Thanksgiving Dinner

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Bread Dip
Brandied Meatballs
Cheese and Crackers
Main Course:
Oven Roasted Turkey     (Turkey Roasting Timetable)
Mashed Potatoes
Homemade Turkey Gravy
Grannies Candied Yams
Cranberry Sauce
Dinner Rolls
Pumpkin Pie
Apple Pie

Now I can just hear you all now, WOW what a meal plan, well considering that my grandmother raised a family consisting of her, my grandfather and 4 children you can begin to imagine how the tastes of each individual influenced the menu choices. As the children grew, and began to raise their own families, this dinner became a huge gathering. Over the years, the size of the gathering began to dwindle as each family began having their own family dinners, but always in my mind, this is the meal that I remember having for Thanksgiving. So without further delay, heres all the recipes for the above listed menu.

Bread Dip

1 pkg. Dried Beef
1 c. Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. Beau Munde Seasoning
2 c. Sour Cream
1 small onion finely chopped

Mix all ingredients together, being sure that all are mixed well. Serve with Pumpernickel Bread or Rye Bread. (I generally use the round loaf found in most bakeries, I hallow out the center of the loaf, and using a small round dish, set the dip into the middle of the bread, and serve it with cut up squares of bread on the side.)

Brandied Meat Balls

2 pounds Ground Beef
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. Worcstershire Sauce
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
1/8 tsp. Ginger
1/4 tsp. Pepper
3 drops Franks Red Hot Sauce
2 Tbsp. Cooking Oil
Brandied Peach Sauce (recipe to follow)
1 Tbsp. Cornstarch (if needed)
1 Tbsp. Cold Water (if needed)
1 (20 oz.) can of Sliced Peaches, drained

Mix together the first 10 ingredients, in a medium sized bowl. Shape into 1 inch balls. In a large skillet, heat the oil and brown the meat balls. Remove, them from the pan, set aside and keep them warm. Reduce the heat and blend Brandied Peach Sauce into the meat drippings, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add meat balls to pan and coat completely with the sauce. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour. If needed, blend cornstarch with cold water till smooth; add to sauce, stirring constantly, and cook over a low heat till sauce is thickened. Garnish for this dish is sliced peaches. Makes about 40 1 inch meatballs.

Brandied Peach Sauce

1 (18 oz.) jar peach preserves
3/4 c. Light Brown Sugar, firmly packed
1/4 c. Brandy
3/4 c. Peach Brandy
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix well. Makes 3 cups.

Cheese and Crackers

For this I use a round tray, and slice different types of cheese into bite size pieces and arrange them on the tray, alternating between cheese and crackers. To make it colourful, alternate colours of cheese and crackers as well.

Oven Roasted Turkey

1 (12 to 14 Pound) Turkey
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
2 Tbsp. Poultry Seasoning
Bacon optional

Preheat the oven to 325F. Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey; reserve for gravy. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water. Sprinkle neck and body cavities with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. (I generally combine the 3 ingredients so it is a mixture) Loosely spoon the stuffing into the neck and body cavities of the turkey. Place turkey into roasting pan (I often use a roasting bag as it eliminates the need for basting) breast side up. Using cooking oil or butter, rub the entire top side of the turkey lightly until all visible parts have a light coating. The oil or butter helps the turkey to brown up nicely and has a rich golden brown look when finished cooking. Sprinkle the remaining salt, pepper, poultry seasoning on the top of the trukey. If desired you may now place a few strips of bacon on the turkeys top side. This helps all flavour, colour to the cooked meat, and makes a nice garnish. If using a roasting bag, you now close it and are ready to cook the turkey. If not using a roasting bag, be sure to baste the every 45 minutes to ensure that it stays tender and juicy. See the roasting table for roasting times. When the turkey is done, remove it from the oven, and allow it to set for 10 minutes before attempting to remove it from the pan and carve it. Remember to remove the stuffing before carving the turkey.

Weight (Pounds) Unstuffed (Hours) Stuffed (Hours)
8 to 12 2 3/4 to 3 3 to 3 1/2
12 to 14 3 to 3 3/4 3 1/2 to 4
14 to 18 3 3/4 to 4 1/4 4 to 4 1/4
18 to 20 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 4 1/4 to 4 3/4
20 to 24 4 1/2 to 5 4 3/4 to 5 1/4
Internal temperature of a turkey:
At the thigh: A minimum of 180F
At the breast: A minimum of 170F

Both of these temperatures should be taken at the thickest part.

Mashed Potatoes

3 pounds of All Purpose Potatoes
1 stick of Butter
1/2 c. Milk
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c. Sour Cream, optional

Wash, peel and dice the potatoes, place into a large pot of water. Boil until tender and start to break apart with a fork when touched. Drain the water off, and return the potatoes to the pan. Add the butter, salt and pepper, and using either your mixer or a masher, mash the potatoes till they no longer have large lumps. Add milk a little at a time, until potatoes are at desired texture and thickness. Add sour cream if desired, you can even eliminate the milk and use the sour cream instead if you so choose.

Homemade Turkey Gravy

In a sauce pan, all the neck and giblets that you reserved from the turkey, to water. Bring them to a full boil and remove and discard them. Add to the pan the pan drippings from the turkey and again bring to a full boil. Combine 1/2 c. cornstarch with about 1/2 c. cold water, mix together until no longer lumpy. Slowly add the cornstarch to the boiling juices, using a wire wisk stir continueously until desired consistency is reached. Stir in 1 tsp. of Kitchen Bouquet, this adds a little colour to the gravy.

Grannies Candied Yams

4 large Sweet Potatoes
1 c. Light Brown Sugar
1 c. Maple Syrup
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. Butter, melted
1 c. mini marshmallows

Bake the sweet potatoes until tender. Remove from oven and allow them to cool. When cool, remove the skins and dice into bite size chunks. Combine brown sugar, maple syrup, nutmeg and butter together. Pour this mixture over the diced potatoes, and mix well being sure they are comletely coated. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes. Remove from oven, stir and add the mini marshmallows, return to oven and bake for 10 minutes. Serves 4-8


This recipe is rather general as its the same I use for all types of squash. So if you perfer to use Acorn or Butternut, or any other type of squash, this recipe will work well with all types.

Cut the squash in half like you would a cantaloupe, remove and discard the seeds. Into the center of each half, add 2 Tbsp. butter and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Bake at 350F until tender. Remove from the oven, and scoop out the insides of the squash, including the butter and brown sugar place in a bowl. Add to the mixture a dash of salt and pepper. Combine well.

Cranberry Sauce

As I havent found a decent recipe for homemade cranberry sauce, I generally just buy a can from the store.

Dinner Rolls

I order mine from the local bakery and heat them in the oven so as to serve them warm.

Whipped Butter

Add 1 pound of butter into a food processor or mixer bowl, and blend until smooth. Put whipped butter into a bowl and garnish with a little parsley flakes.

Pumpkin Pie

1 1/2 c. Canned Pumpkin
3/4 c. Sugar
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Ginger
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Ground Clove
3 Eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/4 c. Milk
1 6 oz. Can Evaporate Milk
1 9 inch pie crust (Crust recipe to follow)

Preheat oven to 400F. Combine pumpkin, sugar, salt and spices. Mix well. Blend in eggs, milk and evaporated milk. Pour into unbaked pie crust. Bake at 400 for 50 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between center of pie and outside comes out clean. Serve with whipped cream.

Pie Crust

1 1/3 c. All-purpose Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 c. Shortening (I use Butter Flavoured Crisco)
3 Tbsp. Cold Water

Spoon flour into measuring cup and level. Combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in shortening using a pastry blender until all flour is blended to for pea sized chunks. Sprinkle with water, 1 Tbsp. at a time. Toss lightly with a fork until dough forms a ball. Press dougn between hands to form a 5 to 6 inch pancake. Flour rolling surface and rolling pin lightly. Roll dough in a circle. Trim 1 inch larger than an upside-down poe plate. Flod dough into quarters. Unfold into pie plate. Crimp the edge. Makes 1 8-9 inch crust.

Homemade Apple Pie

Preheat oven to 350F. Use the above pie crust recipe for the crust. You will need to do this reicpe twice as you need 2 crusts for this pie. Peel and core 4-6 Apples (I use Jona Golds when available, otherwise I use McIntosh.) Slice the apples into 1/2 inch slices. In a large mixing bowl combine 1 c. sugar, 4 Tbsp. Cinnamon, 2 tsp. nutmeg and 1/4 cup cornstarch. Mix well. Add the apples and again mix well, being sure all the apples are coated. If needed, add more sugar and cinnamon to cover all the apples. Place the pie crust into the pie plate, and dump the apple mixture into the crust. Place top crust on the pie and crimp the edges together. Lightly brush the top of the pie with egg white, and sprinkle with a little sugar. Bake the pie for 45 minutes to 1 hour being sure to check that the crust isn't getting burned. Cool for 1/2 hour before serving.