That's the feeling that we get around our house as Thanksgiving approaches. It's the holiday when all our kids, their friends, their in-laws or whoever they can get in the van, the truck or in the car to bring with them come home for Thanksgiving. And just like Chance, the dog in the middle in the picture, I can just hear them saying, "Turkey, turkey, turkey" as they park those vehicles and come running toward the house.
Dinner, served buffet style, goes on the bar, the fold out table, the dry sinks in the dining room and the stove. Feasting begins at noon as soon as the blessing is said. Sometimes Mr. B says grace but he has been known to call upon the youngest child in the house to say the prayer before "turkey, turkey, turkey" begins.
It's our holiday to the kids so they don't have to bring a thing but at the end of the day they do have to take home leftovers. That's the number one rule. So that means Mr. B and I start planning and cooking ahead of time seein' as how there will be anywhere from thirty to fifty people here for the day. With that in mind, I thought I'd share a couple of our recipes with you today.
One of the questions I was asked at the Readers 'n Ritas conference last weekend was what was my favorite Thanksgiving food. And I did not hesitate one minute before saying, "Mr. B's pecan pie." He makes an almighty mean one and his secret is to never substitute margarine for butter, to always use dark Karo syrup and to always, always chop the pecans very fine.
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark Karo syrup
1 t. vanilla
2 T. melted butter
1-1/2 cups pecans, chopped very fine
1 9 inch pie crust, either homemade or purchased at the store
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together and pour into the pie shell. Set on a cookie sheet and bake one hour. Remove from oven and let stand several hours before cutting.
I'm pretty sure I'd be booted out of heaven if I didn't make my famous hot rolls for Thanksgiving. You can pretend that they take hours and hours of slaving to make but really they aren't that hard to make, folks!
2 cups of warm water
2 packages of dry yeast (or if you buy it in bulk like I do, 2 T. yeast)
1/2 cup sugar
Stir together and let stand until it foams
Add 3 cups of flour
1/2 cup cooking oil
1 Tablespoon saltStir well and then add 2-3 more cups of flour.
Knead a few times in the bowl. Cover and set aside until doubled in size. If I'm making rolls for dinner (that would be the noon meal here in southern Oklahoma), I make it up just before I go to bed and then it's ready the next morning, but it can be ready in about an hour and a half if you want to wait to make it.
Turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead a few times then pinch off rolls about half the size you want them to be and place in a 9x11 baking pan. This will make two pans or about 24 rolls. Cover and let raise again for about an hour, then bake at 350 degrees until golden brown. Brush melted butter over the tops while they are still hot.
The rest of the meal is fairly traditional...baked beans, macaroni and cheese, cranberry/orange relish with pecans of course, ham, "turkey, turkey, turkey", smoked brisket, meat balls, loaded mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, fruit salad and this year we're adding pumpkin enchiladas and of course there are desserts in addition to the pecan pie: cherry pie, cherry cheesecake, pumpkin cheesecake, traditional pumpkin pie and triple fudge cake with chocolate strawberries (this is because our daughter was born on Thanksgiving and we always have her birthday that day and now our new grandson-in-law has a birthday two days after hers). Oh, I almost forgot the hash brown casserole and those fancy potato things that my son-in-law, the chef, makes. The menu might seem big but hey, the kids love the leftovers and you never know just how many friends they might bring with them.
Let the cooking, the feasting and the fun begin...
"turkey, turkey, turkey!"
What's is your absolute must have food at the holidays?