Food for Thanksgiving!

Reader Contribution by Jauneta Stout
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I’ve never seen the days go so fast. What happened to October? November means Thanksgiving; Thanksgiving means food.

I love to try new recipes, but my advice is only one new recipe per holiday — all the rest should be old favorites. If your family is a mashed-potato bunch, make mashed potatoes. They can
be done early and stay beautifully in a crock pot on low. Do as much as possible beforehand.

You will also need something to keep you going, so prepare caramel corn and cider punch ahead of time; borrow another crock pot if you have to!

Caramel Corn

• 6 quarts of popped corn
• dash salt
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
• 1/2 cup light corn syrup

1. Combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt and cook, stirring until it comes to a boil.

2. Stop stirring and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Stir in baking soda and vanilla.

4. Popcorn should be in greased, large, flat, pan. Pour mixture over popcorn, mix well.

5. Bake at 250 degrees F for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

6. Cool and break apart.

These drink recipes are both good.

Amy’s Cider Punch

• 1 gallon cider
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 1 stick cinnamon
• a few cloves
• bit of allspice

1. Combine, let simmer in crock pot, enjoy!

Susie’s Wassail

• 3 quart orange juice
• 1 quart cranberry juice
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 cup water
• 3 sticks cinnamon
• 12 whole cloves

1. Simmer water and spices on stovetop for 15 minutes. Add juices, simmer for another hour.

2. Cool and reheat as needed.

This is the favorite cranberry dish for my family. It makes any turkey taste better. And leftovers are wonderful.

Cranberry Salad

• 1 pound cranberries
• 2 cups sugar
• 1-1/2 cups boiling water
• 1 6-oz. box cherry Jello
• 1 cup finely diced celery
• 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
• 1 cup chopped nuts

1. Bring water and sugar to boil. Dissolve Jello in sugar water.

2. Grind cranberries, ideally in a food processor.

3. Add cranberries and other ingredients to Jello, pour into a long, flat serving dish, and refrigerate.

Now for the pumpkin pie. This is so easy, my grandson likes to do it.

Pumpkin Pie

• 2 unbaked pie shells
• 1 29-oz. can pumpkin
• Add enough milk to 1 can of evaporated milk to make 2 cups
• 1-1/2 cup white sugar
• 4 eggs
• 2 tablespoons melted butter
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 3 teaspoon pumpkin pie spices.

1. Combine eggs and sugar, then add other ingredients. Pour into 2 pie shells.

2. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for additional 35 minutes.

If you have never done a pumpkin roll, they are so good, easy, and can be frozen weeks ahead of time!

Pumpkin Cake Roll

For the dough:

• 3 eggs 1 cup white sugar
• 2/3 cup prepared pumpkin
• 1 teaspoon lemon juice
• 3/4 cup flour
• 2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup chopped pecans 1 teaspoon baking powder

For the filling:

• 1 cup powdered sugar
• 2 (3 oz) packages Philadelphia cream cheese
• 4 tablespoons melted butter
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1. Beat eggs on high speed for 5 minutes. Gradually add sugar.

2. Stir in pumpkin and lemon juice.

3. Sift together flour, salt, and spices. Gradually add to egg mixture. Mix well.

4. Prepare cookie sheet pan by lining it with parchment paper. Grease, and pour mixture into pan. Top with nuts.

5. Bake at 375 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes.

6. Dust a teat towel with powdered sugar. Loosen cake from edges of pan, and turn out onto towel. Remove parchment paper.

7. While cake is hot, roll cake and towel together. Cool. Unroll cake, remove towel.

8. Spread filling evenly, then roll cake again.

9. Cake may be frozen at this point. When thawed, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

Sweet potatoes — there must be sweet potatoes. Prepare this the day before, then bake the day of.

Sweet Potato Casserole

For the sweet potatoes:

• 3 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
• 2 eggs beaten
• 1/2 cup potato juice
• 1/2 cup melted butter
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• cinnamon and salt to taste

For the topping:

• 1/3 cup flour 1/3 cup melted butter
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 1 cup chopped pecans

1. Combine eggs and sugar, then add sweet potatoes, liquids, spices, and melted butter. Pour into greased casserole dish.

2. Combine topping ingredients, and top sweet potato dish.

3. Bake at 375 degrees F for 35 minutes. If it has been refrigerated, it may take a bit longer.

Don’t forget to be thankful for your many blessing, including food!

Photo by Fotolia/evgenyb

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