Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thanksgiving is a-comin'

Have you written your Thanksgiving menu? I started mine yesterday. It's not that it's that much different from any previous year. We're very traditional when it comes to holiday meals. I like to have it written down, because it makes it easier to make my shopping list. I am gonna go a little crazy this year and make Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole instead of the usual Candied Sweet Potatoes. I'll probably get some protests, but I decided to change that particular item for the reduced calorie and fat count. I have a recipe from Cooking Light magazine that got rave reviews on their website.

The menu is as follows:
Roast Turkey w/Giblet Gravy
Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole
Mashed Potatoes
Corn (frozen, from my in-laws garden)
Brussels Sprouts w/pecans
Green Beans
Cranberry-Orange Salad
Whole Cranberry Sauce (Homemade)
Cranberry Jelly (from the can)
Homemade bread (my mother-in-law)
Pecan, Pumpkin and Dutch Apple Pies

Is that carb hell, or what? And, yes, we have to have three kinds of cranberry side dishes. The jelly is for my father-in-law. I have to have the whole sauce which I make with fresh ginger and orange peel. Everyone else likes the cranberry salad.

These are serving dishes that I love to use for the Thanksgiving feast. Some are family treasures, and a couple of them are just because I love them. Starting with the white leaf bowl which I bought myself and going clockwise. The large red and gold bowl was a birthday gift from my best buddy, Cindy. You can heat it in the oven and it makes a great bread bowl and keeps it warm throughout the meal. The round Depression glass covered butter dish is from David's Grandma Hinkle. The oblong green Depression dish is from my mother and the one I put the cranberry salad in. The little green dish I bought because it matches Mom's dish. The gravy boat belonged to Mom. The oval pink dish is also from Grandma Hinkle's collection and holds the cranberry jelly. I always feel close to my family when I use these dishes. This is just a small representation of the ones that I treasure and I hope my children will love them for me when I'm gone.

Here's the recipe for the casserole:


Assemble the potato mixture and sprinkle with the streusel, then freeze the casserole up to 2 weeks ahead of Thanksgiving. Thaw in refrigerator and bake as directed. Or cook just the potatoes a day ahead, mash and refrigerate and proceed with the recipe as directed (starting with the addition of half-and-half) the day you're serving the dish.

Add 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper if you want to add a bit of heat to this sweet dish.

18 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup)

14 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato (about 5 pounds)
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375°.

Place potato in a Dutch oven, and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 12 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Combine the half-and-half and next 4 ingredients (half-and-half through egg) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add potato to egg mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Spoon potato mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Combine flour and sugar in a food processor; pulse to combine. Add chilled butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in pecans; sprinkle over potato mixture.

Cover and bake at 375° for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 25 minutes or until the topping is browned and the potatoes are thoroughly heated.


Ruth said...

Streuseled sweet potato casserole, yum! I might have to try that this year. Your menu looks perfect, with all the right elements. I am always interested in the pie assortment people make. We do the pumpkin, and apple and mince.

The dishes are so beautiful, and the tradition of using them for this special holiday meal will be such a good memory for your family. I do love how things we inherited from relatives connect us with them. Lovely!

Susan said...

Ruth, my mother has been gone for more than 21 years, but when I hold one of her dishes, it's as if she is right beside me. I also have most of her handkerchiefs and a few of her aprons.

I know pecan isn't a traditional Thanksgiving pie, but it's David's favorite, so I do it for him. It's the one that's always gone first!

I tried to link the actual recipe for the sweet potato dish and it didn't work, but if you go to the website and do a search, you'll find it.

Ruth said...

Ok, I'll come back and look for the recipe when I'm ready to shop for it.

My sister makes pecan pies too. I think each family figures out which ones they like, even if they veer from the traditional a bit. Pecan are definitely holiday pies! And yummy!

Yes, there is energy in those old things of our mothers', grandmothers', aunts', dads', etc.

Ruth said...

Oh! I missed that you had posted the recipe. :)

Wrensong Farm said...

Oh YUM! What time is dinner? :) I think I'm going to try your struesel sweet potato recipe too! I love dishes with a history, and you have some lovely ones! Thanks for sharing.

Susan said...

Ruth, I decided to go ahead and paste in the recipe, so anyone who is interested wouldn't have to search for it. :)

Wrensong, we'll be eating around five-ish, so come on over and join us! There's always room for more! Thanks for liking my dishes and for coming over for a visit. Hope you will come by often.

Amy - "Twelve Acres" said...

Everything sounds delicious! My Thanksgiving dinner sounds like a flop but I will have plenty of leftover turkey for other uses so I don't mind. I love your serving dishes. You should come and browse through Lene's Web up here. I can spend hours there just looking through all the treasures. There are lots of glass pieces from the 50s and 60s there.

Susan said...

Thanks, Amy, my favorite thing is to plunder through junk and antique stores. Welcome back.

Don said...

Ahhhh, Thanksgiving feast. I am always amazed at how much food we all make and then how quickly we eat the meal and then lie around until we can go and do it again!

I love turkey stuffing. I have heard that so many people don't stuff their turkeys anymore! What's up with that??? It ain't livin' if the boid ain't stuffed!

Laurie Kruczek said...

This all sounds so great! I wish you lived close by so I could crash your Thanksgiving and sample from your beautiful dishes ;)

Our family is extra excited for this year's turkey because we grew it ourselves! This is the first time we are eating our own homegrown bird, so it's new territory. Other than that, it is pretty traditional faire, tho.

Good luck with trying your new sweet potato dish! Sounds yum yum!

Susan said...

Don, we like to have all the crispy edges when it's baked in a casserole. It's just too namby-pamby inside the bird! :)

Laurie, you and yours would certainly be welcome at our table if you lived nearby. I wish we had room to raise a couple of turkeys. That would make it perfect.