This year, I had some friends over for a Thanksgiving dinner yesterday (we did it before Turkey Day so we could get together and eat good food without interfering with family gatherings). I cooked all the food. And I will tell you what...it was all delicious! So good that I am sharing the recipes that I used, so everyone else can enjoy great food, too! I used recipes from the Internet, so to save from having to type them all out, I will be putting in links with my side notes.
The Turkey. This site may seem a little hokey, but I will tell you what...my turkey was GOOD! I had a ten pound turkey. I let it thaw out really well (but when I was cleaning all the giblets out of it, there were still pieces of ice in the cavity.) I cut half a stick of butter up into slices and just put them between the meat and the skin. I also added some dried oregano. On top, I put pepper and coarse salt. I didn't have a lid for my roasting pan, so I made a makeshift one using the rack and foil. I may not use even that next time, though, because I prefer really crispy skin, and this was just somewhat crispy skin. When this turkey came out, it was just falling apart! Did I mention it was really good??
The Cranberry Sauce. This is actually made with pears and honey, too. It was very yummy! I didn't care for the shell of the cranberry, I didn't like the texture of it so much. But I did like the pear chunks. If I make it again, I will probably up the white sugar, do a little less honey, and try to strain the cranberry. (I don't know HOW I will do that....but I will try!) Also, you have to cook the cranberries a little bit longer to get them all to pop. Fifteen minutes works.
The Broccoli Casserole. Yummy stuff! I used whole wheat Ritz crackers. I also made it in a crock pot, which would have been fine if I had drained the broccoli a whole heckuvalot more before adding the cheese. (I didn't add the cheese until about half and hour before I was going to serve it.) This is a recipe that I should have doubled, because it is so good!
The Carrots. I wanted to find an awesome honey-glazed carrots recipe. And I did. The only thing that I would do with this recipe is either double the amount of carrots, or half the amount of everything else! So good!
The Potatoes. I didn't get this recipe from the Internet. I just learned it growing up in a home cookin' family! Peel and dice about a dozen potatoes (for 8-10 servings). Boil until tender. Drain. Add a whole stick of butter and about half a cup of milk. Mash (with either a hand masher or a hand mixer). Add more milk until it is the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper. Voila!
The Stuffing. Don't put it in the bird. Just follow the directions on the box. Can't go wrong!
The Gravy. This is another one of those learned-it-from-my-family recipes. Pour all the turkey drippings into a frying pan, turn the heat to medium-high/high. In a small cup, add about two heaping spoonfuls of corn starch and enough water to make it easily stir-able. When the drippings start boiling, slowly pour the corn starch mix in while whisking. Whisk and add corn starch mix until the gravy is as thick as you like it! You can add salt and pepper...but I always forget to, and it still turns out great!
So, there is your Thanksgiving dinner!
I didn't make dessert this time, but if you want some good recipes, try this recipe for a super yummy pumpkin pie....don't forget to use real pumpkin! And if you want to make your own crust, here is a simple but wonderfully delicious recipe. This site also has lots of tips for pie making!