“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.”
~Henry Van Dyke
The majestic colors of rust, scarlet and turmeric change the scenery as autumn’s coolness triggers the giants to slow down and lapse into their winter slumber. Their summer green changes into something more rich, but also something that will soon be lost. As death is sure, they begin their decent gliding down to blanket the ground in a beauty all too exquisite. When the boys were little, as quickly as they were raked into piles, they would run, jumping into them laughing as they tussled about in that lovely crunching sound made under their weight.
Autumn is a time for food! As the holidays quickly approach we begin preparing for that special feast, Thanksgiving dinner.
Each of us brings traditions, especially where the holiday menus are concerned. When the word Thanksgiving starts ringing around our home, it seems to evoke this happy, warm, fuzzy kinda feeling… ya know?
From seed-time to harvest, food is a part of all of our lives and I believe we should enjoy it to the fullest! I am never happier than when my boys come in from the cold and I hear these precious words.., “Oooohhhhh, mom, that smells so good!
Here’s our family’s traditional Thanksgiving Day Dinner Menu
Our Favorite Recipes
Grandma’s Famous Cabbage Rolls
1 large head cabbage- about 6-8 pounds
1 ½ pound ground beef, raw
2 cups raw white rice
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 quarts tomato juice
Salt & Pepper
2 bay leaves
½ tsp. salt
This recipe is not in my cookbook, but you can find my Cabbage Roll Casserole recipe. That’s what I make when I feel lazy!)
Here is the link to that recipe blog Cabbage Roll Casserole https://wordpress.com/post/fordragonfliesandme.com/3090
1.Fill a large pot ¾ ways full with water, add ½ tsp. salt.
2.Take cabbage and carefully cut out the stem and cut into the cabbage to make it so the leaves will remove easily, but not to fall apart.
3.Place cabbage in a pot with stem end up facing you; turn heat on high and bring to a boil; once boiling turn down to medium. Cover and cook for about ½ hour to 45 minutes- till cabbage is cooked but not mushy.
4.While cabbage is cooking, combine all meat, rice, onion and 1 quart of tomato juice; mix until evenly distributed. Place aside until cabbage is ready.
5.Remove cabbage from the pot and place it in a sink of cold water. Taking one leaf at a time, cut out the center rib about 1/3 way up if necessary, being careful not to rip the leaf. Place ¼ cup of meat and rice mixture into the center of the leaf. Carefully roll up once and then fold each side in and then roll up one last time. Place in a roaster edge side down.
6. Sprinkle salt & pepper over each layer of roll and then pour enough tomato juice over to cover; repeat until the next layer is done making sure the rolls are covered with tomato juice. Tuck in the two bay leaves.
7.Cover and bake for 2 hours at 325 degrees.
Real Pumpkin Pie
1- 9” deep dish unbaked pie crust
1 cup pumpkin
1 egg yolk
2/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 ½ Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cup milk
1 egg white, stiffly beaten
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a blender, combine all ingredients, except egg white, and blend until smooth and creamy.
3. Pour into pie crust; add stiffly beaten egg white, folding in very carefully with spatula into pie. Small lumps are fine.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes; lower to 350 degrees and bake for 35 to 45 minutes.
Test for doneness with a toothpick to check the center for dryness. I use actual pumpkin that I can, so if you like a stronger flavor, this is a great recipe!
Cranberry Mousse, pg. 64
1- 6 oz. pkg. strawberry flavored gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1- 16 oz. can whole berry cranberry sauce
1- 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, undrained, juice separated and reserved
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon peel
2 cups sour cream
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional) – but so good with!
Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add pineapple juice to gelatin. Stir in cranberries, lemon juice and lemon peel. Chill until thickened but not totally set- about 1-2 hours. Fold in sour cream, pineapple and nuts. Chill until set.
Vegetable Dressing, pg. 197
1- 1# loaf, day old bread
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup diced, cooked potatoes
1 cup diced, cooked carrots
1 cup dice, uncooked celery
½ cup fresh parsley
¼ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups milk
Break bread into cubes and mix with butter. Add milk to eggs. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into a well-greased 2 quart baking dish or stuff in the bird, any excess putting around the base of the bird. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 ½ hours if in a baking dish or until the bird is fully cooked. If using a bowl, stir several times while baking.
Did you think I forgot the main dish? We always get a farm raised turkey from a local farmer at the farmers market (now that I don’t raise my own).
Preheat to 325 degrees.
1. Remove turkey from any packaging and remove giblets from the cavity.
2. Spray your roaster with non-stick butter flavored spray; Place turkey in an electric roaster or in a large roasting pan.
3. If you are stuffing the turkey, now is the time to do so- pack stuffing into the cavity of the turkey until it is almost full.
4. Spray turkey with non-stick butter flavored spray; sprinkle whatever seasonings you enjoy over the turkey. I use some Seasoned Garlic Salt, a bit of salt & pepper.
You can also use a poultry rub with great results!
Pro Tip: How long do you cook my turkey?
- For 10- to 12-pound turkey, roast 3¼ hours to 3½ hours.
- For 12- to 14-pound turkey, roast 3½ to 4 hours.
- For 14- to 18-pound turkey, roast 4 to 4¼ hours.
- For 18- to 20-pound turkey, roast 4¼ to 4¾ hours.
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Added bonus tip: To find recipes like the ones you’ll find in my posts, you can go to my blog at www.fordragonfliesandme.com to purchase my original cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats. The cookbook has almost 1000 recipes on almost 500 pages! Check out the Cookbook Testimonials while you’re there!
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