Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

newgrowthso the time has come

to remove the dead and decaying that

has become useless  and aged

that in its prime, bloomed brilliant

violet and orange

and brought  kings to their knees

and princes to tears

as we kneel

we work our hands into

the soil and wonder

who’s hands

we may have taught

to do this chore next year,

someone with love and mom

we hope

and we understand

new life

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for almost fifty yearstable1
the table has held testament
to the celebrations of family
and the love within

the table’s small stature
is disguised as a buffet
and belies it’s enormous heart
much like it’s original owner

mother bought the table
when she downsized to her little home
afraid there may be times that
her little kitchen wouldn’t hold us all

daughters and spouses and grandchildren
one by one
friends and family all welcome
to share the occasions of life

and service the table has given
Christmas’ and Easters
weddings and baby showers
birthdays and funerals

The table throws wide its secrets
to seat twelve
an amazing little piece
of furniture

and as another Thanksgiving
draws to a close
I applaud the little table
and give thanks

for another great Thanksgiving
and the 3 generations it held
and pray it will hold our
generations to come

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Ok, maybe it’s not the day before, but if you are cooking Thanksgiving dinner there will be a day after and hopefully a whole weekend free. Leftover turkey in my house goes into the best turkey pies ever! I even plan for my turkey pies by buying the biggest, fattest turkey I can find just for pies.

Equipment: Aluminum pie tins. Pick a size convenient for your family, and your freezer space. I usually buy some of the small round deep dish pie size, and a couple of larger for two casserole tins.

Once that turkey is roasted and carved and all the family feasts, it gets whisked away to a cool, quiet place to await its real purpose. On that quiet Friday after all the hullabaloo and a few slices of white meat are tucked in the fridge for sandwiches, the remaining meat is carefully plucked from the bones and separated into white and dark and set aside. Out comes that big soup pot. The lovely bones are placed in the pot where they will simmer along with any of the leavings not quite up to sandwich status, don’t forget that leftover skin!

Now, this big pot of bones and water is where you get to ditch the veggie leftovers that are wrapped in plastic in the fridge, one on top of the other, you know, the peas and onions and turnip and Brussels sprouts! Be Not Afraid, in this pot, magic will happen. No veggie leftovers, do not dismay. Add some carrots, celery and onions. Don’t bother chopping or peeling. Just wash thoroughly and dump in the pot.
Oh, I see a casserole of leftover stuffing, here you must make a choice. You can slice it up to put in your pie, or dump it in the pot to meld with the rest of Thanksgiving dinner. Reserve any leftover mashed potatoes for the next step. By the way, add water or chicken stock or even a bit of white wine (no more than half cup) if the water level gets too low.

Now that it is Friday night or Saturday morning (better still) and this pot has been simmering away forever, strain the pot mess into a clean pan and toss all the leavings. This is the point you want to add any leftover mashed potatoes and gravy to the wonderful broth you’ve created. Don’t have any, that’s fine, we will be thickening the broth soon.

Set the pan of broth in a cold place. Once it has solidified and the fat has risen to the top, place several good size spoons of the fat in a skillet. Warm up the rest of the broth. Let the fat in the skillet melt then add an equal amount of flour. Whisk to keep smooth. Slowly pour in a couple of cups of broth, then stir this all back into broth. Let gravy/broth cool.

Now, I buy packaged pie crust for this, they are easy to work with and I can cut them easily into my pan shapes. Make your own favorite crust recipe if you desire.

Now, load each pie tin with chunks of meat. I like to make a few pies all white meat, and some a mix of white and dark. Sprinkle on some frozen peas and carrots, optional for sure. I like all meat pies and any the last few I will add vegetable to. Top each with crust. Cut a slit in each pie top. Pop into ziplock bags and freeze.

These pies will be wonderful on a snowy February night! Pop into a 350 degree oven and bake until nicely golden and bubbly.

This sounds like a lot of work, but honestly, most of the working time is spent waiting.

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I’ve been invited to the Thanksgiving luncheon at my previous employer and must find a dish to bring. I always like to include something a little different while the SC natives tend to their traditions. usually bring something New Englandish. Last year it was mashed potatoes and gravy. Would you believe mashed potatoes are not on their ‘must do’ list! I guess this is rice country along the coast and rice is a mainstay of a meal. I’m sure there will be collards and macaroni and cheese. Deviled eggs always attend the party as does sweet potato casserole. The dessert table will be crammed with goodies, and people to full of dinner to really get into most of them. They’ll all strike around 3:00 break time for coffee and whatever is left of the cakes, cookies and pies.
Since I retired 4 yrs ago, It’s always fun visiting with the old crew, seeing their wives and children (all grown up). So what to bring……

Pre-Thanksgiving Spread (That’s my Waldorf in the front corner next to the eggs)

I decided on my twist of a Waldorf Salad

Waldorf Salad Upgraded

9 apples unpeeled but cored and diced (I used a variety of MacIntosh, Granny Smith, and Gala so to have different textures, color and sweet / tart)
2 stalks Celery finely sliced
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream whipped
1/2 Cup Pomegranate Craisins (pomegranite seeds might be nice instead)
1/2 Cup Maple sugared walnuts (see recipe)
1/16 teas Chinese Five Spice powder
sprinkle of ground ginger
sprinkle of ground cardamon

Whip cream and set aside. Blend mayonnaise with spices. Add celery and craisins to diced apples in bowl. Stir in Mayonnaise mixture. Fold whipped cream into apple mixture. Refrigerate. Prepare Walnuts.

Maple Glazed Walnuts with Cayenne
adapted from recipe by fifteenspatulas

3 Tbl maple syrup
sprinkle of cayenne
sprinkle of salt

Heat a skillet to hot. Add walnuts and toast until nuts are heated thru and piping hot. Sprinkle with a good dose of cayenne and salt. Slowly pour syrup in side of skillet (carefully as it will bubble up and spit) Stir nuts around until coated. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool completely. When completely cool, scatter over apples in bowl. Toss walnuts with apples just before serving.

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