Basic Thanksgiving Recipes

by Jill Cooper
http://www.LivingOnADime.com

For those of you just need just the basic side dishes and desserts for your Thanksgiving dinner, here they all are in one spot:

Mashed Potatoes

5 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk

In a large saucepan, place potatoes and enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender (about 10-15 minutes depending on your altitude). Drain. Transfer potatoes to a mixing bowl and mash. I use a hand mixer for this but you can use a potato masher. Add butter, milk, sugar and salt. Beat until smooth. Serves 5-6.

Sweet Potato Casserole

3 cups sweet potatoes, mashed
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla
Topping
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup butter, melted

Mix all the ingredients and put in a buttered 9×9 casserole dish. Sprinkle on topping. Bake uncovered at 350° for 20 minutes. This is a great dish for holiday dinners and potlucks because it can be made the day before and then baked the next day. Serves 8-9.

Grandma Tatum’s Stuffing

I have hesitated about including our stuffing recipe because it is one of those recipes where it is hard to give exact measurements. This year, I have finally decided to try. You can adjust any of these ingredients to suit your taste and if you want, you can add different things to the dish. For example, you can replace some of the bread with cornbread or you can add mushrooms, celery, apples, or giblets and many other things according to your own taste. This is one of those recipes that looks complicated but is really easy once you make it.

Here is the basic recipe:
8-10 cups dried bread, cubed or torn (You can use anything including hot dog buns, dinner rolls or French bread.)
1/2-1 lb. pork sausage
1/2-1 onion (or onion powder to taste)
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups broth*
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/4-1/2 cup margarine
3 heaping tsp. ground sage
1 small bag or box of seasoned croutons
Salt and pepper

Cube and tear bread in a very large mixing bowl and let set out overnight if not dry enough. Fry sausage and onion. I don’t like celery in my dressing but if you do you can add it at this time. Drain and add to the bowl of bread. Pour broth into a large measuring cup. Add margarine and bouillon cube and heat in the microwave to melt margarine and bouillon cubes. Pour this mixture and eggs over bread. Add sage, salt, pepper and onion powder if not using onions and croutons. Using your hands, mush it all together until well mixed. Place in a well greased casserole dish or pan. Cover. Bake at 350° for 30-45 minutes.
If you like your stuffing soft on the inside with a crispy crust, just remove the cover for the last 15 minutes. If your dressing seems too dry, add a little milk for more moisture.
*For broth, I simmer the neck and giblets in a pan of water for an hour or two as soon as I take them out of the turkey. Then I use this water and some broth from my turkey, which has been cooking, to make my 1 1/2 cups.

Turkey Gravy

3-4 cups turkey juices/drippings
1/4 cup flour
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Pour turkey juices/drippings into a sauce pan. Whisk in flour. Add salt and pepper. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring once in a while until it is the right consistency.
If the gravy is too strong or you need to stretch it just a little, you can add a small amount of water.
Another way I used to make the gravy (either way works) is to dissolve the flour into a half cup of cold water and then whisk it into the turkey juices.

Pie Crust

3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 cups shortening, cold
1 egg, cold
1 Tbsp. vinegar, cold
5 Tbsp. water, cold
sugar

Mix flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives (I use my fingers). Add egg, vinegar and 3 tablespoons water. Mix lightly. If dough is too dry, add more water. Mix with hands. Don’t over mix. Mix just until the dough sticks together.
Divide into thirds. Roll out to make 3 pies crusts. When using the crust for the top of the pie, sprinkle sugar on top and poke with a few steam holes. Crust can be frozen in balls and then defrosted and rolled out when ready to use. Makes 3 crusts.

Pumpkin Pie

1 pie crust
2 eggs
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk

Bake pie crust at 350° for 1-2 minutes until crust starts to puff with small bubbles. Watch carefully. Then remove from oven. Blend all ingredients together in a bowl. Pour into pie crust and bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 350° for 45 minutes. When a knife is inserted into the center of the pie and comes out clean, it is done. Makes one pie.

Pecan Pie

1 stick butter
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
dash of salt
1 1/4 cups pecans, chopped
1 (8-9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Brown butter in a pan until golden brown. Do not burn. Cool. Add other ingredients in order given in a separate bowl. Mix well. Blend in cooled butter well. Pour into pie crust. Bake 10 minutes at 425° and then 40 minutes at 325°. Makes one pie.

Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are frugal living experts and the authors of the Dining On A Dime Cookbook. Dining On A Dime will help you save money on groceries and get out of debt, by cooking quick and simple homemade meals. For free tips & recipes visit http://www.LivingOnADime.com

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