Thanksgiving at my house
First of all for me the Winter Holiday Season begins the day after Samhain. If the temperature is below 40 degrees it is an indication to stay indoors except for my leaf raking and puppy walking. Decorating my space for the first half of the Winter Holiday Season includes lots of squash in various shapes and colors [not just for decorations most end up part of dinner] as well as acorns, pine cones, and candles. The decorations will suffice without much further efforts, adding a gold ribbon here or there to spice things up a bit I turn my attention to my other joy during this time of year.
Cooking, it is almost as soothing as reading a good book for me. I do enjoy making elaborate celebratory meals. I do not like rushing to complete the meal. I handle that by doing the chopping, boiling and baking several days before I need to mix the ingredients for the final outcome. For the last three days the smell of fresh baked corn bread, an onion, celery, fresh sage, and rosemary concoction [brewing in one of my crock pots], and sweet potatoes peeled and diced also in a crock pot have filled my house. I have been told that my house smells like Thanksgiving dinner already. Good because that is what I am working on.
The Cornbread and onion, celery, fresh sage, and rosemary concoction will be part of my corn bread dressing a Thanksgiving tradition in our house.
The rest of my menu will be: Roasted Turkey, [seasoned simply with salt and pepper since my furry four legged children will definitely be sharing in the dinner]. Glazed Carrots with brown sugar, Sweet Potato Casserole, Chipotle Green Beans With Bacon, and Cranberry Sauce[from the can], Parker House Roll[store bought]
Dessert: what else but old favorites, pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie and Caramel Pie with Vanilla Bean whipped topping.
1 pan of cornbread crumbled
1 (1 pound) loaf day-old white bread, torn into small pieces
4 oz of butter [softened]
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 cup of finely chopped celery
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 fresh sage leaves finely chopped
1 sprig fresh rosemary fine chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
Preheat oven to 400F
Chop up the onions, celery, rosemary, and fresh sage place in a saucepan with enough water to cover, bring to a boil then simmer until the celery is very tender. Crumble your corn bread in a large mixing bowl, add your white bread crumbs and gently mix them together, sprinkle in the poultry seasoning, and black pepper over the mixture again gently mix together.
Pour the celery mixture over the dry ingredients add the butter and mix. The mixture may be a bit stiff, add the chicken broth stir. Mixture should have a consistency similar to cornbread before you bake it. Transfer the mixture to a 9×13 greased baking dish or two medium sized cast iron skillets. Bake until golden brown[ about 35 minutes] or until tooth pick inserted in the center come out clean.
The Corn Bread
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup cooking oil or melted butter
Preheat oven to 400F. In a medium bowl stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
Add the 1 tablespoon butter to a 10-inch cast-iron skillet [or 9 inch cake pan] Place in the preheated oven about 3 minutes or until butter melts. Remove pan from oven; swirl butter in pan to coat bottom and sides of pan.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine eggs, milk, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to dry mixture. Stir just until moistened. Pour batter into hot skillet or pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.
16 ounces baby carrots
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup water
In a medium saucepan, combine the baby carrots with remaining ingredients. Stir to blend ingredients. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue boiling (uncovered)stir frequently for about 20 to 25 minutes , or until carrots are tender and the liquid has evaporated.pepper, to taste
Sweet Potato Pie
1 9 inch pie crust
1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
4 medium (1 1/2 cups) sweet potatoes, cooked skins removed, mashed*
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup evaporated milk
Heat oven to 350°F.
Combine all filling ingredients except evaporated milk, eggs and whipped cream in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Add milk and eggs; beat at low speed until well mixed.
Pour filling into crust. Bake 50-60 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. If crust is browning too quickly, cover edge with 2-inch strip of aluminum foil. Cool completely. Garnish with whipped cream, if desired. Sprinkle with decorator sugar, if desired. Store refrigerated.
2(14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
1 graham cracker crust
Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream
Caramel Ice cream topping[optional]
Divide the sweetened condensed milk from 2 cans equally into 3 small canning jars. Close jars with lids and rings. Fill crock pot as full as you possibly can so that jars are completely submerged in the water. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 9 hours. Pour caramelized milk into crust, cool completely. Spread whipped topping over the pie, Chill for 2 hours before serving.
Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream
1-pint heavy whipping cream
6 tbsp Powdered Sugar
2 Vanilla Beans, split and scraped
Place mixing bowl and wire whisk attachment in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes
Remove chilled bowl and whisk and set up mixer.
Pour in heavy whipping cream, vanilla bean seeds, and powdered sugar.
Whip on low for 1 minute, and then turn mixer speed up to high.
Mix until whip cream is stiff about 2 minutes.