Thanksgiving on a Budget

The leaves are turning, the evenings are cooling, and the holiday spirit presses us all to more friendly moods and actions. Thanksgiving is that time of year to gather, show love for one another, and offer thanks for all the blessings given to us throughout the years. It is a time of peace, happiness, and good food. The following are recipes that are sure to leave both your guests and your wallet happy! May this year’s holiday season bring joy and love to you and yours.

Basic Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Serves 12

2 pounds of Russet
potatoes, medium diced

Garlic salt

Butter

Sour cream

Milk

Green onions, diced

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, place the potatoes and cover with water. Bring this to a boil and once potatoes are fork tender remove from heat and drain. Place in a mixer (or large bowl if using a hand mixer). Add 2 tablespoons of butter and a splash of milk to begin with. Once the potatoes have broken down and the butter is incorporated add a dollop of sour cream and a handful of green onions. Continue from this point by tasting and adding ingredients as necessary depending on the type of potatoes you would like. For example, if you want smoother potatoes, add more milk or sour cream. Season with the salt, pepper and garlic salt as preferred.

Stuffing
Serves 12

2 loaves white bread,
lightly toasted

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups chicken broth

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

2 teaspoons sage

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 eggs, lightly beaten

Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the bread the day before you plan to make this stuffing. Let it sit out until it is hard and dry. Preheat the oven to 325F. Crush the bread and place in a large bowl. Mix the eggs and chicken broth into the crumbs. This mixture should be moist but not mushy, so reserve chicken broth if necessary. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and sauté the onion and celery. Remove from heat and drain. Add onion, celery, sage, garlic powder, salt and pepper to bread mixture. Press all into a lightly greased 9X13 baking dish and bake for approximately 1 hour or until the top is crisp and golden.

Green Bean Casserole
Serves 6-8

1/3 stick of butter

½ cup onions, diced

2 cups sliced green beans

3 cups chicken broth

1 10oz can cream of
chicken soup

1 2.8oz can French’s
fried onion rings

1 cup grated cheddar

House Seasoning
1 cup salt

¼ cup black pepper

¼ cup garlic

Preheat the oven to 350F. Melt the butter and sauté the onions. Boil the green beans in the chicken broth for 10 minutes and drain. Combine a pinch of the house seasoning, green beans, onion rings and onions. Pour into greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes and then top with cheese. Return to the oven and bake for an extra 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Baking the Bird
Cooking a turkey varies depending on the size of the bird. Take a tub of soft butter (not margarine) and mix it with chopped green onions and garlic. The night before you plan to bake the bird, slide your hand between the skin and the meat and rub the butter mixture all over the meat. Once completely covered rub the skin as well. Don’t be shy with it either. Cover the turkey with foil and return to the refrigerator.

When it comes time to cook the bird, place it in a roasting pan and use chicken broth to baste the bird. Ensure that there is at least 1-1 ½ inches of chicken broth at the bottom of the pan. Cover loosely with foil and begin baking at 350F. Every 20-30 minutes inject the broth into the bird and baste with the juices in the pan. Repeat this until completely cooked and your bird will not go dry or lose flavor.

Traditional Pumpkin Pie
9” Pie serves 11

Pie Crust (makes 2 crusts)

16 ounces flour

8 ounces cold butter,
cut into cubes

4 ounces water

Pinch of sugar

Filling

¾ cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ginger

¼ teaspoon cloves

2 eggs

15 ounces pumpkin

12 ounces evaporated milk

Preheat your oven to 425F. Combine flour and butter until pea sized balls form. Slowly add the water and mix just until it comes together being sure not to overwork the dough. Divide in half, wrap with plastic and refrigerate until ready to use. This recipe can be stored for up to four days. When you are ready for the dough, remove from plastic and place on large floured surface. Roll out from center to desired thickness. Press into pie pan. Combine the sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves. Beat the eggs and stir in the pumpkin just until incorporated. Add the spice mixture then slowly add the evaporated milk. Bake for 15 minutes at the higher temperature, then lower to 350F and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes.

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