I’VE BEEN BOMBARDED BY RECIPES for Thanksgiving coming from many directions in my universe. With the holiday in sight, households are gearing up and have begun their shopping. I’ve noticed increasing traffic in my grocery store.
Family gatherings are trying hard to be in vogue, but so is social distancing, quarantining, and following new mandates. Conflicting recommendations on how to spend that special day are everywhere. This confusion pretty much typifies most of the news in 2020, and I've just heard that dining out (or is it in?) is no longer a possibility in Michigan.
Resolved that it is a quirky year, I’m adjusting to another round of orders more determined than ever to go it alone with my easy recipes. My belief is this IS NOT the year to try newfangled side dishes that could lead to severe psychological stress if they happened to bomb out. We do not need to chance it.
Remember, during Thanksgiving, life pauses briefly for our grace as we give thanks for the bounty in our lives. It still does, even if it is virtual and one is feasting alone. Perhaps I will do life-size cut-outs at my dinner table like they do at sporting events this year. “Hey, there’s Mom and Dad and Aunt Betty, bringing back fond memories of Thanksgiving past.”
This is also a year for simplifying.
Thanksgiving sides really complete the traditional turkey dinner and my recommendations can complement any turkey preparation. I’m going with a “turkey breast in a bag” – a new approach for me that has a gravy packet enclosed. Perfect for topping the turkey slices and mashed potatoes.
My special sides are offered here and satisfaction is guaranteed!
Bob’s Thanksgiving Sides
Honeyed Onions - Peel six small Spanish onions and place in boiling water for an six-minute blanch. In another pan melt one stick butter and 6 oz. honey. Place in a smaller deep pan so the onions are half submerged in the butter-honey liquid. These will go in a 350F oven for 40 minutes, turning occasionally. Sprinkle with Paprika before serving.
Cranberry Sauce – 1-12 oz. package fresh cranberries are placed in a pan with ½ cup of water and ½ cup of granulated sugar. Add orange zest and juice from one orange. Simmer fifteen minutes and stir as it thickens. Add a smidgen of cinnamon. Chill. Unlike the turkey throw away the plastic bag.
Sage Bread Stuffing – To 1 stick of melted butter add 1 chopped onion and 4 stalks of chopped celery. Sauté for five minutes and add 1 TBS chopped sage leaves and 1 cup chicken stock and salt and pepper. Dump in 1 lb. bread cubes and stir to coat. Place in frig for a couple hours. Place in a baking dish and bake at 350F for 40 minutes. (Sound familiar?)
These come together nicely on a large dinner plate with turkey and mashed potatoes and a generous sprig of fresh Parsley.
I will splurge and bake a Sara Lee pumpkin pie, and on my own little piece will add a dollop of Cool Whip and a sprinkle of fresh nutmeg.
I am most thankful.
Author's note: The dinner turned out quite well. I didn't eat too much. I added a pecan praline topping on the pumpkin pie. Wow!