friday morning and bake it. There is nothing more that says 'it's leftover' than frozen turkey, whether you want it to be or not. Sorry, but I am not a fan of frozen cooked meat of any kind, especially poultry. If you must do it this way, at least boil some of the juices you baked it in and pour over the warmed turkey to help give it that just cooked flavor. The potatoes can be made ahead and put in the crockpot that morning to warm. Good luck!
i'm so glad you asked.
i love how this idea works out!
i make my mashed potatoes weeks in advance.
i mash the potatoes as usual.
then i fold in some shredded mozzerella cheese,
some finely diced ham and 1 egg (lightly beaten).
put the mixture into a buttered casserole dish.
sprinkle the top with a mixture of bread crumbs and grated parmesan cheese. Dot with butter.
cover with clear wrap and tin foil.
and freeze for up to one month
or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
before baking - remove clear wrap and replace foil.
bake for 45 mins to 1 hour at 350 degrees
until heated through and top becomes slightly golden. you can remove foil for the last ten minutes.
My girlfriend (the italian home economics teacher)
calls this "Italian Potatoe Pie"
Mashed Potato Casserole
Cook potatoes. Mash, season with salt, pepper and parsley; adding butter as needed. Add half and half, cream cheese and onion dip using whip or hand mixer. Do not over beat.
Put in a 9x13 inch greased casserole. Brush top with butter and sprinkle with parsley and/or paprika.
Bake in 350 degree F for 30 minutes. Serves 12.
Can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen. Bake for one hour at 350° to reheat.
Personal Note: I warm the cream cheese, sour cream, and half and half in the microwave at a low setting.
This is the first year I'm hosting Thanksgiving. We recently bought our first house and my parents and my in-laws, plus my grandparents will all be coming here for the meal. There will be 9 people, not to many. However, my family has the exact same thing every year for thanksgiving. Turkey, stuffing, cranberry, yams, lima beans, mashed potatoes, jello salad, apple salad, date pudding and pumpkin pie. Not only am I getting tired of this menu after 23 years, but I want my in-laws to and family both like the menu.
What are some things you thrifty fun readers make that are big hits? My mom's allergic to shell fish, and my dad can't eat pork since he's Jewish. Also 2 people are diabetics. Any ideas?
Amy from Anderson, IN
Menu Suggestions for an Italian flavor Thanksgiving - Italian Wedding Soup, Lasagna with spinach and ricotta, Roast capon, chicken or cornish hens with potatoes and carrots. Caesar Salad and then pumpkin pie ala mode with spumoni ice cream. Optional, wine on the table. Some of these items can be made ahead. We had this when we were growing up for the Holidays.
Here is one of my family's faves!
SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE
1 (29 oz.) can yams or
2 c. mashed sweet potatoes
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 stick butter, melted
1/2 c. milk (canned)
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Mix with mixer. Bake 25 minutes in 400 degree oven. Then add topping.
1/2 c. finely crushed cornflakes
1/2 stick butter
1/2 c. pecans or walnuts
1/2 c. light brown sugar
Combine all the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the casserole. Bake another 15 minutes or until knife blade comes out clean. Bake in an 8 inch square baking dish.
I haven't eaten actual cranberry sauce for years. I am diabetic and this is what I make instead.
1 large navel orange
2 bags fresh cranberries
Sweeten to taste with sugar or Splenda
Wash the oranges as u will be using skin and all
Clean and wash the cranberries
Cut oranges as small as necessary to fit in food processor(I have a hand crank meat grinder which I use solely for this purpose)
Alternate orange wedges with handfuls of cranberries as you grind them together.
After finished grinding, let sit for about 5 minutes until gets some juice.
Add Spenda to taste.
This recipe can be increased as needed and freezes like a dream (treat like jam and leave a air space at top of containers for effects of freezing.
How about this:
ALMOND CANDIED SWEET POTATOES(FOR 8)
8 sweet potatoes
1/2 c. brown sugar(I'd use the Splenda Brown Sugar Blend)
2 tbsp butter(or marg I would think)
Dash cinnamon (personally I do more than dash with cinnamon :], it is a natural regulator of blood sugar as well for your diabetics.)
1/4 c. slivered almonds
1/8 tsp salt
Pare potatoes and cook until tender in lightly salted water
Split potatoes and place in greased, shallow pan
Combine sugar, water, butter, salt and cinnamon in saucepan
Stir in almondws
Simmer 3 minutes
Pour over potatoes in casserole
Bake at 425, uncovered, for 20 minutes
Baste with syrup during cooking time, once or twice.
Replace that heavy pumpkin pie with something like this:
LIGHT FALL PARFAIT
Note: All starred ingredients may have to be purchased for this recipe.
1 c. low fat plain yogurt 250 mL
1/4 c. canned pumpkin puree* 50 mL
2 tbsp sugar free maple-flavoured syrup* 30 mL
Pinch cinnamon Pinch
Layer in parfait glasses with toasted chopped pecans or ginger snap crumbs.
Here are some corn casserole recipes that my family enjoys. Both can be prepared ahead of time and baked on Thanksgiving Day. I use whatever size bag of corn bread mix they have at the store, I can't always find the 8 or 8.5 oz and they come out fine. These casseroles are also great served with chili.
FROM: MAKE IT MIAMI
Yield: 6 servings
Preheat oven to 350.
1/2 cup butter
1 (16-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (16-ounce) can cream style corn
1 cup sour cream
1 (8-ounce) package corn bread mix
1 small onion, grated
Gated cheddar cheese, for topping
Combine all ingredients except cheese. Place in greased 8x8-inch casserole dish. Top with grated cheese. Bake in greased 8x8-inch casserole at 350 for 45 minutes.
ZUCCHINI CORNBREAD CASSEROLE
FROM: Diana S. at www.allrecipes.com
Yield: 7 servings
4 cups shredded zucchini
1 onion, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1 (8.5 oz) package dry corn muffin mix
0.50 teaspoon salt
0.25 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 2 quart casserole dish. In a large bowl mix together the zucchini, onion, eggs, muffin mix, salt and pepper. Stir in 4 ounces of the cheese. Spread this mixture into the casserole dish; top with remaining 4 ounces of cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes.
Last Thanksgiving my sister-in-law made roast beef and baked potatoes. Not what you associate with the holiday but it pleased everyone and was a really nice change. How about adding broccoli, rice and cheese casserole, sweet potato biscuits, and gingerbread with ice cream? All of these can be made ahead of time and you can get recipes from southernfood.about.com -- just put what you're looking for in the search bar. My dad was diabetic so I know the challenges of cooking sugar free.
When daddy was first diagnosed in 1961 there were almost no foods for diabetics, now they have almost everything, including sugar free gingerbread mix. For sweetening you can use Sweet 'n Low, sugar free honey, sugar free maple syrup, or all natural jellies and jams. Hope you have a lovely holiday.
What should I cook for Thanksgiving dinner?
By shannon from Hazleton, PA
I am attending a family Thanksgiving dinner and I need ideas as to what to bring. They do not make a traditional Thanksgiving meal; I never know what they are making. And we will be driving about 2 hours away for this dinner.
By Shannon from Austin, MN
Any ideas for an easy, cheap Thanksgiving menu and the recipes?
Kathy Milligan from Mira Loma, CA.
I will give you the sample Thanksgiving menu that is in my mother's cookbook, along with as many recipes as possible.
Harvest Celebration Cup
To begin with this Harvest cup, thaw 2 pkgs. (12oz. each) frozen mixed fruit as per directions on package. Do not drain! Spoon 1/3 c. fruit with syrup into each of 8 punch cups. Pour about 1/4 c. chilled sparkling grape juice into each cup. Stir once and serve immediately. Delicious!
Roast Turkey & Dressing
Heat oven to 325. Rinse bird in cold water. Drain and pat dry. Fold wings, bringing wing tips to the back of the bird. Fill neck cavity with stuffing, if desired. Stuff body cavity as well, but do not pack stuffing as it will expand as it cooks. If you do not wish to stuff the bird, rub the inside of the bird with salt. Push drum sticks under a band of skin at the tail. Place turkey, breast down, and allow to bake at least 1/2 of the time. Then turn the turkey over carefully. Baste with butter. The browning of the bird will take place now so continue to baste with the juices from the roasting pan every 30 minutes. If you use a meat thermometer, make sure it does not touch the bone. Covering with aluminum foil will prevent excessive browning. Allow the turkey to stand 20-30 minutes to set before carving.
Mashed potatoes & gravy from drippings from the turkey.
8 lg. size ears of sweet corn (husked, silked & washed)
3 T. brown sugar (firmly packed
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 stick butter
Cut corn from each cob and scrape each cob to remove the cream from the cob. Spray electric skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Melt butter in skillet. Place corn in skillet. Top with brown sugar and whipping cream to cover corn. Season with salt & pepper. Cover; bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer. Stir often. AS it cooks down, stir to keep from burning. Bring caramelization to the top while stirring. This will take 20-25 minutes. The corn w8ill have a beautiful golden color. Delicious also!
1 pkg. lemon gelatin (3oz.)
1 c. boiling water
1 pkg. frozen cranberry-orange relish (10oz.)
1 can crushed pineapple (not drained) (8oz.)
1 red apple (chopped)
1/2 c. celery (chopped)
crisp salad greens
Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in frozen relish, fruit and celery. Stir until relish is thawed. Pour into 1 qt. mold; chill until set. Unmold on fresh salad greens.
Hot rolls & butter
Green Bean Casserole:
2 cans green beans(drained)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can water chestnuts
Pour all ingredients into a well greased rectangular dish. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Sprinkle a can of French-fried onions over the top of the casserole for the last 5 minutes or baking.
Creamy Fruit Salad:
1 can drained mandarin oranges
1 can drained crushed pineapple
2 bananas, sliced
1 c. mini marshmallows
12 maraschino cherries
1 carton Dream Whip (mixed with 3 t. sugar & 1/4 t. almond extract)
Mix ingredients together.
Pumpkin or Apple Pie
For the pumpkin pie, my mom always used the recipe that comes on the can of Libby's pumpkin. For the apple pie, here is the recipe.
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie shells
7 apples (peel & core)
Slice into pie shell. Mix the following:
1 c. sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1 c. cream
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
pat of butter
Pour over apples. Sprinkle grated cheese over top. Cover top with second pie shell layer. Brush with cream. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Bake 45 minutes at 400 degrees.
I hope these are good suggestions for you. Good luck!
How about a cooperative effort? You do the turkey and the dressing, and assign various people to bring veggies, desserts, beverages, etc? Most people are usually happy to show off their best dishes. Those who don't or can't cook might bring beverages, refrigerator rolls, paper goods or fresh corn for boiling, etc.
Even the children can participate by making and bringing a few hand decorated placemats each.
Thank you everyone for posting such great ideas! Everyone of them look so good!
Call a fast food chicken place like KFC or others and they have all the fixings and turkey for usually about 50.00
Depends. When we were even poorer, we ate Turkey TV dinners. lol
As we progressed, we cooked large precooked frozen Turkey slices in gravy with dressing and frozen veggies.
Later in the years I began to cook traditionally, getting a free turkey with $50.00 in groc., tossing Stovetop boxed dressing and canned broth together, along with deviled eggs and canned sweet potatoes/green beans and iced tea/packaged rolls, and delicious frozen cooked pies.
The last many years I made a full to-die-for homemade Thanksgiving meal, costing MUCH more than I ever imagined, so I wound up taking my daughter-in-law's advice from then on: Either have each family bring a main dish, salad or dessert, OR go out to a bargain buffet BRUNCH and make memories without the work !
Now, I'm an elder remembering all the times I cooked, invited couples who were having marital problems who never showed or who cancelled at the last minute with sincere apologies, and comparing them with the many childhood memories in my grandmother's kitchen and lap, smacking on everything delicious she'd feed me.
It's really up to us, isn't it? What do we celebrate Thanksgiving for? Isn't it about being grateful for what God has given us freely? About loving one another, not impressing others?
Making good memories is work, but needs to be made in unconditional love and sincere sweat labor, knowing it will be remembered one day and appreciated as well. God bless you all. : )
walmart sells already cooked turkey packages (includes pot,cranberry sauce etc...)in a box
Just heat and eat.
I need some new inspiration. What does your Thanksgiving Day menu include? I am looking for ideas from main dish, to sides, to dessert etc. (Links to recipes online if you have them would be great as well.) Many thanks.
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I am not a good cook but I love Thanksgiving dressing. I would like to request a recipe for what I believe is called cornbread dressing. Any dressing ideas or recipes you would like to submit would be great.
Lous from Oklahoma
One of my favorite is this recipe:
My favorite is an oyster/cornbread stuffing, if you like seafood.
Southern Cornbread and Oyster Dressing
Combine cornbread and bread crumbs in a large bowl; mix in sauteed onions, salt and pepper, and parsley.
Add beaten eggs and toss more; moisten with the oyster liquid until moist but not soggy. Add the oysters.
Pat the mixture into a lightly buttered rectangular cake pan (it should make a 1-inch layer in the pan). Dot with remaining butter and bake about 45 minutes, until golden brown and set in the center.
Good Luck! (11/03/2004)
This is my favorite dressing recipe and it's so easy!
Crock-Pot Chicken 'n Dressing
Note: I don't layer the ingredients, I just mix them all up together. Also, I mix the dressing ingredients while the chicken is stewing and set in refrigerator until I have deboned the chicken and am ready to add it. Of course, if you just want "dressing", leave out the chicken and one can of soup.
Here is my grandmothers recipe from 1940's. Use box cornbread mix (miracle maize NO SUGAR) to make it easier. Kentucky recipe. Southern style
12 slices white bread
1/2 skillet cornbread
1 tsp. celery flakes
1 med. onion diced
1 tsp. parsley flakes
2-1/2 tsp. sage
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 C. chicken broth
Fill buttered casserole 3/4 full. Bake at 350 for 40 min. Remove cover last 10 minutes baking time. (11/03/2004)
To make it easier follow the instructions on basic stuffing use Chicken Broth, orange juice, apple juice for liquid with butter I usually combine all these and all diced: apples, walnuts, celery,onions, water chestnuts. I get requests for recipe every time I make it be creative its easy and have fun.
I just simply melt a large amount of margarine, break up a loaf of white bread and add salt, pepper, sage, poultry season and some chopped up onion.
Add the melted margarine and mix together. Make sure dressing is very moist. Then stuff the dressing into a turkey or chicken and bake. (11/04/2004)
For a nice big batch of this dressing...from SCRATCH (now, don't be afraid):
(If you forget or don't have time to do this the day before, just toast in a low oven until most of the moisture is gone)
Toss together in a large bowl with:
Due to the problems with botulism with leftover dressing in the turkey, I never stuff them anymore and just bake the dressing in a dish. It is MUCH less fattening that way, too. Bake, covered for 30 minutes and uncovered for another 10 to crisp up the surface. Just pop in the oven along with the turkey, or while it is "resting" before it's carved...or bake ahead of time and pop in the microwave till hot through.
PS: don't be afraid to add some of your favorite herbs and spices, too, a teaspoon of cilantro is good, as well as some oregano and basil. If you get real frisky, add a can of mandarin oranges, a small can of unsweetened pineapple, etc.
Good luck, darlin' and have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Always remember that its not the food that is important, but the blessings and, most importantly, the fellowship.
I'm hosting Thanksgiving at my house this year and would like other ideas for recipes. Any helpful hints?
I need an idea about what to bring to Thanksgiving dinner. I am going to my daughter-in-law's family (her aunt's) for the first time. Something special, but easy. I am not much of a cook.