The majestic colors of rust, scarlet and turmeric change the scenery as autumn’s coolness triggers the giants to slow down and lapse into their winter slumber. Their summer green changes into something more rich, but also something that will soon be lost. As death is sure, they begin their decent gliding down to blanket the ground in a beauty all too exquisite. As quickly as they’re raked into piles, my children run, jumping into them laughing as they tussle about in that lovely crunching sound made under their weight.
Autumn is a time for food and as the holidays quickly approach we begin preparing for that special feast, Thanksgiving dinner.
We all bring ‘traditions’ to our homes, especially where the holidays menus are concerned. When the word Thanksgiving starts ringing around our home, it seems to evoke this happy, warm, fuzzy kinda feeling… ya know?
As you get to know me here and at For Dragonflies And Me, you’ll read much about my family in the kitchen. From seed-time to harvest, food is a part of all of our lives and I believe we should enjoy it to the fullest! My daughter and son’s are in the mix of it all, right down to my six-year-old Evan~ he’s thrilled because he can flip his own pancake! We’re a family that love’s to cook.
I am never happier then when my boys come in from the cold and I hear these precious words.., “Oooohhhhh, mom, that smells so good!”
I love my life on our farm. I love the freedom it’s given us to raise our own food…to see the excitement in their eyes as they dig a potato or pull a radish…to hear their laughter ring through the barn as they try to round-up an escapee chicken… to see them enjoy a fresh picked apple sitting on a limb in the apple tree.
Although I’m all about summer, I love this time of year as well.
I thought it would be special to share my families favorite fix’ns that we make to go along with our home raised and butchered turkey… enjoy friends! This is a photo of my son feeding the turkeys we raised last year for Thanksgiving! They were yummy!
Here’s our families traditional Thanksgiving Day Dinner Menu!
*All recipes are taken from my cookbook, “For Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats”. For Lots more yummy recipes you can order my cookbook at my blog listed below.
(This recipe is not in my cook book, but you can find my Cabbage Roll Casserole recipe. That’s what I make when I feel lazy!)
1 large head cabbage- about 6-8 pounds
1 ½ pound ground beef, raw
2 cups raw white rice
1 medium Spanish onion, chopped
3 quarts tomato juice
Salt & Pepper
2 bay leaves
½ tsp. salt
1.Fill a large pot ¾ ways full with water, add ½ tsp. salt.
2.Take cabbage and carefully cut out the stem and cut into the cabbage to make it so the leaves will remove easily, but as not to fall apart.
3.Place cabbage in pot with stem end up facing you; turn heat on high and bring to a boil; once boiling turn down to medium. Cover and cook for about ½ hour to 45 minutes- till cabbage is cooked but not mushy.
4.While cabbage is cooking, combine all meat, rice, onion and 1 quart of tomato juice; mix until evenly distributed. Place aside until cabbage is ready.
5.Remove cabbage from pot and place in sink of cold water. Taking one leave at a time, cut out the center rib about 1/3 way up if necessary, being careful not to rip leaf. Place ¼ cup of meat and rice mixture into center of leaf. Carefully roll up once and then fold each side in and then roll up one last time. Place in a roster edge side down.
6. Sprinkle salt & pepper over each layer of roll and then pour enough tomato juice over to cover; repeat until next layer is done makin sure the rolls are covered with tomato juice. Tuck in the two bay leaves.
7.Cover and bake for 2 hours at 325 degrees.
1- 9” deep dish unbaked pie crust
1 cup pumpkin
1 egg yolk
2/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 ½ Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cup milk
1 egg white, stiffly beaten
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a blender, combine all ingredients, except egg white, and blend until smooth and creamy.
3. Pour into pie crust; add stiffly beaten egg white, folding in very carefully with spatula into pie. Small lumps are fine.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes; lower to 350 degrees and bake for 35 to 45 minutes.
Test for doneness with a toothpick to check center for dryness. I use actual pumpkin that I can, so if you like a stronger flavor, this is a great recipe!
Cranberry Mousse, pg. 64
1- 6 oz. pkg. strawberry flavored gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1- 16 oz. can whole berry cranberry sauce
1- 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, undrained, juice separated and reserved
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon peel
2 cups sour cream
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional) – but so good with!
Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add pineapple juice to gelatin. Stir in cranberries, lemon juice and lemon peel. Chill until thickened but not totally set- about 1-2 hours. Fold in sour cream, pineapple and nuts. Chill until set.
Serves about 15 to 20 people.
Vegetable Dressing, pg. 197
1- 1# loaf, day old bread
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup diced, cooked potatoes
1 cup diced, cooked carrots
1 cup dice, uncooked celery
½ cup fresh parsley
¼ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cup milk
Break bread into cubes and mix with butter. Add mild to eggs. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into a well-greased 2 quart baking dish or stuff in bird, any excess putting around the base of bird. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 ½ hours if in baking dish or until bird is fully cooked. If in bowl, stir several times while baking.
I hope this has inspired you to create a special Thanksgiving day dinner menu for your loved ones!