Friday, November 18, 2011

Family Recipe Friday: Thanksgiving Memories and Recipes



[Mom's guest post:]


As I go dig out  my recipes for Thanksgiving, I can't help but remember the dinners my mom would prepare.  I would help her by setting the table with a cloth tablecloth and napkins.   She always made it a special occasion even if it were just the four of us.    Of course we always had the usual turkey and giblet gravy, mashed potatoes, chicken and noodles, green beans, and corn.   Mom also had candied sweet potatoes that she would put marshmallows on the top.   I remember her making the syrup on the stove and making sure she got it just right.  Unfortunately, no one in our family today eats them like we did when I was young. 

She loved to make fan tan rolls from her Parker house roll recipe.   I'd watch her  knead the dough and let it rise on the floor registers.   She would then roll it out and cut it into about 6-8 strips, stack them and then cut into 12 pieces and put them in muffin tins.  There is nothing quite a good as the smell of yeast rolls baking.   Our family would peel of the layers (fan) of the rolls and add butter to each piece and savor the taste.   Of course we didn't worry about calories or cholesterol.

We always had two kinds dressing for Thanksgiving.  Mom would make regular bread dressing for us and oyster dressing for dad.    I always think of him when I make oyster dressing at Thanksgiving.   One year, dad picked out the whole oysters and mom got upset so the next year, she cut them up so he couldn't pick them out.  Mom would always make cranberry salad which I still make today.   I'm the only one who eats but it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it.   She always had pumpkin pie made from the Carnation recipe and pecan pie.  

Fan Tan Rolls

Bonnie Wright always made these as "fan tan"rolls for Thanksgiving.  We loved to peel away each layer and add lots of butter.

    1 cup milk                                                     
    1 tablespoon salt                                              
    1 cup lukewarm water                                           
    1 package yeast                                                
    6 tablespoons melted vegetable shortening                      
    5 tablespoons sugar                                            
    6 cups flour                         
                          
Scald milk, add sugar and salt; cool to lukewarm.  Dissolve yeast in water and add to lukewarm milk.  Add 3 cups flour and beat until perfectly smooth.  Add melted shortening and remaining flour.  Knead well.  Place in greased bowl.  Cover and set in warm place.  Let rise until double in built, about 1 1/2 hours.  Roll out into rectangle sheet and 1/8 inch thick.  Brush with melted butter and cut into strips 1 1/2 in wide.  Pile 7 strips together and cut into pieces 1 inch wide.  Place inch side up in greased muffin pans.  Cover and let rise about 1 hour.  Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Cranberry-Apple Salad

I always make this for Thanksgiving even though I'm the only one who likes cranberries.   It is the recipe that mom used.   Afterwards, I freeze it in individual dishes for a quick dessert.

    2 cups cranberries                                             
    2 oranges, peeled                                              
    2 apples, cored and seeded                                     
    1 cup chopped celery                                           
    1 3-ounce box lemon jello  or cranberry jello                  
    1 cup boiling water                                            
    1 cup sugar                                                    
    1/2 cup walnuts                                                
Chop cranberries, apples and oranges with a food chopper or grinder.  Add sugar, nuts and celery.   Combine jello and hot water and add to fruit mixture.  Chill until set.   (It will be a soft set)

Oyster Dressing

I couldn't find mother's recipe but this is as close as to the one she used.  I usually cut it in half since only my husband and I eat it.

 1 pint oysters, drained; reserve liquid                        
    1 medium onions, chopped                                       
    2 stalks celery, chopped                                       
    6 tablespoons butter                                           
    8 slices stale bread, cubed into 1/2 inch pieces               
    1/2 teaspoon thyme                                             
    1/4 teaspoon sage                                              
    2 tablespoons lemon juice                                      
    Salt and peper                 
                                
Saute onion and celery in butter until soft, about 3-5 minutes.   Add bread cubes and saute until browned, about 7 minutes.   Remove from heat and add herbs and oysters that have been sprinkled with lemon juice.   Fold in gently, adding some of the reserved oyster liquid for a more moist stuffing.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  

Bake in a greased 1-quart casserole dish at 350 for 25 minutes.   Makes 4 cups.
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