Now that you've all had a chance to work on making your gravy and mashed potatoes non-lumpy for the big day, let's focus on the best part (at least for me) of Thanksgiving: stuffing and pumpkin pie.
To be honest, I am a fan of StoveTop. It wasn't until I met my husband and had dinner with his family that I was able to experience his grandmother's homemade stuffing. And, I was sold. So, here's a variation of that recipe that's just as yummy.
1 loaf white (or wheat) bread
3/4 c butter (or substitute)
1 onion (chopped)
4 stalks celery (chopped)
2 tsp poultry seasoning
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 c turkey drippings (or turkey/chicken stock)
1. Lay out bread slices to dry for 1-2 hours.
2. Cut bread slices into cubes.
3. In a large pan, melt butter.
4. Over medium heat, cook onion and celery until soft.
5. Add seasonings.
6. Stir in bread, coating evenly with butter/onion/celery mix.
7. Add drippings and mix well - evenly coating bread cubes.
8. If using as stuffing inside your turkey, chill for 1-2 hours before stuffing bird. If using without stuffing the turkey, transfer stuffing to a buttered baking dish and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.
Now that we have a basic Thanksgiving dinner, we have to finish off with a great dessert! And, what's better this time of year than pumpkin pie? Sure, you could run to the grocery store and grab a pumpkin pie. But, where's the fun in that? And, sure, you could use some of that canned pumpkin stuff, too. But, again, where's the fun in that? (Seriously, if you want to use the canned pumpkin, skip ahead a few steps in the recipe below. p.s. Be sure to use 100% pumpkin, not the pre-spiced stuff that Libby's, etc. sells.)
PUMPKIN PIE (from an actual pumpkin!)
1/2 - 3/4 jack-o-lantern pumpkin*
1 c sugar
------If you bought canned pumpkin, your ingredients start here!
Pumpkin (28 oz)
1 1/2 c sugar
1 tsp salt (optional)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp allspice
2 c milk
2 pie crusts
1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Wash the pumpkin in cool water - without soap. (Just like you would any vegetable you were going to eat.)
3. Cut the pumpkin open and scrape the insides out. (Set aside those seeds so you can either roast them or plant your own pumpkins for next year!)
4. Slice the pumpkin into manageable slices and place inside-down on a foil-lined and lightly oiled cookie sheet.
5. Bake pumpkin 30-40 minutes until tender when poked with a fork.
6. Remove from oven and cool until warm.
7. Scrape the pumpkin flesh from the peel and mash or puree.
8. Add sugar and mix well.
-------If you bought canned pumpkin, your instructions start here!
1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Mix pumpkin, eggs, sugar, and spices in a large bowl.
3. Add milk - 1 c at a time to make it easier to mix in.
4. Pour into prepared (unbaked) pie crusts.
5. Bake both pies about 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
*If you can get a sugar pumpkin, you should use it instead - it'll be tastier as they're sweeter. Alternatively, you can also use a butternut squash. But, jack-o-lantern pumpkins are usually easier to find this time of year. So, we're going to use that recipe. And, folks, don't actually use your Halloween pumpkin. For starters, it's probably looking pretty gross by now. Secondly, if it's been sittong on your stoop, there've been bugs eating it already. p.s. If you do use a sugar pumpkin or butternut squash, just skip to the pie preparation part.
Now that you have the mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, I think you're set for your big day! Enjoy your time with family and friends, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving from those of us here at BOLD.