Thanksgiving Dishes Recipes

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Grandmother's Mincemeat Pie (1942). “Busy homemakers like to use prepared, packaged or canned mincemeat for pies, but there are still many of you, who I am sure will like putting up some [mincemeat] right in your kitchen.  Here’s how:

*Grandmother’s Mincemeat Pie

2 pounds beef neck
1 pound suet
4 pounds tart apples
4 cups sugar
2 pounds currants
3 pounds seedless raisins
1/2 pound citron, cut
Juice and grated rind of 2 oranges
Juices and rind of 3 lemons
1 pint cider
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mace [spice]

Cook beef slowly in hot water for 3 hours.  Cool and force through food chopper with suet and apples, using coarse grinder.  Add remaining ingredients, blending thoroughly.  Cook slowly one hour, then seal in sterilized jars.  This makes 6 quarts.  Line pie tin with pastry, then pour in mincemeat.  Top with cross-cross or lattice crust and bake in hot oven 35 minutes.”  (Lynn Chambers, “Day of Praise - Grandmother’s Mincemeat Pie,” The Nashua Reporter, Nashua, Iowa, November 11, 1942, p. 7)

19th Century Mincemeat Pie Recipe in Pass The Dessert: America's Thanksgiving Recipes, NPR Morning Edition, November 24, 2009.  “For many of us, Thanksgiving evokes memories of turkey and cranberry dressing. But a culinary review of the "other" American holiday finds that a rich variety of desserts have shared the table with sweet potatoes and stuffing. Chris Kimball of America's Test Kitchen talks with NPR's Renee Montagne about Thanksgiving favorites from days gone by -- and how to make them.”  Listen to Chris and Renee savor the taste of winning Mincemeat Pie prepared from a 19th century mincemeat pie recipe.  Discover more NPR Thanksgiving recipes.

Carolyn Grogan’s "Hendrick Family" Alabama Cornbread Stuffing Recipe

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup buttermilk
1tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 egg

Mix cornmeal, salt, and egg together.  In a separate bowl, mix buttermilk and baking soda together  and then add to to cornmeal mixture.  Pour into hot, greased cast iron skillet and bake at 425° F. for 25 - 30 minutes.

3 cups corn bread, broken into pieces
2 cups dried toast, broken into pieces
1 tsp ground sage
1/4 tsp pepper
Package of herbed stuffing mix
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup (or more) finely chopped onion
1/2 cup (or more) finely chopped celery
1 egg, beaten
Melted butter (optional)

Sauté onion and celery in butter.  Mix cornbread, toast, and herbed stuffing mix in large bowl.  Add onion, celery, sage, pepper, and egg to bread mixture.  Slowly pour in chicken stock, mixing until stuffing mix is moist.   If brave, add melted butter.

Spoon stuffing into greased casserole dish and bake at 350° F. for 35 minutes. 

— Carolyn Grogan
A recipe with an ancestral lineage
from Brundidge, Alabama to
Camarillo, California

Chef Spencer Cole's Corn Custard Recipe.

6 cups fresh corn kernels
3/4 cups milk
3 eggs
1 large shallot, minced
1/4 cup pancetta, cut and sliced into small pieces
1/4 cup mascarpone
1 cup grated gruyere cheese
grated Parmesan cheese

Sauté pancetta until crisp.  Remove pancetta from pan and sauté shallots in pancetta drippings.  Add corn to shallots.  Remove corn and shallots and let cool.  In bowl, add first seven ingredients and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Pour into casserole dish, cover with foil,  and bake at 375° F for approximately 45 minutes or until set.  Remove foil for the last ten minutes to brown Parmesan cheese. 
— Chef Spencer Cole
Providence, Rhode Island

Scalloped Oysters.  “Oysters are plump with [Thanksgiving] memories.... For Scottie Pritchard of Grayson County, [Virginia] the shellfish are so important that even when she lived in Germany for three years, she bought them at $1 apiece.  In the Pritchard household, the story goes that Great-Uncle Roscoe Phipps loved oysters so much that he would order a shipment to be delivered every year.  The oysters arrived, still alive and in their shells, in a big wooden barrel at the general store across the street from Pritchard's mother's house in Elk Creek.  Pritchard's mom loved to visit the store and throw handfuls of cornmeal into the barrel.  ‘The oysters gobbled it up and she could hear their shells snap, snap, snapping,’ Pritchard wrote. ‘The oysters 'kept' this way and fattened up nicely as corn-fed oysters.’  When I asked for family recipes, Pritchard sent her grandmother's scalloped oyster recipe, which is rich with butter and cream.  ‘What good eating that must have been, here in the rural mountains of Virginia, far from the ocean,’ she wrote.”  Oyster recipes.  (Lindsey Nair, 540-981-3343, “It Wouldn't Be Thanksgiving Without…,” The Roanoke Times, Roanoke, Virginia, November 14, 2007, p. 1)

Mashed Sweet Potatoes. 
“Cutting the sweet potatoes into slices of even thickness is important in getting them to cook at the same rate. A potato masher will yield slightly lumpy sweet potatoes; a food mill will make a perfectly smooth puree. The potatoes are best served immediately, but they can be covered tightly with plastic wrap and kept relatively hot for 30 minutes. This recipe can be doubled in a Dutch oven; the cooking time will need to be doubled as well.  Instructions: 1. Combine butter, cream, salt, sugar, and sweet potatoes in 3 to 4 quart saucepan; cook, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until potatoes fall apart when poked with fork, 35 to 45 minutes. 2. Off heat, mash sweet potatoes in saucepan with potato masher, or transfer mixture to hopper of food mill and process into warmed serving bowl. Stir in pepper, maple syrup, and orange zest; serve immediately.  Serves 4.”  List of ingredients.  (Chris Kimball, America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Illustrated, Thanksgiving How-To: The Recipe File,” NPR KCLU, published November 1, 2002, rebroadcast November 14, 2008)

Simple Turkey and Chicken Thanksgiving Menus - Vintage 1932.
Turkey Menu.  Fruit cup served in red apples.  Roast turkey.  Chestnut stuffing.  Mashed potatoes. Giblet gravy.  Cranberry jelly.  Home-made pickles.  Creamed onions.  Buttered squash. Jellied cabbage salad. Pumpkin pie. Nuts. Fruit.  Coffee.  Sweet cider, spiced cider cup or grape juice can be served with the meal.  If chicken is substituted for turkey, the same menu can be used or the following one if preferred: Chicken Menu.  Cream of tomato soup with whipped cream.  Roast chicken.  Giblet gravy.  Oyster stuffing.  Candied sweet potato balls.  Broccoli in hot lemon butter.  Pickled peaches.  Celery hearts. Waldorf Salad with cream cheese balls.  Indian pudding.  Nuts.  Fruit.  Coffee."

"Avoid last minute rushing.  Both of these menus are planned with little last minute rush.  In the first menu the turkey is stuffed ready for the oven on Wednesday.  The giblets are cooked and chopped, the onion cooked and ready to be reheated in cream sauce, the squash baked and removed from the shell, the salad made and put into the refrigerator to chill and become firm and the pumpkin stewed and sifted ready for pies — all on Wednesday.  Thursday morning the pies are baked before the oven is needed for the turkey.”  (Sister Mary, “Thanksgiving Tips Offered to Holiday Cooks,” The Sheboygan Press, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Friday, November 18, 1932, p. 8)

Rhubarb Pie (1927).  “Mrs Harve McAninch of [Eagle township in Iowa] sent in a recipe for rhubarb pie which is a little fancier than the ordinary:

One cup sugar
1 and a half cups [rhubarb] pie plant, cut fine
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons flour
One-fourth cup water

Bake with one crust slowly.  When done beat the whites of the eggs, spread on top of pie and brown in the oven.”  (“Delicious Recipes by Good Cooks,” The Alton Democrat, Alton, Iowa, Friday, October 28, 1927)

Cranberry Salad. 
“When it's time to prepare the Thanksgiving Day feast, Rhonda Byma of [Zeeland, Michigan] always makes cranberry salad.  ‘It's one of those special memory dishes,’ she said.  Her mom, Donna Jacobsma, always made the fruit-filled dish for the holiday meal when Rhonda was growing up.  Part of the salad has to be prepared the night before. Chopped cranberries, miniature marshmallows and sugar are mixed together and left on the kitchen counter overnight. In the morning, whipped topping, crushed pineapple and walnuts are stirred in.  The marshmallows add a touch of sweet to the tart cranberries and pineapple. It's a delicious, colorful side dish to the meat-and-potatoes dinner.” Cranberry salad recipes.  (Janet Meana, The Grand Rapids Press, “Thanksgiving memories - Multi-tasking mom uses recipes from her childhood for special holiday meal,” The Grand Rapids Press, Grand Rapids, Michigan, November 25, 2002, p. L4)

Mama Stamberg's Special Cranberry Relish
NPR Morning Edition, November 21, 2008.  "Every year as Thanksgiving approaches, friends ask NPR's Susan Stamberg for her mother-in-law's recipe for cranberry relish. The side dish combines the sweet tartness of cranberries with soothing sour cream — and gets a kick from a little horseradish.  …As Susan Stamberg has noted, her mother-in-law got the recipe from a 1959 New York Times clipping of Craig Claiborne's recipe for cranberry relish. In 1993, Claiborne told Stamberg: 'Susan, I am simply delighted. We have gotten more mileage, you and I, out of that recipe than almost anything I've printed.' …[Click here for] the cranberry relish recipe, along with a bonus recipe for another Stamberg favorite: garlicky cranberry chutney."  View and read Mama Stamberg's famous Cranberry Relish recipe instructions and photo gallery.  Discover more favorite NPR recipe selections for Thanksgiving.

Discover additional recipes for vegetarian Thanksgiving dinners.  Read and listen to the NPR recipe collection for Thanksgiving meals.