Here is what I'm serving on Thanksgiving day:
Special Corn Dinner Rolls
1/3 cup yellow corn meal
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
2 cups milk
1 package yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 eggs, beaten
4 to 6 cups flour (all purpose or bread)
Put corn meal, sugar, salt, butter, and milk in the top of a double boiler. Cook until thick, stirring frequently. It will be like cream of wheat or mush. Cool to lukewarm, about 105 to 115 degrees. (Cooling can take up to 45 minutes. Be sure to test temperature.) To speed cool, place the pan in an ice water bath, and stir until it reaches the correct temperature. This will take less than 10 minutes.
Dissolve yeast in water, beat eggs, and add both to lukewarm mixture. Beat thoroughly. Cover and let rise in a warm place about 2 hours.
Stir in approximately 4 cups flour to form a soft ball. Turn out on floured board and knead about 10 minutes. The dough tends to be soft, so add more flour as you work it to keep it from sticking to board and hands. (Use another cup of flour before kneading if dough seems to be too sticky to handle easily.) Place kneaded dough in greased bowl, grease exposed surface, cover with damp cloth, and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down and turn out on floured board and shape as desired.
For crescent rolls: divide dough into 4 equal balls. Roll into circles about 1/4 inch thick. Brush with melted butter. Using a pizza cutter, cut dough like a pie into 12 to 16 wedges depending on the size of the rolls you wish. Roll wedge tightly from wide end to point. Place on greased baking sheet point side down and bend roll into a crescent shape. Let rise 1 hour, until double. You can also just shape into balls and bake as pan rolls. Bake 15 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees or until lightly browned.
Green Beans with Lemon Cheese Sauce
1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard
2 teaspoons water
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup grated sharp cheese
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon or more salt
Mix the mustard with the water and let stand 10 minutes. Melt butter in a 1-quart saucepan. Remove from heat. Blend in the flour. Stir and cook 1/2 minute or until it's bubbly. Remove from the heat and stir in the milk. Stir and cook until medium thick. Blend the egg yolk with lemon juice and blend with the sauce. Heat 1 minute. Stir in mustard and remaining ingredients.
My Mom's Stuffing
1 apple, diced
Minced fresh parsley
1 stick butter
Salt and pepper
1/2 pan corn bread, made into crumbs*
Sliced bread, dried in a warm oven, rolled into crumbs with a rolling pin*
Chicken or turkey broth
Saute the vegetables and apple in the butter until tender. Stir in the seasonings, then the cornbread and bread. Moisten with the broth, not too soggy. I never stuff it into the turkey, just bake it in a side dish. *There's no shame in using stuffing mix for the bread part.
Open the can of jellied cranberry sauce and if you can't also take of the lid on the other end of the can, poke a hole in it somehow. Shake it out onto a plate Serve.
Last year Jeri sent me a turkey brining kit and I didn't get around to using it. The main component is a mixture of sugar and salt with spices. I am going to soak my 13-pound bird in it overnight. This is optional, but brining any kind of meat does increase the juiciness. I don't like those turkeys that have been injected with some kind of liquid to make them moister because the liquid always smells a little rancid to me.
Turkey in an Oven Bag
Rinse off the turkey inside and out. Mix some salt and pepper and throw it into the cavity along with a peeled medium-size onion. Loosen the skin of the turkey and put some fresh herbs next to the meat. I'm using rosemary because I have it in the yard. Thyme and sage are good to use, and you can arrange the leaves decoratively under the skin.
Here are the oven bag instructions from All Recipes:
"Sprinkle the bottom of a turkey size oven bag with flour. Place turkey, celery and onions in the bag. Seal bag and poke several holes in it with a fork. Bake 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or until internal temperature of the thigh meat reaches 180 degrees F."
This sounds like the way I did it last year, so that must be the way. Have someone help you pour the accumulated juices from the bag into a measuring cup and let the fat rise to the surface so you can ladle or pour it off.
To the juices from the turkey add a slurry of cornstarch mixed with water and heat until thickened. Add a slug of white wine and some cranberry sauce for extra flavor, and if it seems wimpy or there isn't enough, add chicken broth. A lot of turkeys come with a packet of so-called gravy mix - it looks like some kind of broth flavored liquid and the cornstarch mixed in. I'm not sure I'd use it unless I accidentally dropped my whole pan of gravy I just made on the floor and I was desperate.
Pumpkin Pecan Pie
9 inch unbaked pie shell
3/4 cup pumpkin
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups pecans, chopped if desired
Prick and pre bake the shell about 10 minutes at 375 degrees with pie weights, remove weights and bake 6 to 10 minutes more until golden all over. Whisk together the pumpkin filling ingredients in one bowl, the pecan filling in another. Spread pumpkin evenly in the pie shell, then carefully spoon the pecan filling over it. Bake pie until crust is golden and filing is puffed, about 35 minutes. Center will still be slightly wobbly. Cool completely on a rack, serve at room temperature. If made the day before, crisp the crust by baking 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.