Tag Archives: Thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes Round Up

Last year and the year before, in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, I shared recipes from our Thanksgiving Dinner Table. In case you’re wondering about what you’re going to have. Here are some ideas.

Cranberry Relish

Cranberry-Orange Relish ingredients

Paul Kaser’s Scalloped Corn, which has become my son Brent’s contribution to our Thanksgiving Table.

Norma Kaser’s Turkey Dressing, with all kinds of good things including her Spiced Pecans, which are great on their own for any festive occasion.

Harriette Kaser’s Cranberry-Orange Relish, with a look at the old fashioned food grinder she used to make it.

Perfect Gravy, in honor of my Aunt Rhema, whose gravy was always perfect.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Killer Corn Bread

Killer Corn Bread, my own tradition, borrowed from a 1960s newspaper article about the Scottsdale Hilton chef.

Pickled Beets and Eggs, a traditional European recipe that is a must on our Thanksgiving table, the beautiful ruby-red beets and eggs served up in a crystal dish.

Frozen Fruit Salad, a relic from the days of Jell-o salads and Jell-o frozen desserts.

Thanksgiving recipes

Mixing generations. Left-cut glass bowl from Hattie Stout; top meat platter from Hattie Stout; center my own cut glass bowl, shallow china bowl my wedding china, wicker basket a wedding present.

And of course there must be pie.

Perfect Pie Crust.  Honestly, it is SO easy.

Frozen Pie Filling If you want to get a head start, make and freeze your fruit pie filling. The principle is the same for most kinds of fruit–just gauge the sweetness when adding sugar.

Ken’s Grandma Badertscher’s Raisin Pie is a real vintage recipe, straight from Switzerland.

Blueberry Pie from a Vintage Cook Book.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Dinner

Part of a Ham Dinner for an alternative Thanksgiving Dinner.

Add some mashed potatoes, and the turkey of course and you’ll have a whole Thanksgiving dinner.  If you were my grandmother, Vera Stout Anderson, you’d also have ham and bake a cake, and have three kinds of vegetables–but, hey, it all depends on how big an appetite your family has.

Thanksgiving Recipe: Pickled Beets and Eggs

Here’s another decorative dish for your Thanksgiving table.

Pickled Eggs and Beets for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Table

I don’t recall mother or grandmother making cold pickled beets, but mother’s favorite way to serve canned beets was Harvard beets (a recipe for another day) which also is a sweet and sour sauce.

When I first added  pickled beets and eggs to our Thanksgiving menu, my main thought was how beautiful the bright magenta beets and eggs would look in one of my great-grandmother’s cut-glass bowls on the Thanksgiving table. Now I can’t leave them off the table, or I’ll hear from my son Mike.

Of course pickled vegetables were a staple of my ancestors, and you can use basically this same recipe to “put up” beets in glass jars, if you wish. You can find directions on the Internet in many places. The history of the humble root is fascinating for its International flare. At first, beets were deemed only fit to feed livestock. (Lucky pigs!) Our early ancestors would have called this vegetable a blood turnip, and Ken’s Swiss family persists in calling them “red beets.”

Beets

Orange beets with other farmer’s Market finds

Growing up we knew nothing BUT red beets, so it seemed redundant to me to call them “red beets,” but recently at farmer’s markets, I have tried yellow, striped, and orange beets.

You can see various recipes used for beets in the 1800s at this American Cookery site.

The history of pickled eggs is interesting as well. They seem to be considered an English tradition–definitely pub food.  In the early days of this country visitors to bars might have gotten a little food for free along with their drink and big jars of disgusting brownish liquid held pickled eggs.

Whoever decided to mix them with beets to turn them beautiful red, deserves our everlasting thanks.

PIckled Beets and Eggs

Ingredients

  • 5 beets (medium or 1 can whole beets)
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cloves (whole)
  • 8 eggs (hard cooked and peeled)

Directions

1. If using fresh beets, cook,peel and slice. If using canned, drain liquid and use as part of called-for water.
2. Mix vinegar, water, sugar, salt and cloves.
3. Put beets in large glass container and pour vinegar mixture over.
4. Let marinate overnight in refrigerator.
5. Next day, remove half beets and add shelled eggs. Put reserved beets back on top of eggs. Refrigerate at least another day.

6. Will keep in refrigerator for a long time, but eggs will get rubbery if left more than a week.
7. To serve, spoon the beets and eggs out of the liquid. Cut the eggs in half lengthwise, or slice crosswise. Slice beets if they are large, or leave small ones whole. ( Do not return sliced eggs to liquid or you'll have a muddy mess.)

Note

The hardest part about this recipe is getting neatly peeled eggs. To ensure you have attractive peeled eggs, set aside however many eggs you are going to use about a week before you plan to make this. Old eggs peel better.

Amounts are flexible. I usually use two cans of beets and a dozen eggs. The liquid is still enough for that amount.

Thanksgiving Recipes: Frozen Fruit Salad

For the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing Thanksgiving recipes and then Christmas recipes–not necessarily from ancestors, but then I’m somebody’s ancestor, too.

Thanksgiving recipes

Mixing generations. Left-cut glass bowl from Hattie Stout; top meat platter from Hattie Stout; center my own cut glass bowl, shallow china bowl my wedding china, wicker basket with pyrex dish a wedding present. This year, we had all the food on this table, and we ate at another table. Too much food to fit where we ate.

It is time to think about Thanksgiving dinner. Who’s hosting? Who’s cooking which Thanksgiving recipes? The answers varied with the generations and as people moved around the country. I remember the lavish spreads that my own Grandmother Vera Anderson laid out for the family.  I imagine that some of the daughters-in-law brought dishes, but I don’t know what.  I know that everyone pitched in to get the good china and crystal and silver on the long table.

I also know that inevitably, when everyone had pushed back from the table, exhausted by gobbling up two kinds of meat, dresssing, potatoes, numerous vegetables and a couple different pies and a cake–Grandma Vera would inevitably say, “Well I don’t know why I go to all this bother. You didn’t eat anything.”  Because, of course, there was a mountain of food to start out with, and a slightly smaller mountain of food at the end of the meal.

Since I don’t have a lot of grandma’s recipes for Thanksgiving, I’m going to share some of mine. Every year somebody says, “Now, don’t go to so much bother. Just cook a few things.”  Well, that would work, except that each person has his or her favorite–the one thing that they cannot do without, so decade by decade, the menu grows.

For my part, I like to mix things up a bit, and have the traditional turkey, sweet potatoes, dressing, pumpkin pie, but add something that is related but not traditional.

Joys of Jello cookbook

One of the non-traditional Thanksgiving recipes that has proved to be a great favorite is a recipe  for frozen fruit dessert that I pulled long ago from that Joy of Jell-O cookbook I told you about earlier. This is particularly popular with kids, who think they are eating ice cream for their main course. I like that creamy goodness, too, but mainly I like the bright color it brings to the table.

Frozen Fruit Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 6-oz box strawberry Jell-o (or your choice of flavor)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 can pineapple chunks
  • 2/3 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup grapes (seedless, halved)
  • 1 can fruit cocktail (drained)
  • extra marashino cherries (opt.)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (chopped (If no one in the family is allergic to them))

Directions

1. Drain and reserve juice from pineapple
2. Dissolve jello in boiling water
3. Add 1 cup of the drained juice, and the lemon juice.
4. Using hand blender or regular blender, blend in mayo.
5. Chill until thick
6. Stir in sour cream, fruit and nuts.
7. Pour into two 8/9-inch loaf pans and freeze.
8. When ready to serve, run warm water in the sink or a large pan and hold the frozen pan in the warm water until you can shake the salad away form the edges of the pan. Slice and serve on individual plates on a lettuce leaf.