Traditions: Thanksgiving Feast Recipes

Growing up, my family's holidays were centered around a huge extended-family feast.

On Easter, it was ham baked in pineapple and brown sugar. Thanksgiving and Christmas we had a wild turkey thanks to my hunt-a-holic brothers and a store-bought turkey, each roasted to perfection. The dining room table would be piled high with side dishes galore. And the side bars were lined with pecan pie, shoo-fly pie, fruit pies, and pudding pies. Once the prayer's Amen was heard, we'd all descend on the food like we hadn't eaten in years. We'd eat, and eat, and eat some more until we were gorged to the point of unbuttoning and unzipping our pants for comfort.

If there is one tradition I have passed on to my children, it's this one - only on a smaller scale. Since we don't have a lot of extended family nearby, our feast has less variety. I admit I do miss the three different types of corn and two different stuffings. But we aren't feeding 30-40 people. (Thank goodness!)

I'm really excited to share some of our family's favorite Thanksgiving recipes. Enjoy!

Sweet Basil Rub (for the Turkey)

2 Tbsp Salt
1/2 tsp Granulated Garlic
1/2 tsp Granulated Onion
1/2 tsp Paprika
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Whole Basil
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Mix salt, sugar, garlic, onion, paprika, and lemon juice together. Next add pepper, basil, and olive oil. Mix until well blended. Rub all over the outside and inside of turkey. Bake according to the turkey instructions. The drippings make an incredible gravy!

Great Aunt Erma's Baked Stuffing

1 loaf of Bread
1/2 cup Onion
3/4 cup Celery
1 Egg
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
Milk (or rice milk & water)

Saute onions and celery in butter.
Grease a 9x13 casserole pan.
Break up bread into small chunks in a large mixing bowl. Add onion and celery; mix together. Sprinkle parsley, salt, and pepper on top of mixture until top is well covered; mix together.
Mix milk (about one cup), egg, and baking powder in a small bowl. There should be enough liquid to lightly moisten the bread mixture. If needed, you can add more milk. Add 1/2 to bread; stir gently. Add remaining liquid; stir gently until bread is lightly moist.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or brown on top.

Great Aunt Erma's Creamed Mushrooms

1 box/container of fresh Mushrooms
3/4 cup Milk
1 Tbsp Flour

Slice mushrooms and cook in a skillet with butter until all water is cooked out.
Add milk and flour. Constantly stir until the sauce thickens. Serve hot.

Fabulous Fruit Salad

1 can (29 oz.) sliced peaches, drained, with juice reserved separately from other juices
1 can (20 oz.) pineapple chunks, drained & juice reserved separately from other juices
1 c. mandarin oranges, drained & juice reserved separately from other juices
3 whole or 4 whole bananas, sliced
1/2 jar maraschino cherries, drained
1 whole egg
1/2 c. sugar
1 tbsp flour
3/4 c. peach juice (from drained canned peaches)
3/4 c. pineapple juice (from drained canned pineapple)
15 large marshmallows

1. Mix peaches, pineapple, oranges, bananas and cherries together in 1. a bowl. Set aside.
2. In saucepan, mix egg, sugar, flour, peach juice* and pineapple juice*.
3. *Add reserved mandarin orange juice, if necessary, to make 3/4 c. peach juice and 3/4 c. pineapple juice.
4. Cook until soft custard stage, stirring almost constantly.
5. Remove from heat. Add marshmallows.
6. Stir until blended. Pour dressing over fruit. Chill.
7. Store salad in refrigerator overnight.
Serve Chilled.

Would you like to comment?

Josi said...

What great recipes! Any way I can wrestle the pinneapple/brown sugar recipe from you? I hate turkey (though I still cook it and will use your rub this year) but I always make a ham so that I'm happy too. You have my e-mail--so if you don't mind . . .

Unknown said...

Apparently I need to start eating something before I read your blog. I'm now really extra hungry. Kind of like going grocery shopping hungry...suddenly everything looks fabulous. :) They do sound like good recipes. We are going to the in-laws in Idaho for Thanksgiving this year. I might have to bring your recipes and dazzle them. :)

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Josi - I'll write up the recipe and send it off to you! I hope you enjoy it!

De - Hee hee. I know what you mean. Everything looks great when you're grocery shopping on a less than full stomach. :) Maybe you can keep a stash of nuts (or chocolate) by your computer for spontaneous munching. LOL!

Julie Wright said...

I love these recipes! thanks for new things to try out. And on to my real question. . . have you heard back yet??????? The suspense is killing me!

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Hi Jules - Still waiting . . . It's okay. I'm just chewing my nails to bits - you know, being patient. ;-) I'll be sure to let you know!

Marcia Mickelson said...

Thanks for the recipes. This is my first year cooking a turkey, so I'm scared. I like your recipe. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Marcia - I think your family will really enjoy it! Good luck cooking your first turkey. One essential tip for moist meat, put the turkey in a plastic turkey bag when you cook it. Good luck!!!

Heather Justesen said...

Danyelle, that turkey recipe looks fab! I'll totally have to try it. I keep meaning to call because we haven't talked in ages, but I swear sometimes all I have to do is blink and the day is gone.

Danyelle Ferguson said...

I'm blinking right there with you, Heather! There's just too much to do and not enough hours in the day to get it all done AND still have time to for all the fun stuff on my list. We'll have to chat very, very soon. Like, maybe I'll call you now. :)

Shauna said...

Yum! Hey I hope you have an awesome weekend! Check out my blog to get your awards with l♥ts of l♥ve from me :) ♥ Hugs! :) Shauna

Danyelle Ferguson said...

TTSC - Thank you for the awards! You are so awesome!

Josi said...

Just thought I'd let you know I did your turkey rub and your fruit salad yesturday--both were a BIG hit. Thanks so much for sharing :-)

Josi said...

Oh, I did the ham too yuuuuuuumy. :-)

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Josi - I'm glad your family enjoyed the recipes! Happy Thanksgiving!

CJ, The Purple Diva said...

I have another recipe similar to this one only it has strawberries in it which is a summer fruit-so in the winter it's hard to make this recipe-on and it's orange juice you use! At any rate, THANK you for this recipe! I am making it for a Christmas dinner next week!

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Oooh, that sounds really yummy. I'll have to try it out! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I found you by way of Carolyn aka Purple Diva's blog - she shared this recipe and I thought it was such a great idea for using up the "extras", I had to come over here and thank you

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Thank you, Kathy! I'm glad you enjoyed them.