A Thanksgiving feast from our readers

Leave a comment

The Thanksgiving celebration began as a community event and evolved into a holiday
for family and friends. It’s a day of tradition, when the cooks in the group bring a dish they have become known for, when side dishes are in abundance, when the dessert table is laden with pies and other sweet specialties.
We started the Recipe Box Project earlier this year so readers could share their favorite family recipes. Thanksgiving seemed like an ideal time to ask for your recipes, which we did last month. Our inbox was full in no time.
There were over half a dozen cranberry sauces and Jell-O salads. Squash and corn casseroles dominated the sides. We received helpful turkey roasting tips, and desserts that included boozy Bourbon candy, pumpkin chiffon pies, apple pie with a cheddar crust. Some recipes came from clippings, online cooking sites, and cookbooks (we preferred family recipes). Not a green vegetable in the lot.
The Thanksgiving celebration began as a community event and evolved into a holiday
for family and friends. It’s a day of tradition, when the cooks in the group bring a dish they have become known for, when side dishes are in abundance, when the dessert table is laden with pies and other sweet specialties.
We started the Recipe Box Project earlier this year so readers could share their favorite family recipes. Thanksgiving seemed like an ideal time to ask for your recipes, which we did last month. Our inbox was full in no time.
There were over half a dozen cranberry sauces and Jell-O salads. Squash and corn casseroles dominated the sides. We received helpful turkey roasting tips, and desserts that included boozy Bourbon candy, pumpkin chiffon pies, apple pie with a cheddar crust. Some recipes came from clippings, online cooking sites, and cookbooks (we preferred family recipes). Not a green vegetable in the lot.

One recurring theme in notes that accompanied the recipes was this: “No Thanksgiving in my family would be complete without . . .’’ From turnip casserole to apple pie, New Englanders love tradition. Sometimes they are celebrating a dish that has been in their family for generations, sometimes they are creating a new dish they hope will stick.
To the recipes you sent in, we added a favorite butternut-cauliflower soup garnished with toasted pepitas or other pumpkin seeds, took your advice to cook the turkey breast side down for the initial roasting to let the dark meat baste the breast, and made turkey gravy New Orleans style. We added fresh oysters to a bread stuffing; mixed a lively cranberry chutney with dried apricots, oranges, apples, candied ginger, and pecans; mashed turnips with milk, eggs, and ground ginger for a casserole; baked squash with a topping of brown sugar, pecans, and dry rice cereal; and shredded red cabbage into a colorful slaw with scallions, carrots, oranges, and dried cranberries.
For dessert, a farmhouse apple cream pie won our hearts, the chunks of fruit in a simple flour-thickened cream. And who could resist pumpkin cheesecake, a deep, creamy mixture on a graham cracker crust, sent to us by a 93-year-old reader who still bakes?
Lydia Smith of Lexington reminds us that the hosts have their work cut out for them. “Have a sharp carving knife [on hand], get out your best napkins, and polish your silverware,’’ she writes. “My husband used to say that Thanksgiving at our house usually took two days to get ready and two days to clean up.’’
If you are the one who roasts the bird and greets the guests, you know he’s right.

RECIPE BOX PROJECT THANKSGIVING MENU
Butternut-cauliflower soup with toasted pepitas

Moist roast turkey

No-fail Thanksgiving turkey gravy

Oyster pan stuffing

Cranberry-orange-apple chutney

Red cabbage slaw

“Meal-ticket” squash bake

Farmhouse apple cream pie

Pumpkin cheesecake

Print Friendly
About
This author has yet to write their bio

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *