Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes

I thought about searching out some new recipes for you this Thanksgiving but quickly realized that this meal IS Thanksgiving in my world. Mama made these same dishes every year that I can remember. As an adult child I have made these same recipes every year except for two. Both times we ate with someone else's family. I missed the comfort of sameness, having leftovers and as my son says, "laying in the floor and rubbing our bellies"! Ok, HE does that, not me! 

Whatever you cook, I wish for you love, health and happiness around your table. I am very thankful for each and every one of you who take the time to read this blog. 

Happy Thanksgiving!
November 21, 2013

This post is from November 2011
It occured to me that giving you these recipes next week would not do you much good, so here are our family's favorites for a traditional Southern Thanksgiving Dinner. They have been on our Thanksgiving table for more years than I can remember. Mama (Miss Martha) made the best pecan pie I've ever eaten and it's sooo easy! The Praline Sweet Potatoes are almost like dessert and always a hit with the kids. And finally, our "recipe" for Old Fashioned Cornbread Dressing. It was hard to put it down on paper, but I decided it was time to pass it along to the next generation. Mama and I would taste the dressing and add whatever we thought it needed. I like dry dressing so that you can put lots of gravy on it. This one fits the bill. If you like moist dressing, add more liquid and reduce the cooking time by 5 or 10 minutes.

I have to confess that I make Pumpkin Pie straight off the Libby's Pumpkin can label AND I put it ( as well as the Pecan Pie) in a frozen piecrust. My opinion of piecrust is that it's job is just to hold the filling! ;)

And, of course, we'll have green beans, mac 'n cheese, rolls (Sister Schubert's) and giblet gravy. And maybe I'll make Indiana egg noodles for my dear husband...Oh boy! I'm hungry just thinking about it!

Helen's Notes: Getting this all done depends on organization and pre- prep. Here's what I'll do ahead:
Chop all the pecans at once (in food processor)
Measure ingredients for each recipe and put in containers
Bake the cornbread for dressing and freeze when cool
Bake sweet potatoes in oven while cornbread is cooking, mash and refrigerate until needed. Take sweet potatoes out of refrig early in day to warm up to room temperature before making casserole
Make Praline Sweet Potato Casserole topping and refrigerate until needed
Bake pies on Wed. Refrigerate Pumpkin Pie, not Pecan
Combine bread and dry ingredients for dressing. Then mix it all together on Turkey Day.

Miss Martha’s Pecan Pie
2/3 stick butter, melted
¾ cup sugar
1 cup white Karo
3 eggs
1 cup chopped pecans ( I coarsely chop mine and lightly toast them)
1 (9-inch) deep dish pie crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine ingredients in mixing bowl (or 4 cup-measure). Pour into pie crust. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until almost set in middle (that means it doesn’t wiggle when you gently shake the pan!). Cool on wire rack.

Praline Sweet Potato Casserole

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (I bake mine, peel and mash)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sugar
¼ cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt

Mash potatoes well and mix with remaining ingredients. Pour into greased 2-quart baking dish.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

¼ cup butter, melted
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans (lightly toasted)

Combine butter, sugar and flour; mix with a fork until crumbly. Stir in pecans. Crumble over sweet potato mixture. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until bubbly.

Old Fashioned Cornbread Dressing

2 cups cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups buttermilk
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
2 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Combine ingredients in large mixing bowl. Stir until well mixed. Pour into greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Bake for 35 minutes.  Cool completely. Crumble cornbread into a large mixing bowl.

12 slices white bread, crusts removed and crumbled
2 to 2 1/2 cups turkey or chicken broth (turkey broth makes it richer tasting)
1 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (Mama would have never used this, but I like it!)
½ teaspoon rubbed sage
¼ teaspoon black pepper

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add remaining ingredients to crumbled cornbread, stirring well. Spoon dressing into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish ( or 4-quart casserole). Bake for 30 minutes.

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