Friday, November 16, 2007

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

It's no surprise that Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays: it's all about food. And I especially love when we host Thanksgiving, because I get to spend months thinking about the menu, and weeks planning the details, and days shopping, and scheduling, and, finally, cooking.

All this comes in the midst of my semester at school, a time when projects are being finished and papers are being written and research proposals are being submitted, making it a stressful time. But making Thanksgiving dinner gives me something to look forward to. It also gives me something to make lists for and organize and I love that. My day planner has had notes in it for months, my recipes and cookbooks are stacked in one place, and I have a fairly neatly organized plan including a shopping list and a schedule starting with things to prepare on Tuesday, and on Wednesday night, and a full list of what to do as the day progresses on Thursday. Yes, I may have an illness but don't worry, you can't catch it.

This year I will be making a mix of new and classic recipes. And I have no pictures (though I posted my shopping list in case you're nosy) because I haven't started cooking yet, but I didn't see why I would post Thanksgiving recipes after Thanksgiving so I wanted to share these now.

Orange-Pecan French Toast Casserole

Graham crackers with pumpkin cream cheese dip
Fresh veggies with spinach dip
A few kinds of cheese with honey and bread
Goat cheese and tomato on puff pastry

Scalloped sweet potatoes and apples (recipe below)
Corn pudding (recipe below)
Cranberry sauce (recipe below)
Brussels sprouts
Mushroom, fennel, and parmesan stuffing
Creamed pearl onions (my parents will bring these)
Mashed potatoes (chosen because they can be made ahead)

Cranberry ginger upside down cake
Pumpkin something or other (my parents will bring this)

Scalloped Sweet Potatoes and Apples
Adapted from the Boston Cooking School Cook Book.

2 cups boiled sweet potatoes, cut in 1/4 inch slices
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups sour apples, sliced thin
4 Tbs butter
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350. Put half the potatoes in a buttered baking dish, cover with half the apples, sprinkle with half the sugar, dot with half the butter, sprinkle with half the salt. Repeat. Cover and bake 30 minutes in moderate oven (350). Uncover and bake until apples are soft and top is brown.

Southern Corn Pudding
Adapted from the Boston Cooking School Cook Book. I will note here that I have no idea how long it takes because I've never made it, and I will be cooking it at 350 because that seems to be what the oven will be set at. I will give it at least 45 minutes to cook, but will adjust it as necessary.

2 cups corn
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 Tbs melted butter
2 cups scalded milk
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Combine ingredients. Bake in buttered dish in slow oven (325) until firm.

Cranberry Sauce
Adapted from the Boston Cooking School Cook Book.

3 cups cranberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup boiling water

Pick over and wash cranberries. Cook with sugar and water 10 minutes. Watch to prevent boiling over. Skim and cool.


Rural Vegan said...

You're making breakfast on Thanksgiving too? How ambitious! (Or glutton for punishment?)

Classic cook said...

Ha, a little of both, I guess. I figure I have to feed our overnight guests something so a casserole I can make the night before and throw on the table with fruit is the easiest option. Or I could just push them out the door to one of the 3 Starbucks within walking distance?

Kevglo said...

A question about the scalloped sweet potatoes and apples. The recipe calls for 2 cups of boiled, sliced sweet potatoes. Do you boil, then slice the spuds, or slice then boil?
We're taking this dish to your Aunt Monica's this Thursday. If it's well received, we'll tell them it's your recipe. If not, we'll tell them it's your Dad's.

Classic cook said...

Nice to hear from you! Good question. I plan on boiling the sweet potatoes whole, but not for very long--just enough to get them soft enough to peel and slice. I also plan on slicing them as thin as possible so they'll cook through. I'm afraid if I peel and slice them before cooking they will just fall apart, but I'm not sure. Hope it turns out well...and you can tell everyone it's Grandma R's recipe! Tell everyone I said hello! I miss seeing my Wisconsin family!

Lisa Kendrick said...

What a smart idea to do breakfast and appetizers throughout the day!

mai + kevin said...

Hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving! Your menu looks delicious!
Love the blog, classic cookbooks are such a fun cultural timewarp!
Our CSA was with Bull Run Mountain Farm, it was really convenient for us since they dropped off right by the East Falls Church metro.

Tracy said...

The breakfast casserol sounds delicious!

teeth whiteners

Classic cook said...

Lisa--not so much smart as a way to keep people out of the kitchen so I can do my thing :-)

Mai+Kevin--just checked out your CSA, it looks great. We're in Bailey's Xroads--small world!

Tracy-thanks, it turned out well but it was a little too sweet. I'd lower the amount of brown sugar next time.