Thanksgiving Food

Apparently, people like to eat.

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Not A Llama
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Thanksgiving Food

Postby Not A Llama » Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:31 pm UTC

Just because you US people don't have turkey day for another month, doesn't mean we up here in Canada don't have to panic about what to bring that the picky nephews will eat this weekend.

So far, my mom is making ham and scalloped potatoes. Oh, and steamed vegetables in bechamel sauce. It's all terribly beige. I have to bring some sides. I was thinking rainbow carrots and dip, maybe pitas and tzatziki and... ok, I don't know what else. Perhaps pie.

So, what does your Turkey Day meal consist of?

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Belial
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Re: Thanksgiving Food

Postby Belial » Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:00 pm UTC

OHFUCKINEEDTOORDERTHETURDUCKEN
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They/them

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Re: Thanksgiving Food

Postby Rinsaikeru » Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:49 pm UTC

I'm making an apple crumble to bring to the celebrations.

My friend is having Turkey at his house, he does a fantastic dressing/stuffing. So good. Pork products and dried apricots. Mmm.
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Re: Thanksgiving Food

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:30 am UTC

Sweet potato casserole. You can't go wrong with a side dish that is a starch, a vegetable, and a dessert all rolled into one. Especially if you add marshmallows.
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Re: Thanksgiving Food

Postby Rinsaikeru » Sat Oct 10, 2009 4:15 am UTC

Urgh, can't take those. Too sweet.
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Re: Thanksgiving Food

Postby Bakemaster » Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:20 am UTC

The past two Thanksgivings I've had have been pot luck, and there's been an insane amount of food. I have a good chocolate pecan pie recipe that is nice on Thanksgiving. Some years back I made strawberry brownies and brought them to another potluck where four people brought pumpkin pies and three brought some other fruit pie. Being the only person to bring chocolate makes your dish universally loved.

Some things I've really enjoyed in the past include a stuffing for the bird that prominently featured prunes. Stuffing is really my #1 favorite Thanksgiving food. Can't get enough of it. Then there have been the turduckens - generally worth the cost and trouble, in my opinion, for a once-a-year opportunity. But you should have a bunch of people to eat it (and go in on the cost, if necessary). I really love acorn squash, baked (or even microwaved) in halves with a bit of butter, raw honey and blackstrap molasses inside to be spooned over the top and sides while cooking.
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Re: Thanksgiving Food

Postby The Utilitarian » Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:24 am UTC

I had a fairly standard Thanksgiving at home with my parents but I and my girlfriend were lucky enough to play surrogate family for a friend and his. He made some really interesting options, instead of normal mashed potatos he did half that and half sweet potatos, was really nice. Also did some brussel sprouts in balsamic and.. um... something. Have to say the sprouts were almost delicious. I never thought brussel sprouts could be something I would actually put in my mouth -_^
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Re: Thanksgiving Food

Postby poxic » Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:42 am UTC

Heh. Our family is one of the odd ones that loves Brussels sprouts. Mom knows how to cook them: clean, peel off the dead leaves, snick off the end of the base, then cut an X into the base to let the heat into the core. This handily removes most of the bitterness and also lets you see if the damn thing is rotten in the middle.

A coworker once told me that her family called Brussels sprouts "fart balls". When not carefully cooked, er, yes, that can be an issue.

Anyway, I had two Thanksgiving dinners this year. The first was at a friend's house. She gallantly made me a serving of canned beans with onions and some lovely warm spices, plus half of a spiced butternut squash, in addition to the potato, sweet potato, and fart balls that she served everyone else (she knew about the X trick!).

Then it was over to Mom-n-Dad's for an abbreviated T-giving day (both of my brothers were elsewhere). Dad bought a chicken instead of a turkey because it was small enough for the two of them to use up quickly. While Mom was stuffing the thing, I had to comment: "If that chicken were still capable of being offended, it would be offended right about now." (Vegetarians will think of these things sometimes, regardless of whether omnivores appreciate them.)

All in all, a good score this year. My friend's meal was four times as much as I could eat in one sitting, so she wrapped it to take home. It became two lunches for work plus a good snack one evening. :P
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Re: Thanksgiving Food

Postby hermaj » Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:50 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:I have a good chocolate pecan pie recipe that is nice on Thanksgiving.


May I steal this recipe, please?

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Re: Thanksgiving Food

Postby Bakemaster » Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:43 pm UTC

I am already looking for it for another user, but it's somewhere in a random mess of papers. I will post it when I come across it.
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Re: Thanksgiving Food

Postby Bakemaster » Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:07 pm UTC

Today I finally went through my stack of "inboxed" or "to-be-filed" stuff, and I found the recipe! It wasn't in my Recipes file presumably because I had taken it out of said file to give to someone, and thrown it back in the pile instead of putting it right back where it belonged. Here is Chocolate Pecan Pie from Christopher Kimball, "The Kitchen Detective" segment of The Boston Globe. The date is cut off on my photocopy, as is a bit of the text, but here's what's intact.
I tested five recipes, including my own from The Dessert Bible, and, predictably, liked mine the best. Why was my recipe different? Well, it uses less butter, less sugar, and adds a half cup of heavy cream and one tablespoon of bourbon. This results in a creamier, less candy-store confection. I also found that I preferred dark corn syrup to light as well as dark brown sugar to either light brown sugar or white granulated sugar. One recipe even added flour for thickening, an unnecessary and unwelcome addition. Finally, I toast and chop the pecans so that they are crisper and the pie is easier to slice. (Have you ever tried slicing through a soggy pecan half?)
<snip>
I tested three methods of converting my pecan pie to a chocolate pecan pie: I added chocolate chips, I stirred in melted chocolate, and I spread melted chocolate on the bottom of the crust. The chips were too random. Sometimes you got a big hit of chocolate and sometimes you didn't. Brushing the bottom crust provided a two-tier flavor experience which I didn't care for. The best method was simply to add melted chocolate to the filling. In terms of type of chocolate, I settled on semisweet or bittersweet chocolate rather than either sweet chocolate or unsweetened. Milk chocolate was lackluster and cocoa powder tasted flat. I ended up melting the chocolate with the butter and then proceeding with my master recipe.

As for baking the pie, my original recipe called for a hot, pre-baked pie shell into which is poured a hot filling. The filled pie is then put back into the oven and baked quickly. The result is a very crisp crust. However, I found that by using a very hot oven to start, 425 degrees, and baking the pie on the bottom shelf, I could get an excellent result without the fuss of pre-baking. Finally, a chocolate pecan pie that was good enough for Thanksgiving. [note: I find this pie has a real danger of overfilling, and thus, overflowing—particularly nasty to clean off your oven bottom. The filling doesn't expand too much, but take care if it's starting to bulge out the top, and don't be afraid not to use 100% of the filling you prepared. Put foil under the pie just in case! -Bake]

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Note that this pie needs to be fully cooled to avoid messy, difficult-to-cut slices. If you are not handy with pie dough, it is best to make the dough the day before you intend to roll it out. Be sure to remove this pie from the oven before the center is set.

For the crust:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons all-vegetable shortening, chilled (Crisco)
4 to 5 tablespoons ice water


For the filling:
2 cups pecan halves
4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon bourbon or dark rum
[Myers's! -Bake]
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch pieces and place in freezer for 15 minutes. Mix flour, salt and sugar in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Place the Crisco in 1-tablespoon lumps into the food processor along with the frozen butter pieces. Pulse 8 to 12 times (1 second pulses) or until the dough appears slightly yellow and pebbly in texture and the butter is reduced to very small pieces, the largest piece should be smaller than a pea. Turn mixture into a medium bowl.

2. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of ice water over the mixture. Fold, using a rubber spatula until the dough sticks together adding more water if dough will not come together. (Add plenty of water—the dough should be sticky on the outside.) Work slowly, mixing the dough well to evenly distribute the water. Using your hands, shape the dough into a ball, turn onto a floured surface, and flatten into a 4-inch wide disk. Dust very lightly with flour, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes. (Overnight is best.)

3. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast in a 375-degree oven, until slightly darker and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Check frequently to avoid burning. Chop coarsely. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees and adjust rack to the lower position.

4. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler on a microwave oven at 50 percent power for 2 minutes. Stir to mix. (Heat in additional 30 second increments if necessary.) In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until blended. Whisk in the corn syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, bourbon, heavy cream, salt, and melted butter and chocolate.

5. Roll out the pastry dough and fit into a 9-inch pie pan. Trim leaving 1/2-inch overlap. Fold the excess dough back under the crust and crimp with fingers or a fork.

6. Fold the pecans into the filling and pour filling into the pie shell. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and bake for another 20 minutes or so or until the edges are puffy and the center is still slightly wobbly. Do not overbake; the pie will become tough and hard. Cool to room temperature before serving.
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Re: Thanksgiving Food

Postby sje46 » Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:11 pm UTC

Pretty regular fare. Turkey, stuffing, peas, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, etc.

A recommendation: my dad makes mashed potatoes with milk and loads of butter mixed in, mashed till it's as smooth as possible. Not exactly the healthiest food, but still the best mashed potatoes I've ever had.
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Re: Thanksgiving Food

Postby folkhero » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:36 am UTC

Well Thanksgiving is coming up, so I thought I would dig up this fossil of a thread, for general discussion and for a few specific questions.

This year it's my job to make the omnivore dressing (as opposed to the vegetarian dressing that someone else will make) so I figure I should go all out and put in some pork. I can't decide between bacon and sausage, so if anyone has experience with either of those in dressing, I could use some help. (Right now, I'm looking at a recipe that uses bacon and rye bread.) I also have the problem that one of the omnivores is allergic to celery. I can make my own poultry seasoning without celery salt, but I don't want to lose the texture element of chopped celery in the dressing. Anyone have ideas for something that has a similar texture to celery and has a taste that will complement (or at least not overwhelm) the dressing?

In more general discussion, does anyone have general tips or family secrets they want to share? My family's "secret" for pumpkin pie is to use Wild Turkey bourbon instead of vanilla. I've never had pumpkin pie that compares.
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Re: Thanksgiving Food

Postby PAstrychef » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:36 pm UTC

Jicama would work pretty well instead of celery-it's mostly a slightly sweet crunch.
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Re: Thanksgiving Food

Postby folkhero » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:03 pm UTC

Good idea. I'll let you know how it works out.
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Re: Thanksgiving Food

Postby freezeblade » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:28 pm UTC

Figure this is a good of a place as any to gift my completely no-fail pie crust recipe. I'm always in charge of pie at thanksgivings among my circle of friends and family, and let me tell you, the secret is in the crust.

freezeblade's not-so-secret no-fail pie crust wrote:Makes the bottom crust for one 12" pie with a little extra, multiply by 1.5 for top and bottom crust.

Have ready ahead of time, pre measured:
200g AP flour
70g high-fat butter (cold, euro style)
70g Lard (cold, I guess you can use crisco, but I don't advise it)
60g Water (cold)
4g salt

1. Put flour into big bowl, stir salt in with fingers.
2. Slice butter into pats (1/16" thick) onto flour/salt mix, approximatly do the same with the Lard.
3. Pinch the flour into the butter like you were making a snapping motion with both hands. (This will be messy, don't worry about it)
4. Continue rubbing fats into flour, working the flour/fat mixture in a tossing motion, distributing it evenly until the mixture resembles coarse corn meal mixed with lentels in partical size.
5. Pour in water, quickly and gently fold sticky mess over itself, working from the bottom of the forming dough to the top, turning the bowl as you work it (think like a mixer) until the water seems mostly incorporated. This will be very sticky, it's susposed to be like this, again, don't panic.
6. Remove dough from bowl (a dough scraper is useful) and place onto plastic wrap. Pat into a thick disk a little under an inch thick.
7. Wrap everything up and place dough into the fridge. Let chill through, about 2-4 hours before attempting to form pie crusts.


Works perfect every time. You might doubt that it will come together, but believe me, it does. Flakey, buttery, amazing.
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Re: Thanksgiving Food

Postby Kaden » Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:44 am UTC

We went to my mother-in-law's house for Thanksgiving, and she had all the usual stuff- turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries, and acorn squash, as well as a new one for me- some really yummy broccoli and cauliflower in a creamy sauce. I baked my "famous" (to my in-laws, anyway) banana bread with walnuts and chocolate chips (I can share the recipe if anyone is interested), and my husband baked a homemade cherry pie. There was also banana pudding, mixed berry pie, apple berry pie, pumpkin pie, cheesecake, cookies, and pumpkin bread. Needless to say, we took a lot of leftovers home with us!

I'm not usually one for gravy on my mashed potatoes (I prefer butter), but I figured that the mathematical folks of the XKCD forums would appreciate knowing the optimal method for applying gravy to mashed potatoes. :wink:

EDIT: Also, thank you to the person who posted the chocolate pecan pie recipe! :mrgreen: My husband and I are DEFINITELY going to try that one!
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Re: Thanksgiving Food

Postby Bakemaster » Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:56 am UTC

Word of warning, last time I made that recipe I had a bit of an issue with the filling overflowing the pie plate. It does expand a little bit as it cooks, and the plate was not a very deep one. So if your pie plates are on the small side, careful filling it, and put some foil on the rack underneath just in case.
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Re: Thanksgiving Food

Postby folkhero » Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:06 am UTC

PAstrychef wrote:Jicama would work pretty well instead of celery-it's mostly a slightly sweet crunch.

It worked out pretty great, thanks.
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