What a weekend! I had 21 people in my 500sf. apartment on saturday night for an early thanksgiving with friends. I would have had more if i thought my floor could handle it, because it was such an amazing opportunity to celebrate with the people in my life!
First, some prep the night before. These are the pies right out of the oven, and the cranberries right before going into the oven. Recipes at the end.
Saturday involved finishing the stuffing, prepping the sourdough biscuits, and then the turkeys (two 10 pounders) and putting them in the oven. I kept the turkey really simple this year, some olive oil, salt & pepper, lots of sage and rosemary. Baked with foil for ~4hrs, another 1hr without foil, they were perfect.
Everyone brought wine or dishes of their own. We had garlic mashed potatoes (10lbs of potatoes! 12 heads of garlic!), broccoli casserole, green beans, pear & cranberry stuffing, green bean casserole, pumpkin soup, artichoke spinach dip, candied sweet potatoes, pumpkin biscuits... I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but it was all amazing. If only they had the technology for you to experience scents and flavors through computers...
Now here's what a tiny apartment looks like packed to the brim.
Thank you thank you to all that came and made my home a home! Now for the secret family recipes!
1 c pecans
1 stick butter
1/4 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
1 c dark karo syrup
1 t vanilla
unbaked pie crust
Sprinkle pecans in pie crust to cover bottom. Melt butter. Mix butter with remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into pie crust. Bake at 350 for 1hr.
Note: this pie never lasts past a single meal. If it does, you'll finish it for breakfast.
30 oz canned pumpkin
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
1 t salt
1 can evaporated milk
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1 t ginger
1 c water
2 unbaked pie crusts
Mix. Split into 2 pie crusts. Bake at 425 for 20 mins, then 350 for another 25 or until centers are not jiggly.
Note: This is the best pumpkin pie recipe I've ever tasted. I've never used real pumpkin, and you'll never need to. It's perfect. Every time.
6 c cranberries
2-3 apples, diced (or pear?)
1-2 c sugar
1/4 c orange juice
1/4 c brandy or whiskey (optional)
Combine all. Add sugar and spices to your taste. Add fresh chopped mint if you please. If you don't use a liquor, add extra water or juice (can use apple too). Cover with foil, bake at 375 for ~40 mins. Remove and stir well, mashing lightly with spoon. Serve warm or chilled, with more mint.
Stuffing (my most favorite dish in the world)
2-3 loaves bread (I used a farmer's whole wheat bread with rye and poppy seeds for extra flavor)
1 stick butter
salt & pepper
rosemary and sage
Break up bread into chunks and dry overnight. Chop 2-4 stalks of celery (based on your taste) and 1 onion, set aside. Melt butter, add celery and onion, chopped sage and rosemary. Pour over bread. Add 2 eggs, salt and pepper, a glug of buttermilk. Mix with hands. Add milk and/or egg as needed to get moist (but not mushy) throughout. Bake in turkey or in a separate dish (350 for 40 mins, covered or uncovered whether you like it more or less mushy).
1 c sourdough starter
6 c flour
1 t salt
3 T sugar
1 t baking soda
1 T baking powder
2 c buttermilk
1 c shortening
1 pkg yeast (optional)
Well the flour in a bowl, add dry ingredients, add shortening and cut in with pastry cutter until even. Well mixture, add sourdough starter, buttermilk and yeast. Mix with wooden spoon, cover with wax paper and refrigerate a few hours. Flour the working surface, roll out dough to a thickness of ~1", cut with round cutter (or rim of glass) and place in a greased glass or ceramic dish. Bake at 400 for 20mins or lightly browned on top.
Note: Let me know if you're interested in sourdough. I'd be happy to give you some starter and teach you how to keep it and bake with it. These biscuits are glorious!
Listening to: Nutcracker Suite