We had a little break from Culinary School this week and last week and won’t have class until Monday night. I have been very busy making things for people and Thanksgiving. Jesse McElreath, pastor and friend, hinted that “it was pumpkin season, wasn’t it?” at church a couple weeks ago. I have been giving him pumpkin spice cakes with cream cheese and orange glaze for a few years now ever since I gave him some for Pastor Appreciation Month one year and he confessed he ate them all without sharing any with his wife, Darlene. He puts butter in the well in the center of the mini-bundt cake, heats it and then eats the whole thing. I made a batch of pumpkin bread for him, us, and brought some to work where it was promptly eaten and I was even asked for the recipe by the Warden.
For Thanksgiving dinner I started preparations a week ago by making homemake stock and drippings from the turkey parts I roasted were saved for the gravy. As usual, I made too much food, ate too much food, and now have too much food in my refrigerator! The menu was:
Cheese tray
Spinach Dip
Herb Salted Turkey with traditional gravy
Ham with apricot glaze and cranberry chutney
Cornbread stuffing
Mashed Potatoes
Candied mashed sweet potatoes
Fresh green bean casserole
Cherry Jubilee salad
Homemade yeast rolls
Key Lime Pie
Pumpkin Caramel Pie
Pumpkin Tarts
My favorites are always the turkey and cornbread stuffing. I have memories of helping my father may Thanksgiving dinner, especially the stuffing and gravy. I wish now I had paid more attention to his instructions, but I do remember him saying how important it was to make a good stock, a proper roux, and brown everything going into the stock beforehand. His stuffing and gravy were always so delicious but I don’t know what his secret ingredients were.
I make my stuffing as close to his as I can with bacon, sausage, celery, onions, cornbread and various seasonings.
My children all have their favorites and I have to include them in the meal. My daughter, Helen, who couldn’t be here told me she misses the homemade rolls the most about our family Thanksgiving. She especially liked eating them the next day with turkey in sandwiches. My son, Glenn, likes green bean casserole. My other son, John David, couldn’t be here but he has to have cranberry sauce, jellied, from the can and sliced. My daughter, Alexandra, has to have the cherry jubilee salad which she always calls, “pink stuff”. Everyone got their favorites and we enjoyed sharing the meal together. Glenn’s girlfriend, Jennifer, brought samples from her family’s Thanksgiving dinner including her chocolate steamed pudding and cheesecake. I haven’t tried them yet but I will.
For dessert I made Key Lime pie for the first time and I loved it. The crust was made of graham cracker crumbs, pecans and butter and I made it in a large tart pan so it looked really neat. I made a new recipe for pumpkin pie using caramel and I did not care for it. I’ll go back to the regular pie next time.
Now, I’m off to put up Christmas decorations and start thinking about the dinner I’m making tomorrow night for Jennifer’s parents. I will make a sukiyaki dinner.