Open Thread: Countdown to T-Day

I threatened a holiday cooking post for recipe exchanges ahead of the Thanksgiving Day holiday. Voila, here it is.

What are you preparing for your family and/or friends?

If you’re observing by yourself, what are you going to do to treat yourself — and yes, you should definitely do something special for yourself. It’s self care.

If you’re going to be traveling, what’s waiting for you at the end of your trip?

Share here in comments.

~ ~ ~

It’s going to be just me and my spouse here empty nesting a holiday for the first time in forever. My youngest has to work because Big Pharma production lines run 7/24/365; my oldest is spending the holiday with her partner’s family (we get Christmas). We’ll have our big turkey feast on Saturday when my youngest finally gets a day off.

But I’m going to make my squash rolls today so that we have them for the tiny pork roast hubs and I will have tomorrow in lieu of turkey. These are what I bring to all the family gatherings — they’re my signature baked good. This batch will be made with puree from a hybrid squash, a cross between a kabocha and a Hubbard. The flesh was very dense and sweet, deep orange. I’ve already made one batch with this particular squash. The dough was almost too moist so I’ll cut back a bit this time on water. The dough made excellent cinnamon rolls: tender, not too sweet.

Give these a whirl if you have pumpkin or squash on hand.

Squash or Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls
Makes 16 cloverleaf dinner rolls


1 cup squash or pumpkin puree

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, melted

4-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt

grated zest of 2 orange (optional)

2-1/2 teaspoons SAF yeast or 2-3/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast


Put all ingredients in bread machine according to manufacturer’s recommendations (or mix by hand, blending all ingredients except for flour first, then blend in flour).

Set machine to dough setting (or knead by hand until dough is smooth and elastic – about 7 minutes total between mixing and kneading. If making by hand without machine, allow dough to rest and rise in a greased bowl in a warm place loosely covered for 60-90 minutes until dough has doubled in volume).

Grease 16 standard muffin cups.

When machine indicates dough cycle is complete, remove dough onto a lightly-floured work surface.
Divide into 4 equal portions.
Divide each of those into 4 equal portions.
Divide each of the 16 portions into 3 equal portions and roll into small balls the size of a walnut.
WORK FAST – dough may rise rapidly as you work.

Arrange 3 balls of dough into each of the muffin cups.
Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from pans and allow to cool on racks.

Brush tops with melted butter if desired.

(Based on recipe Squash or Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls, p. 356-357, The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook, by Beth Hensperger)

141 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Is it obvious enough that instead of shaping cloverleaf rolls one can roll the dough out, spread with butter-cinnamon-sugar, roll up and cut for 16 cinnamon rolls?

    Last batch I gilded even further by adding cooked apple to the cinnamon roll filling. Unf. So good.

      • Rayne says:

        You will love them! This batch I split half cinnamon rolls, half cloverleaf — and I didn’t roll those dough balls fast enough so they got out of shape and out of hand. Yeast LOVE fresh squash.

        • Honeybee says:

          Yum yum on those pumpkin rolls. Love the nontraditional use of pumpkin: not just pie. We will be meeting the daughter’s new (serious?) boyfriend and trying the nontraditional but by now kinda traditional use of cranberries – Apple, cranberry, currant pie with French streusel topping. Our first ABQ thanksgiving so have to figure out the high altitude changes to pastry.

        • Honeybee says:

          Aside: guess I should share that this pie’s recipe is from a 2008 thanksgiving issue of Sunset mag. Also … Giving thanks for all of you regulars here.

        • rosalind says:

          ah, Sunset Mag. i grew up a few blocks from their HQ, a sprawling one-story cozy comfy building that fit in w/its residential neighbors. a huge lawn and garden. once a year they had an open house and we could gawk at the test kitchens galore and sample some treats.

    • Midtowngirl says:

      I do that with my homemade cinnamon rolls too! Occasionally I’ll also add rehydrated raisins. Hot water works well, but I’ve also used bourbon for some lazy Sunday brunch rolls.

      • Rayne says:

        I keep on hand a bunch of dehydrated apples for snacks and cooking. For this last batch I used these with some apple cider I had on hand, stewed the dried apples with the cider in my instant pot with cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and a little bit of brown sugar. Was so tasty.

        Next time I’ll try some bourbon, too, but I’ll use some from my latest vanilla extract batch — made by steeping vanilla beans in bourbon.

        • GWPDA says:

          As a supporter of the Borderlands Produce Rescue organisation, I end up with all kinds of produce which has to be canned/preserved/dehydrated – and this past week I ended up with 6 ENORMOUS honeydew melons which I have dehydrated and turned into aguas frescas concentrate. Dehydrated melons are delicious!. Aguas frescas concentrate is stupendous! And, this week, facing an embarrassment of yellow crookneck and zucchini squashes I give thanks to New Mexico Magazine for their receipt for squash pickles! Who knew? I’ve made pickles out of just about everything, but never squash. Right now? I’ve got two loaves of Amish Milk Bread in the oven. No turkey for me – southern green beans with jalapeno bacon and onions are what’s on the table. Happy Harvest!

        • Rayne says:

          Oh zucchini and yellow squash make GREAT pickles! I make spicy bread and butter pickles with them, can’t keep them on the shelf.

          I’d be sorely tempted to use that aguas frescas concentrate to make a fruit paste to accompany cheeses on a charcuterie platter. Like a honeydew+guava combo to serve with sharp white cheddar. Yum.

        • GWPDA says:

 (Remember to heat seal in a water bath for at least 10 minutes or more.)

          Green Chile, Zucchini, and Squash Pickles – (To preserve long term, put in a water bath for at least 10 minutes.)

          I can’t wait to see what the Borderlands folks put in my 70lbs box on Saturday! Don’t forget to make Cowboy Candy!

        • Rayne says:

          Tempted to add some fresh ginger to that watermelon-lemonade combo. Just needs enough pectin to form a firm gel.

          Lost me with the cilantro in the pickle recipe; I’m one of the folks who have a genetic predisposition to hate the stuff. But it’s otherwise very similar to my bread-and-butter pickle recipe. Instead of jalapenos in the recipe you shared I add some sliced Thai Dragon peppers.

          But bonus in that New Mexico mag piece: the sweet green chile chutney recipe would have come handy this fall as my friend had a bumper crop. Thanks!

        • GWPDA says:

          Cilantro is known in my house as ‘the evil herb’. I did use to grow it for a neighbor, but eating it was like eating cheap soap. ‘Cowboy Candy’ is a standard bread and butter pickle, using jalapenos instead of cucumbers – and I find the hallowed microwave receipt absolutely reliable. Some years I can’t find nice enough cukes and only use jalapenos!

        • Faith_dc says:

          I’m with you on the cilantro. It tastes like soap to me, which I now know means it’s an allergic reaction.

        • GWPDA says:

          Borderlands is signalling what’s to be in our boxes on Saturday! Lookit!
          “we’ll update this page with more varieties as we rescue them, so far we have: pickling cucumbers, eggplant, poblanos peppers, oranges, watermelon, green beans, honeydew melons, lemons, zucchini.”

  2. LesNoyes says:

    I retired long ago after an eternity on the road as a meandering wastrel. Then met my wife, a biotech scientist. So for the last many years I’ve done all the weekday cooking. I do “food”; she does Cuisine on weekends.
    A week before Thanksgiving, her company gives every employee a 22-lb turkey. My tradition is to shove it in the oven on Wednesday, plus make a gallon of gravy from home-made chicken broth. SHE always says it’s delicious. (We also do lotza vegetables, stuffing, cranberry sauce – The Woiks.)
    I discovered that you can put a completely frozen turkey in the oven and it’s comes out (a long time later) looking and tasting great. But I usually smear the almost-thawed one with some oil and herbs. No fuss, no worries. Besides, it’s the company that counts, even if just one.
    PS – A Lowland Scotsman went to visit his cousin, a Highland Scotsman. They had porridge for breakfast and porridge for lunch. When they had porridge for supper, the Lowland Scotsman asked, “Do you never tire of porridge?” His cousin replied, “How can ye tire of food?”

    • Purple Martin says:

      Odd what the brain does when you’re not looking. My brain heard your first line as “wandering minstrel” and I never noticed until I happened glance back and it was something else. If you did that purpose, well played Sir.

  3. elcajon64 says:

    Not exactly a recipe, but good memories sharing the important things with family and friends.

    Seven years ago, my ex and I separated and I began a new tradition with my two boys (then 12 & 14) who were no fans of my in-laws’ bland, beige Thanksgiving dinners. The meal was “Whatever you want”. That first year grilled myself a fatty ribeye and squash, my youngest requested fillet mignon with absolutely no sides, and my older son asked for an entire box of Cap’n Crunch Crunchberry cereal served in a bowl that would hold all of it at once. Over the years, I’ve made Thanksgiving dinners that included a lot of steaks, burgers, pizza, and even French toast a couple of times.

    This year, both guys are away at school for the first time and I’ll be celebrating with friends. Tomorrow, I’ll be bringing pies (swag from work – Thanks Marketing!) and wine to a friend’s house for a dinner that is more friends than family. I might know 4-5 people out of twenty but I am thankful to be remembered and invited.

    Friday is a long-time tradition of Friendsgiving with some fraternity brothers in Oakland, CA. Andy has most likely been brining a bird since Labor Day and will be smoking it (and everything else) starting at six am Friday. Once again, I’ll bring pie and wine but this time it’ll be sourced from the Solano Baking Company (here in Dixon, CA near UC Davis and highly recommended) and Imagery Winery in Sonoma (also highly recommended for outstanding small batch varietals). Friday will certainly turn into Saturday morning and we’ll cap it off the following evening at San Francisco’s Bottom of the Hill to see The Supersuckers.

    Lastly, thanks to all who contribute. I especially appreciate those that work to maintain a higher level of discourse here, as well as those who ask and answer the questions and clarify the vents we’re following.

  4. P J Evans says:

    I have some frozen salmon fillets to cook for tomorrow – it’s a treat for me!
    My brother makes pies for his T-day. (Last year it was five for the entire weekend.) I’ve heard that they have mints after dinner and turn the wrappers into teeny airplanes, trying to land them in the overhead light.

  5. blueedredcounty says:

    My sister is visiting from Ohio, and I have three friends joining us tomorrow for dinner.

    The turkey is brining in the refrigerator (14lbs, not too big). I use an oven bag, and I used rough-chopped celery/carrots/onions in the bottom of the bag, instead of a rack, to support the turkey. I toss some into the cavity, along with fresh sage/thyme/rosemary (also in the bottom of the cooking bag).

    Purple sweet potatoes (new organic brand I saw at the supermarket), I make them like savory like mashed potatoes with heavy whipping cream and butter.
    Green beans plain, because everything else is so rich.

    While I’m fine-chopping celery/carrots/onion for the dressing, I’ll be making fresh turkey stock from the neck, wing tips, and tail. I use the fresh stock, a stick of butter to saute the celery/carrots/onion, and then Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix and put it all into the slow cooker.

    I’ll use the cooking bag to collect all the juices and drippings, separate the rendered fat and use it to make roux, then use the drippings any extra stock to make gravy.

    Got a can of cranberry sauce for my sister (she likes it, doesn’t like anything with the berries themselves).
    Not sure about my friend’s 92 year old mother wanting purple sweet potatoes, so making some fresh mashed potatoes for her.

    Got a couple of good Napa wines I’ll be opening. Probably should have gotten a bottle or two of Nouveau Beaujolais (I love how it pairs with turkey) but not sure I want to go out shopping today.

    Friends are bringing the ginormous Costco pumpkin pie, and I’ll make fresh whipped cream to top it.
    And now, I need to do some yardwork.

  6. ExRacerX says:

    My wife & I moved out of Albuquerque and into the Edgewood, NM last weekend, so we’re still living outta boxes at the moment. I’m sure we’ll be eating something tomorrow, but apart from the food being vegan, it’s anyone’s guess what it will be.

    That said, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I fell compelled to express my undying gratitude to EW—Marcie, the bloggers, and the vast majority of the folks here—for sticking to the facts, analyzing the issues, and providing an island of sanity in the sea of crappy journalism and incompetent analysis that surrounds us. Thanks, thanks, and thanks again!

    • smf88011 says:

      *waves* to a former neighbor. We lived in the Four Hills area prior to our making our big move south. Sometimes I miss the changing of the leaves, taking the tram up to Sandia Peak, and the Balloon Fiesta. When I do, I just look at the history of weather where I am and realize I don’t have to worry about my being allergic to ice and snow anymore. Hottest it has been here since we moved in 2015 was 91 and the lowest 48. I will be up in your neck of the woods around Christmas.

      I hope you enjoy the East Mountains over the city. I enjoyed flying over them on my way to Los Alamos for work at the Lab.

      • ExRacerX says:


        *waves back*

        Where are you living down South, SMF?

        We’re really loving the natural beauty—the stars look like you could pluck them from the sky. We got a line-of-sight Wifi gizmo that doesn’t seem to be particularly effective, but at least we have internet.

        Between unpacking, cooking, and celebrating/decompressing with my better half, I’m hoping to find the time today to bond with the new Guild 12-string I picked up before the move.

        Enjoy your holiday!

        • smf88011 says:

          Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico and Las Cruces. Most of my time is in Cuernavaca. I love it down here. Hottest it has been at my house since August 2015 was 91 and the lowest was 48.

          I recommend Starlink for that type of situation over the microwave link with Cibola or Plateau if that is what you have. I had to do microwave Internet setup for a friend out there and it was always having problems.

          I hope you have a great day today and enjoy the new guitar.

        • smf88011 says:

          Sometimes I drive, other times I fly commercially, but the majority of the time I fly my Cessna Skymaster between locations. We have a really nice airport here (CVJ) and it is really close to my home here.

          I asked you before where you travel to in Mexico but never got a response. Where do you go when you head into the Sonoran Desert? I am guessing you either go to Arizona’s beach (Puerto Penasco) or down to the Guaymas area.

        • bmaz says:

          I was born and raised here in the Sonoran Desert, and have been all over Mexico. Rocky Point Cabo, Mazatlan, Acapulco, Tijuana, Juarez, Mexico City, Ensenada and, yes, to the Cuernavaca area, which was truly spectacular. Most all of that was when I was much younger. Now I regularly go only to Nogales, San Luis and Los Algodones, mostly on business.

          The Skymaster is a pretty interesting plane. The best plane I ever flew across the border was a 208. How many times do you have to refuel to traverse?

        • smf88011 says:

          I stop at Torreon to fuel, then I stop at Leon, and land at Cuernavaca. The gas tanks are never below the 1/2 – 1/3rd level but I feel it is better safe than sorry. I can do over 800 nautical miles at a shot but never really wanted to chase the needle down.

          I have moved over 46 times in my 50 years – everywhere from CA to VA, from IL to TX. I have lived in Australia, Germany, The Netherlands, and Mexico. Technically, I served in Desert Storm so I guess you can say I lived at KKMC, SA. Add another country to that list then.

        • bmaz says:

          Extremely cool. At least to me, back when I flew, landing at smaller airports, and eating there while refueling, was a lot of the fun. I seriously used to fly up to Prescott because their restaurant was wonderful.

        • smf88011 says:

          I have flown to Prescott and eat while fueling. That was back when I had a 206 and was flying it to Twenty-nine Palms MCB for a project I was working on.

          I have about 450 hours of military flight time and about 100 of that was combat during Desert Storm. I got a medical discharge and have flown since then as a private pilot. It is a great joy for me to fly as much as I do. While many think flying is a really difficult thing to do, it isn’t much more complicated than driving a manual transmission car – in my opinion.

          I just looked in my log book. I have over 2100 hours total now and about half in twin engine. I even have 240 hours AMES. That was one hell of a fun summer.

        • ExRacerX says:

          Thanks! I’ll look into Starlink. So you’re flying to & from the Sierra de Chichinautzin & Las Cruces (which is kinda the NM piece of El Paso). Flying sounds like the way to go.

          If you don’t like snow & ice, “eternal Spring” sounds nice!

        • smf88011 says:

          I am “allergic” to snow and ice. That was determined after a slip and fall at work that resulted in a right radial head fracture and shattering my left ankle.

          Starlink is low-earth orbit satellite service. I have a friend here that has it and they are enjoying 150mbs service at all times. Another friend in S. CA hits 200+ all the time. While the company that does Starlink is owned by Elmo the Deranged, that doesn’t change the fact that they provide great service. The biggest problem is the initial cost where you have to buy the satellite dish and related equipment. :(

          My favorite part of the flight is shortly after takeoff, I use VFR clearance to get a good view of Popo and then turn north and fly along the western side of the mountains northward. One of these days I am going to head west after takeoff and fly up the Sea of Cortes instead of my normal route.

          I remember growing up when we learned about the Conquistador Cortes and how rich he became after conquering the Aztecs. He had the gold to live anywhere he wanted. He built his palace in Cuernavaca.

        • ExRacerX says:

          It’s a Guild 2512E, the Chinese-made “Westerly Series” version of the US-made 512E (which, at over $4500, is a bit rich for my blood). Jumbo, solid spruce top, and the classic Guild rounded back. Already a veritable cannon, but after the top gets broken in, will get even louder & fuller.

          It will be my dedicated DADGAD-tuned acoustic. I love that tuning and can get lost for hours just improvising.

        • theartistvvv says:

          Just looked ’em up – very nice!

          My only acoustic 12 string is a Mitchell. I’ve a cheap Cozart electric 12, and a better Dean, as well – I need to work on upgrading these.

          I do have an 8-string bass (LTD, 4 courses) which is fun, even if Tom Petersson keeps coming to mind …

          I took delivery onna Stagg EUB the other day, and find it surprisingly playable.

          I am thankful for stringed instruments, me.

          And I use drop-D a lot, of course, (and sometimes DADGAD) but also like tuning in 4th’s and 5th’s, particularly on 2 and 3-string slide bass (Sandman style).

      • ExRacerX says:

        Now you’ve done it—and my edit time is up.

        My (vegan) goose is cooked.

        On top of misspelling Marcy’s name, I also forgot to mention Rayne, who started this thread.

        Just kill me now, before bmaz arrives… ;P

  7. Doctor My Eyes says:

    It’s a non-traditional (personally and societally) Thanksgiving for my wife and me. We’re visiting her daughter in her small DC apartment. Tomorrow we’ll go out to a high-end restaurant, where the pastry chef is the daughter of the woman who cleans our home in Vermont. She’s a hot ticket in pastry chef world. Last time we went, we were treated like kings and queens, with the sommelier bringing over wines for us to taste and the chef bringing out extra food for us to try. It was three hours of full-on gourmet bliss. We are expecting good things likewise tomorrow.

    I’m grateful for the times I have read some over-the-top, outrage inducing analysis of an event, only to come here and learn that this is just how things normally work, and anyway didn’t mean what everyone was saying it meant. The rationality has a calming influence on my fevered brain. Thank you to all involved. Given the ambient trauma we live in this days, I hope everyone has a holiday filled with pleasurable things and real face-to-face community. To be frank, I wish for everyone to be immersed in love.

  8. Peterr says:

    Today I made the cranberries (cranberries, mango, maple syrup, and a little OJ – yum!), and tomorrow I’ll be doing a smoked turkey in a Weber kettle, kept fairly simple.

    Inside the turkey I’ll put a 4-6 cloves of garlic, a lemon cut in quarters lengthwise, and some rosemary. On the outside, I’ll tie the wingtips together across the top of the turkey with cooking string to keep them up against the body of the turkey and thus avoid them burning, then salt and pepper it on both sides. Once the coals are hot in the grill, they get shoved to either side and a disposable aluminum pan goes down in between them, and I’ll pour in about a cup of water so the first drippings don’t burn. I put a handful or so of wet apple wood chips on each pile of coals, put the grill grate down, and put the turkey on so it sits over the drip pan. I want it to cook at about 250 degrees F. About every 45 minutes or so, I’ll open it up, add some more apple wood chips, and (if necessary) more coals. No need to baste – just watch the coals so the cooking temp doesn’t get too hot or too cold. It takes about 12 minutes per pound to cook all the way (15 pound turkey = 3 hours on the grill). When the turkey reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees F, I will carefully take it off the grill, remove the lemons, rosemary, and garlic, drain out the liquid in the cavity (do not save, as it is way too citrus-y to make gravy), cover the turkey with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes or so. While that’s happening, I’ll go back to the grill, take out the drip pan, and bring it in to make a wonderfully smoky gravy to go with the turkey.

    Meanwhile, Mrs Dr Peterr is using the oven to make fresh whole wheat rolls, dressing, mashed potatoes, some kind of veggie, and multiple pies. The Kid will no doubt be pressed into service as her sous chef, and given responsibility for the potatoes and also asked to do some of the prep work on the stuffing and veggie dish. (When we got engaged, she was delighted to learn that I love smoking turkey outside, as this frees up the oven for other things! I, in turn, was equally delighted, because I had already learned how good a pie baker she is, and keeping the baker happy is always a good thing.)

    On Friday, our festivities continue with a big crab feed – a holdover from our days in the SF Bay Area, as the Dungeness crab season would coincide with thanksgiving, meaning crab was very cheap, very fresh, and (at that time) very plentiful. Today, it is more expensive, not quite as fresh, and not nearly as plentiful. Even so, the Kid loves it as a celebration of his Bay area roots.

    Not sure what we’ll be doing with wines yet. My hunch would be some fine Rosenblum Zinfandel that’s been sitting in our cellar for several years to go with the turkey, and some nice McBride Sisters Sauvignon Blanc to go with the crab.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      Peterr, The commercial crab season has been delayed, again, till the second week of December because there are so many whales still commuting.

      We use the Dungeness for a decadent warm crab dip with cream cheese, sauterne and other yummy stuff. At Christmas, Mr Pitcher makes a killer cioppino for Christmas Eve with crab and other seafood.

      Wishing you and your family a blessed weekend.

      • Peterr says:

        Yeah, I heard that — and it’s the fourth year in the row that has happened.

        Cioppino is one of our favorites, too, especially when winter rolls in. Serve it with a good sourdough . . . yum!

        Blessings to you and yours as well!

  9. Suburban Bumpkin says:

    I go to a friends house and they do the full traditional dinner – turkey, green bean casserole, scalloped potatoes, salad, rolls, cranberry sauce, gravy. I bring the apple pie which I should be making right now. It’s a recipe from King Arthur Baking. It used to be called The Best Apple Pie but I think they have tweaked the recipe and renamed it. To me the secret to it is the Vietnamese cinnamon, boiled cider and three kinds of apples. I use granny smiths, pink ladys and a couple of honeycrisps. If my host had his way I would make this for him at least once a month all year round. They provide the ice cream to top it.
    I have been trying to use up my frozen squash puree, so may take a stab at your rolls. No matter what, the coming weeks will see more pumpkin bread, pie and maybe a try at ravioli.
    All the best to the Emptywheel community

  10. quickbread says:

    I’m in quarantine with COVID-19, so I’m trapped at home in the middle of a big city. My initial plan was to go out to my parents’ house in the country and cook for them, maybe a roasted ham or chicken, stuffing, coleslaw, and pie. Alas, last week we all traveled home from Texas and were the only people on the plane with masks. My dad ended up sick, too, but my mom is well, so I’m staying away.

    I am grateful for small things, though. My oximeter got delivered today, and I grew instantly fond of it for some strange reason. My small life is starting to feel satisfying for the first time since my husband died two years ago. I have two big dogs who’ve been champion snugglers while I duke out my fever on the sofa. And I have enough bread to make a whole batch of stuffing all for myself! Honestly, if you’ve got stuffing, what else do you need?

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Good recipe. I add plum and apple, especially with something as fatty as duck or goose. Mr. Colbert seems to think that the correct term for stuffing is “dressing.” Is that a Southern thing or a punchline?

        • Peterr says:

          Stuffing goes in the bird to cook; dressing is cooked in a dish of its own. I think Colbert was commenting satirically on the proper way to cook it, rather than using a regional term.

          That is, I took it as a shorter comedic version of “I know you said “stuffing” but I am sure you really meant “dressing” because a person of your refinement and class would know that the best way to cook this is in a separate dish and not unceremoniously pushed up inside a bird.”

        • P J Evans says:

          My mother would pack it in the pan around the bird. Next to the bird it would be like stuffing, next to the edge it would be drier. It was a method in “Sunset” a long time ago.

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Bmaz has established that he hates pumpkin pie. Does that also apply to pumpkin-flavored cheesecake, which I hear is also popular this time of year? I make a mean Basque cheesecake. Pecan pie I find harder to make.

    • Peterr says:

      I have no problem with pecan pie.

      “Mrs Dr Peterr, could you bake a pecan pie?”

      Comes out perfect every time.

    • LadyHawke says:

      My aunt used to make pretty squash pies in place of pumpkin, which we kids hated and thought was evil deceptive advertising (I’m sure there are good recipes, but just no). One year someone brought marshmallow topped sweet potatoes that we were dimayed to find looked far better than it tasted. Adults and kids agreed to go back to pecans and brown sugar from then on. I don’t remember any political arguments, but religion was a big no-go

      Yes, thankful to Marcy et al, who make this site an irreplaceable resource in these crazy times. Happy day to all!

      • Rayne says:

        Huh. Your family’s younguns were kind of picky, discerning squash from pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) since most of the canned “pumpkin” puree sold in the US is actually squash because all pumpkins are squash. LOL To be more specific, canned pumpkin used for pies is a variety called Dickinson pumpkin (Curcurbita moschata) which looks more like a butternut squash on steroids with its smooth buff-colored skin.

        The pecans (if not the brown sugar) in my family’s Thanksgiving holiday were reserved for the German chocolate pie my mother always made my dad. Gods help you if you got between him and the first slice.

        • LadyHawke says:

          I have no idea what variety she used, but it was a far ways from “real” pie pumpkin, which even her grown kids serve now. I wish I could find what kind is used for Afghan kadu (maybe available canned?). I’ve tried to reproduce it, but it’s not nearly as good as we get in a rather distant restaurant.

          We love pecans (envious of smf’s past bounty he mentions below). Your pie looks great; definitely will try it!

        • Rayne says:

          According to Humaira Ghilzai, butternut squash is acceptable for kadu/kadoo:


          This one also calls for butternut but is much less sweet than the former (this is the one I’d like to try):

          There are recipes for borani kadu/kadoo which use zucchini or courgettes but they’re not sweet. The variations likely reflect different ethnic groups. Here’s a zucchini-based dish (I’m a bit skeptical since this person doesn’t appear to be Afghan):

        • LadyHawke says:

          Ooh, now I have such a craving for kadu. We order it at the restaurant with others and challenge them to guess what’s in it. I never would have thought to try butternut, a favorite of ours that I often see cut up and packaged at Trader Joes.

          Thanks, Rayne, for the links – with the bonus of lots of other interesting recipes and cultural info. I have made muntoo, the little meat dumplings, with ground turkey instead of beef, that turned out pretty good. Will have to track down my recipe.

        • Rayne says:

          I’m always amazed at the number of ethnic groups which make dumplings and how similar some of them are.

          Muntoo or mantu are very similar to other manti/manta across Central Asia into east Asia. Even the name muntoo/mantu is similar to the Korean word, mandu. I make the Chinese jiaozi which don’t sound like muntoo/mantu/manti/mandu but sure look a lot alike with a flour-based dough around a meat and/or vegetable filling which is then steamed.

          Here’s an Afghan mantu recipe using lambe (or beef as an alternate):

        • LadyHawke says:

          My recipe uses wonton wrappers, which apparently even people sometimes use in country. A really easy dish with the wrappers. Good, but I haven’t quite got the yogurt sauce right; some bit is missing.
          Now, after all this talk, I’m going to have to get up a drive to that Afghan restaurant…

    • smf88011 says:

      I miss both of those things – pumpkin for making pumpkin pie is hard to come by. My parents have 18 pecan trees on their property and I used to bring a bunch up to my house each fall. I would make pumpkin and pecan pies for Thanksgiving, and take them into work for others to enjoy them.

      • Lit_eray says:

        I have fond memory of smelling up the entire office building at TA55 by simmering a gumbo all morning on my desk with an illegal hot plate in anticipation of a Thanksgiving pot luck.

        We likely have encountered in previous lives.

  12. coral reef says:

    This year we are having a small Thanksgiving, but indulging in the traditional (locally raised) turkey, & trimmings. As most desserts are way to sweet for me, I’m making David Lebovitz’s lemon tart.
    It’s the real thing!

    As so many have noted, this site is absolutely crucial for understanding the perplexing legal issues of our times. Thank you to Marcy, Rayne, & bmaz & friends for keeping it going all these years.

    Aside to Rayne, I’ve added to my user name to fulfill the 8 letter requirement.

    [Thanks for updating your username to meet the 8 letter minimum. /~Rayne]

  13. CambridgeKnitter says:

    We almost always go to my husband’s sister’s house for a large family meal. There’s enough good food that it really doesn’t matter that I don’t like sweet potatoes or green bean casserole. I used to bring cheese bread, but my husband was diagnosed with celiac disease sixteen years ago, so yeast breads pretty much disappeared from my repertoire because he did not like any of the gluten-free ones I tried out. The other thing I would bring is cranberry bread. I managed to convert the recipe to gluten-free, and it’s at least as good as it used to be. I’m happy to share my conversion with anyone who’d like it. It starts with James Beard’s recipe from Beard on Bread, a book I heartily recommend. I found a ball of gluten-free pie crust in the freezer, so it’s been thawing in the fridge, waiting to be rolled out and filled with apples.

    One of the things people dive into every year is our oldest niece’s stuffed mushrooms. She’s even thoughtful enough to make a good-sized batch of gluten-free ones, for which I’m really grateful. Other than that, dinner will probably include peas (I taught my sister-in-law how to cook frozen peas so they’re delicious), mashed potatoes, turkey (most likely from a Massachusetts turkey farm), stuffing cooked outside the bird (so my husband can eat turkey) and some sort of pearl onion thing that I’ve never spent any of the available room in my stomach on. Oh, and a treat this year–chopped salad made with fresh, Massachusetts-grown tomatoes. One of the farmers who treks to Cambridge farmers markets put row covers over the tomatoes at the end of the season, and they were still harvesting on Sunday. That is a true treat.

    There will be most of the members of the generation below mine (five of the six nieces and nephews plus my kid, who’s far and away the youngest of that group) and a pile of grandchildren ranging in age from two to early 30s, and various spouses and family friends. Lots of people, including cute kids, so much to be thankful for.

    • Peterr says:

      That farmer who treks to Cambridge is surely someone to be thankful for.

      When we lived in the SF Bay area, we planted grape and cherry tomatoes that took forever to get ripe because it didn’t get nearly hot enough early in the season. But we were still picking them at Thanksgiving, because the frosty fall that hits them in the midwest took forever to hit the Bay Area.

      • CambridgeKnitter says:

        Cambridge and surrounding cities are quite a draw for our farmers markets. Cambridge used to have one every day of the week, but a couple closed because of construction (love them surround-sound jackhammers here on the outskirts of the Most Innovative Square Mile on Earth) or Covid or something. This particular farm does a good business hereabouts. It’s amazing to me that they are on the New Hampshire border and the row covers were enough to keep the tomatoes alive. I am grateful.

        The San Francisco Bay area is strange for weather. My brothers and I were born there, and my mom, who grew up in Cambridge, said she’d never been colder than San Francisco in August. I worked there for the second half of the summer after my second year of law school. It got so cold that I broke out the gray flannel suit I had bought during the first half of the summer in Milwaukee. I had spent an intermittently cold summer at the French school at Middlebury College, which surprised me more than San Francisco. I grew up in and around Tampa, so I had not been prepared for a summer that was not ungodly hot.

        • P J Evans says:

          I grew up in the Bay Area, and we know that the bay has two summers: Memorial Day to Labor Day for the tourists, which is Fog Season, and tomato summer, which is Sept and Oct. (We had wool blankets on the beds all year round.)

      • CambridgeKnitter says:

        What means new Cambridge? This is the holier-than-thou den of corruption across the Charles River from Boston.

        • CambridgeKnitter says:

          True enough, but our predecessors didn’t have the wit to name the river to match. They preferred sucking up to the king. Anyway, I love this place despite the government, the corruption and the greed, because they still haven’t bulldozed the beautiful buildings, built on all the green space, cut down all the trees and muscled all the kind, interesting people out, but they haven’t given up trying.

  14. LizzyMom says:

    Over here in Germany, where there is no Thanksgiving, I do a big traditional American-style turkey dinner for family and friends each year, generally on the Saturday following. Everybody gets a real kick out of seeing the big bird arrive on the table. Usually a few photos and cries of “oooooh, just like in the movies!” I ritually cut a slice out at the table before going back to the kitchen to carve up and load platters to pass.

    I got a tip from a colleague of mine years ago, so I now have a farmer up near where I worked where I can get a 20-lb plus bird, something you cannot find in the supermarket here, as I discovered when I asked my then husband-to-be to get a bird when I was still commuting biweekly between Berlin and where I live now — I thought he had gotten a chicken, the damned thing was so small (maybe 8 lbs?), but he insisted it was the biggest one he could find in the supermarket. The geese in the supermarket were bigger.

    (I should note that our ovens over here are much smaller — I had a 24-pounder a couple of years ago and it touched both sides of the oven, but it did go in. I asked the farmer’s wife for advice and she said up to 12 kg would go in and she was right, but just barely.)

    Homemade cranberry sauce (luckily cranberries are now fairly ubiquitous this time of year, not true 10 years ago, when I would have to hunt for them). Mashed potatoes and gravy, tons of stuffing. Usually peas and corn, but probably just a green salad this year. I also do the sweet-potato-with-marshmallow bit — and before everyone jumps all over it, it began with the first Thanksgiving for hubby and me, with introducing my newly acquired 11-year-old stepson to the concept. He loved it then and, now 28, still wants it “just because” (even though he’s a real foodie now). Also, friends and family love it and there are never leftovers — besides, it’s considered “exotic” to them!

    The most fun I had, though, was acquainting my new step kids to leftover turkey. Stepson explained with great enthusiasm to his older sister and her hubby when they came for Thanksgiving the first time about how leftovers were THE BEST. Once, when Hubby tried to convince me to get a smaller turkey because we were having a smaller crowd, Stepson leaned over and whispered in my ear “but not so small that there aren’t enough leftovers!”

    I usually make a pumpkin pie simply because many/most of my guests have never had it and cannot imagine it and they are generally curious to try it. Generally not a big hit, though, so probably do an apple pie (or perhaps a crumble) this year.

    Hubby is in charge of wines, but we will probably buy some good reds from the Ahr Valley where the flooding catastrophe happened last year (it’s very close to us) to show solidarity for the vineyards which were devastated and haven’t fully recovered. We usually have an excellent Grauburgunder (Pinot Grigio) from the vineyards which are directly across the Rhine from our house for those who prefer a white wine.

    (Yes, Germany has some excellent reds, most of which go to local consumption…in case you were wondering.)

    Always a good time. I am generally wiped out for a couple of days afterwards, but it is a highlight each year.

    • Peterr says:

      I was an exchange student in (West) Germany ages ago, and remember being surprised at the small ovens. My german mother would open the dinner table conversation by asking “Do you recognize this?” or “Do you have this in America?” In most cases, the answer was yes, but there were often little twists that made the dish quite different than it appeared to be. (Her recipe for homemade applesauce used tablespoons of sugar where my family’s used cups, resulting in very different tastes!)

      Good for you in supporting the Ahr Valley wineries. I remember visiting wineries in that general area, including further south around Koblenz, but couldn’t tell you which ones – but I remember the wine being quite good.

      On a sadder note, I suspect the dinner table conversation about Hansi Flick und Die Mannschaft’s match with Saudi Arabia will not be pleasant, even with four days for the initial reactions to sink in. But I was quite happy to see the team make its protest against Qatar/FIFA at the beginning of the match (hands over their mouths for the formal picture).

  15. smf88011 says:

    Living south of the border has changed holiday plans for us in many days. We hang out with expat community here for holidays that we are not traveling to the US for. This community makes wonderful things out of our lives. We are truly lucky to have the opportunity to live where we do and get to know so many wonderful people from all over the world.

  16. Nick Barnes says:

    We don’t do Thanksgiving here in good old Blighty, although maybe we should (good riddance! etc). But we _do_ do Stir-Up Sunday, or at least I do, on the last Sunday before Advent, i.e. last Sunday. A weekend-long party: music, dancing, games, food, drink, and most importantly cake. Very few rules so we eat what we want and don’t have to invite racist uncles etc. We made about 12 kg of Christmas cake, mincemeat and pastry for 144 mince pies, and a Christmas pud that’s maybe 4 or 5 kg. Stirred the cake mix in a couple of 20-litre buckets with a (vigorously scrubbed and carefully sterilised) garden spade.
    All vegan of course, and all gluten-free except some of the pastry and some of the cake (my ex is coming for 25th/26th and has developed coeliac disease).
    For main courses, we made the Bosh! lasagne and the Ottolenghi ragu, both of which are completely brilliant and scale easily to however many people you are feeding. Recipes for both are easy to find online.

    • Nick Barnes says:

      My mistake, “good riddance” is what we say for a different one of your new-fangled feast days. This is the one for which we say “a bit like Harvest Festival, then, only later in the year?” and then I recommend the XTC song of that name and offer you some mulled wine. Go on, have a listen.

    • CambridgeKnitter says:

      Gluten-free pie crust can be quite tasty. And it doesn’t get tough because there’s no gluten in it. I recommend the dream pastry from The Gluten-Free Gourmet Makes Dessert by Bette Hagman. As for cake, try the apple cake in that same cookbook. Don’t peel the apples before you grate them because the skin will protect your hand while you’re grating. I also use older, softer apples if I have them because they’re easier to grate. I use milk instead of non-dairy creamer (shudder) and pour whatever juice there is from the grating in with the apples. I make the larger recipe and bake it in three 8″ cake pans. I put lime buttercream between the layers and cooked caramel icing on the outside. It’s the standard birthday cake in this house, and it’s delicious.

      • Nick Barnes says:

        I’m vegan, and adapting that recipe looks like a game. But we have Christmas cake and Christmas pudding and mince pies enough to see us through to Twelfth Night, all both vegan and gluten free. Now the question is: what’s the centerpiece for Christmas Day? My usual vegan Christmases, although variously fabulous, are not at all gluten-free. I might adapt the Bosh! lasagne.

      • Kathy B says:

        Oh my, that sounds worth a follow up for me!
        I only recently started using nonwheat (basically, gluten free) flours — turns out I’ve got a wheat allergy for reals who would have thought? and I’m growing to like using it. So far it’s mostly waffles – there’s a learning curve. Will have to try this!

    • emptywheel says:

      We’re having a coeliac guest–I’m planning on just cooking her apple and pumpkin pie crustless, in a ramekin, and using mom’s old rice stuffing instead of the bread stuffing for the ACTUAL stuffing, though if the veg delivery brings me jerusalem artichokes tomorrow, I’ll do the bread stuffing on the side. We took her out to dinner and found that the restaurant we had really been wanting to try has an entire coeliac menu, so I’m trying to second the success.

  17. Skillethead says:

    Great Deep-Fried Leeks
    (Apologies in advance for the length. Rayne, please just delete if too long.)

    Leek preparation
    1. Take a leek. (Couldn’t resist, but promise to only have one more leek joke at most throughout rest of recipe.)
    2. Cut leek into strips about 2 inches long by one eight to one quarter of an inch wide (14 mg by .07 hectares for non-Americans). Mostly just the white part of the leek.
    3. Wash and dry leeks if you are female. If male, they’ll be clean enough.
    4. Leeks need to be dry before you put them in the batter, or else the batter will slide off, and you’ll just have fried batter. Fried batter isn’t bad, the leeks are basically just a vehicle for eating fried batter (“Hey, I’m eating vegetables here.”)

    Batter preparation
    1. OK, this depends on how many leek things you want to make. The fundamental idea is to make a batter that is about the consistency of pancake batter, or batter you would coat fish with to fry, or maybe just a bit thinner than that. Let’s assume you want to make one leek’s worth of leeks.
    2. So, I start with flour, maybe ½ to ¾ of a cup, which I put into a cake baking dish, because it’ll give you room to smush the leeks around and get them well coated.
    3. To the flour I add a teaspoon of baking powder because I saw a guy on TV do this once. Not sure what it does.
    4. Now, I add cayenne pepper or chili powder, that really hot finely powdered red stuff (not paprika, these are not Hungarian leeks). About a teaspoon or so, but be careful as this stuff is really hot, and can be added with the salt at the end if they aren’t hot enough already.
    5. Now I add a big pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. That’s it for the dry ingredients. Mix that up real good and then wash your hands before you accidentally put your finger in your eye which will burn like a mother if you do.
    6. So now you need something to make it a batter instead of a blush. Eggs could work here or maybe milk, but I find beer works even better. Add it as you mix to get the right consistency. I used about a half bottle, which left a half bottle to drink. This is a distinct advantage over the egg approach.
    7. I let it sit for a little bit and it thickens up some and looks good.

    1. This is the hard part. If you are making these with somebody else, I’d let them do this part.
    2. You have to get a big heavy pan and put about a half inch of oil in it, and then get it pretty hot. How hot? Hot enough that when you put just a snudge of batter in it, it starts frying up and bubbling immediately. Slow bubbles is not hot enough and if it jumps out of the pan and sticks to your nose, that might be a bit too hot. If you actually have a deep fryer, this would be a good time to use it, or a wok.
    3. OK, now while the oil is heating up, you have to get the leek sticks coated in the batter. There is no pretty way to do this. I put about half of them in the batter and mix them up pretty well.
    4. You are now ready to cook. Ideally, you would pick up one stick and slide it into the oil, and then repeat the process until your 401k kicks in. But if you have any neurons that still fire, you’ll be bored to tears after about three sticks. So pick up a bunch of them and put them in, but not all at once, or else you’ll have a leek fritter instead of individual leeks (which might not be bad). You kind of have to separate as best you can as you put them in.
    5. So now you have maybe 20-40 of these puppies bubbling away and your fingers are full of batter. Go wash them real quick.
    6. Welcome back. Now, when do you take the leeks out? Well, when they are done. I find that I like them best when they are kind of on the darker side and the leek fairly well cooked. As hinted at above, the leek part is just kind of a rationalization for crispy fried spicy hot dough. So, it will take a couple minutes here. Watch them, flip them around so they cook on both sides. When they start to get a little past golden brown, take them out and drain them. You should shake them as you are lifting them out of the pan to get some oil off. I use tongs to do this. If you have a big honker stir fry wire spoon thing, that would work well.
    7. Drain them on a metal rack where oil can drip off. If you don’t have one, use paper towels; that’s what I do. Try to get as much oil off as possible, because if you don’t, it will seep in and they lose a bit of the crispiness.
    8. The last step is to salt them. Now, if the batter is making the spiciness just what you want, then just a bit of salt will set them up proper. I use a bit more than just a bit, and I taste them about 12-15 times to make sure they’re right. If they don’t have enough kick, make a mixture of salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper, and dust them with that.
    9. They don’t have to be served hot. They are great kind of like chips with other appetizers or on top of something that is otherwise a bit boring. I don’t know what to serve them in because they have never lasted past the paper towel stage at my house.

  18. Nick Barnes says:

    I do something a bit like this but in metric (“one eight to one quarter”? What even is that?). Any plant milk works fine for anyone who is, I don’t know, allergic to beer or something.

  19. holdingsteady says:

    Thank you to you all for sharing!
    Like you, Rayne, we are empty nesters this year, and although we had planned to go ultra simple simple, we decided to go traditional turkey at the last minute, ha! After being used to 10-20 people, it’s very interesting to have just us two.
    With a vegetarian daughter and carnivore son it’s always been a complicated affair, but this year just the basics. Daughter lives nearby but is doing a Friendsgiving – I’ll see her on Friday for my bday. My son doesn’t want to fly down since he hates flying but we’ll see him for Christmas and in all likelihood he’ll have his credits to graduate college, fingers crossed. He’ll be alone for the holiday, hoping he finds a friend or at least good food – first time we haven’t ‘bent over backwards’ to get him included so he is on my mind.

    Your rolls are gorgeous, Rayne! Thank you thank you for starting this thread:)))
    Peterr, thanks for the idea of mangos into the cranberries, I was wondering what to do with these ripe mangoes! And your grilling technique sounds perfect, my husband often does similar but this year, turkey will be roasted in the oven, stuffed. With our 32-year wedding anniversary last Saturday, now Thanksgiving, and my birthday on Friday it’s definitely a full week! I’m considering asking for gnocchi from repurposed mashed potatoes for my bday dinner.

    All of the great ideas here on how people cook and what is special makes me want to have it all!
    Happy Thanksgiving to all, it has made my holiday richer to hear what everybody is up to!!

  20. BobBobCon says:

    It’s anyone’s guess what was on the menu for the first Massachusetts Thanksgiving, but whitetail deer was probably there.

    I live in a big city but recently they’re all over my neighborhood. If I had any skill I could probably bag one, but fortunately for everyone, beast and human, and I’m not even tempted.

  21. earthworm says:

    our family is convening at house of one of our children, where some really excellent chefs reside. some relatives are arriving from the mainland.
    am making Brussels sprouts with roasted pecans and a pie, probably apple, to bring. also cranberry chutney and two quarts of bright green cream of nettle soup.
    am hoping to steer clear of all the family minefields and to behave with decorum throughout.
    best wishes to all here, including that bmaz would encounter the pumpkin pie that would make him change his mind.

  22. J R in WV says:

    I had a big day today. Saw my orthopedist early in the afternoon, x-rays of my knees and lumbar back area, he did the hips several weeks ago, then he moved things around while I winced. Then he gave me a big old 2 cc cortizone shot right in my left knee, while I squealed pretty loud. I told him I have an appointment to have a bladder tumor removed next month, he said that needs to happen first.

    Basically he said to call him when I’m ready to get a joint replaced, and am ready to pick one. The back he said to consult my family practice doc, whom he knows, and if necessary the neurosurgeon who worked on Wife back in April can look at my back data and render an opinion.

    Then I stopped at the steak and seafood market, where I got oysters, scallops, and shrimps.

    Then I spent a couple of hours at the biggest grocery store, where I got milk, rum, gin, sparkling wine, cookies, etc. And DF for the two big dogs we have, who are also cuddle-bunnies. Drinking a G&T right now, with roasted pecans to munch, while the champers cools.

    Happy holiday, everyone!!

  23. harpie says:

    Here’s the recipe I promised Rayne at Trash Talk. Bon Appetit!

    [From Joy of Cooking]

    Sauteed Venison Steaks
    – 6 venison loin steaks (6-7oz each) pounded to ½ inch thick
    – 3 tbsp olive oil
    – 4 cloves garlic, slightly crushed
    – s+p to taste

    – 2 lbs ripe tomatoes (I use 28 oz. canned]
    – 1-2 Tbsp. fresh oregano
    – pinch red pepper flakes
    – 2 Tbsp drained capers [or ¼ cup chopped pitted kalamata olives]
    – ½ cup dry white wine
    – s+p to taste

    – Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat
    – Add the garlic and brown quickly, remove garlic
    – Increase heat to high and very quickly brown the meat, 2-3 minutes per side, and season well with s+p; remove the meat from pan, and cover to keep warm
    – Add tomatoes, oregano and red pepper flakes to pan and cook, uncovered until soft, 5 to 10 minutes [canned tomatoes seem to cook faster]
    – Stir in the capers (or olives) and wine; season with s+p; serve immediately over the steaks
    [I cook the sauce while the steaks are cooking, and add that to the pan after I remove meat.]

    We’ve been cleaning and preparing food all day. Tomorrow will be our first [fairly] large family holiday gathering since covid. I am seriously out of practice. Turkey, stuffing, roasted veggies, rutabaga mash, sweet potatoes. Brothers and sister in-laws will augment.

    Thanksgiving was always Mom’s holiday, though as the family grew, I did increasingly more of the preparations. This year, I will pick Mom up in the morning and bring her to our house for the festivities. It will likely be her last. Three of her five children and two of her six grandchildren will be here, including one of our daughters with her husband and Grand Puppy. Our other daughter is a NICU nurse, and has to work this holiday. We may have a belated celebration with her, her husband and our three Grand Kids in early December.

    I am very grateful to the community here. THANK YOU, ALL!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  24. Rapier says:

    Fondu. Meat and cheese, and a good Caesar salad. Eat for an hour and still don’t get stuffed. A long leisurely meal. No cooking either. It’s just about perfect. Well I love fondu.

    A bit late in the game for this year but think about it for next.

    Most suitable for adults. Hot oil for meat fondu not suitable for little kids without care being taken, obviously

    • Rayne says:

      A cheese fondue is better suited at my house for New Year’s Eve and Day. By then we’ll have leftover cheeses and beer which need to be used up and will make for a perfect fondue.

      But I’d really prefer a hot pot, especially since we have several slow cooker pots which are perfect for this purpose. Less fatty, no worries about lactose intolerance, and as spicy as one might prefer.

  25. Ed Walker says:

    My contribution to Thanksgiving dinner this year will be my carrot ginger soup, a recipe I worked out myself, based on a dish my friend @ChrisInParis showed me for potimarron, a French squash.

    i peel and cut the carrots into roughly equal pieces, coat them with oil and salt and pepper, roast at 450, 40 minutes. I peel a pear or an apple or two depending on the amount of carrots, 1 piece of fruit for each 2 pounds of carrots for the last 20 minutes or so. When done, I add them to a pot of water, about 3 quarts for 4 pounds of carrots. I add two or three cubes of vegetable bouillon cubes to the water. Peel and slice thinly about an inch of ginger root or more to taste, and add to the soup. Cook until water is reduced to about the level of the veg, at least 40 minutes. Remove from heat. Puree with a stick blender, adding water to get desired thickness. I like it really thick. Add some whipping cream. Check the seasoning. It usually needs a bit of salt. Dice more ginger rood. Serve warm. Add a dollop of creme fraiche or plain yogurt, and some of the diced ginger as garnish.

    This general recipe works for other veg. We had a farm share last year that gave us mountains of greens, kale, arugula, romaine, and others. I don’t really like salads, so I turn it into green soup. I don’t roast the greens, of course. I add some potatoes and a little garlic and the cream combines with the potatoes to thicken the soup to a veloute. Drink your greens!

    • Rayne says:

      Your soup sounds yummy and that’s quite a large volume, should serve a large crew. I may try it with a Hubbard squash or another of these hybrid kabocha-Hubbard squash. I found I had an extra hand of ginger in the vegetable drawer for which this soup would be a perfect use.

      Drink your greens, indeed, though lately I’ve been making congee/jook with greens cooked in with the rice. It’s insanely easy with an Instant Pot. After the turkey feast is done I’ll use the wings and back to make broth for the congee/jook so a pot of green congee is in the near future.

      Merci et à ta santé!

  26. Lit_eray says:

    A year ago I decided to bake my first cake for my wife’s birthday, which was a few days ago. Did a little research to come up with a from scratch recipe that uses only honey instead of refined sugar, and organic whole grain flour. First time it came out fairly dense, like a lighter carrot cake, but still very good. This year I tweaked the recipe some to open up the crumb. Maybe not replicable due to unique sour dough starter nurtured for years at 6900 ft. elevation. The starter was initiated with kefir whey and flour about 5 years ago. It gets fed every week with organic whole grain rye and wheat, and kept at 125% (baker’s measure) hydration. I usually use the excess sour dough starter for bread or waffles.

    The cake makes a nice desert and lasts quite long. Even freezes well.

    Recipe for Sourdough Chocolate Birthday Cake
    Yields 2 each 8” diameter layers


    • 227 g sourdough starter (25 g Whole Rye Flour; 75 g Whole Wheat Flour; 125 g Water)
    • 227 g Kefir (mature or fresh)
    • 240 g Organic Whole Wheat Flour
    • 362 g New Mexico Honey (297 g Fructose/Glucose; 65 g Water)
    • 170 g Butter (1-1/2 sticks)
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 6 g salt (1 teaspoon)
    • 75 g 85% cocoa Chocolate Bar (64 g. cocoa; 11 g Fat & Sugar) or 64 g cocoa powder
    • 1-1/2 liquid ounce Espresso (1 shot; 45 g Water)
    • 6 eggs (approximately 360 g)
    • Whites of 2 eggs (maybe 60 g ?)

    Filling Between Layers
    • 48 g 85% cocoa Chocolate Bar (41 g cocoa; 7 g Fat & Sugar) or 41 g cocoa powder
    • 150 g pitted fresh or frozen Cherries
    • 150 g Pecan halves
    • 30 g New Mexico Vaquero Chile flakes or other low to medium capsaicin fruity flavored chile (hot chile would overpower all the subtle flavors)
    • Smidgen of Kefir or Cherry Liqueur or Cherry Juice as necessary for a pasty slightly chunky consistency

    • 150 g New Mexico Honey (123 g Fructose/Glucose; 27 g Water)
    • 150 g (1 stick + 3 tablespoons) room temperature Butter
    • 41 g Kefir
    • 1-1/2 liquid ounces Espresso (1 shot; 45 g Water)

    • 19 g 85% cocoa Chocolate Bar (16 g cocoa; 3 g Fat & Sugar) or 16 g cocoa powder
    • 14 g Kefir
    • 10.5 g New Mexico Honey (9 g Fructose/Glucose; 1.5 g Water)

    1. Combine the starter, kefir, and flour in a large mixing bowl. Cover and rest at room temperature for 2 hours.
    2. For the whole eggs, separate egg yolks and whites. Add the 2 egg whites to the separated whites. Beat whites until stiff peaks form.
    3. In a separate bowl, put together the cake ingredients, honey, butter, vanilla, salt, 85% cocoa Chocolate Bar, and 1 shot of espresso. Place into proof oven until all ingredients melt, then beat together.
    4. Add the 6 egg yolks to the separate bowl one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
    5. Gently combine the chocolate mixture with the starter/kefir/flour mixture, stirring till smooth.
    6. Very gently fold stiff peak whites into mixture until evenly incorporated.
    7. Cut out parchment paper to line the bottom of 2 – 8” diameter cake pans. Butter sides and parchment of pans.
    8. Gently pour the batter into the 2 prepared pans.
    9. Allow batter to rise in the pans. This could take quite a bit of time, maybe an overnight in the refrigerator. If put in the refrigerator, upon removal allow batter to come to room temperature, maybe in a proof oven. Once batter is to the top of the pans (or volume approximately doubled) proceed to Step 10.
    10. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
    11. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
    12. Remove the pans from the oven and set on a rack to cool. Remove cake from the pans when cool.
    1. Strain cherry juice from cherries; use for thinning if desired. In a food processor, blend filling cherries until smooth. Break or chop the chocolate bar into smaller pieces (½ inch squares or so). Add the chocolate, pecans, and chile flakes to the food processor and pulse to a coarse uniform texture. Heat mixture over low heat in a sauce pan to melt the chocolate. Add kefir or cherry liqueur or cherry juice as necessary to achieve a pasty slightly chunky consistency. Spread mixture on one of the cake layers, then put the other on top.
    2. In a small sauce pan melt the icing butter, add the icing honey, kefir and 1 shot of espresso. Bring the mixture just to a boil.
    3. Allow icing to cool (in refrigerator is ok) and spread over the cake when desired consistency is achieved – pasty, not too hard.
    1. Combine the drizzle 85% Chocolate, kefir, and honey in a small sauce pan. Heat over low heat until the chocolate softens, then stir off heat until smooth. Put into a warm measuring cup with pour spout for drizzling. Drizzling vessel should be hot enough to hold comfortably without burning but still keep drizzle pourable.
    2. Drizzle the chocolate mixture over the icing. Use your imagination for an interesting drizzle pattern.

  27. Broderie says:

    Elly’s Indian Spinach Salad

    1/4 c white wine vinegar
    1/4 c salad oil
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 1/2 tsp curry powder
    1 tsp dry mustard
    3 tbsp green onion
    8 c fresh spinach torn into bite sized pieces
    1 1/2 c chopped, unpared apples
    1/2 c golden raisins
    1/2 c peanuts

    In closed top jar, combine vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, curry powder, and mustard. Cover and chill. Place torn spinach in large salad bowl; top with apple, raisins, peanuts, and green onions. Shake dressing; pour over salad and toss. Our family has eliminated the peanuts. No loss.

  28. puzzled scottish person says:

    Thanksgiving’s not really a thing here but, whilst masticating my porridge with salt (only kidding, it was deep-fried pizza topped with ice-cream ;-)), I have derived vicarious pleasure from everyone else’s contributions. Glad to know you’re all finding reasons to be cheerful, which gives me an excuse for this link:

    Slightly more seriously, one personal reason to be cheerful right now is that, many years ago, I had the pleasure of seeing the late, great Wilko Johnson’s band playing live in a small, sweaty room in the back of a Camden pub with ex-Blockheads bassist, Norman Watt-Roy sweating whole stones off his body weight while playing up a storm.

    You can’t really beat seeing a shit-hot band up close within smelling distance.


    • Rayne says:

      Granted, this was from south of the border, but you made me think of this quote:

      “Here in Britain, of course, it’s Thank Fuck We Got Those Weird Jesus Bastards On The Boat Day”
      ― Warren Ellis

      Something to be cheerful about, yes. Thanks for sharing your Wilko memory.

    • Nick Barnes says:

      A fellow UK punk fan, excellent. Any good shows coming up for you? I’ll be at the last ever Ducking Punches show in Norwich on December 9th, and the mighty mighty Pet Needs hometown gig in Colchester on 16th. Both sold out for ages but some tickets are coming up on the fan sites as people change plans due to rail strikes etc.

      On the food theme, I’ll probably bake a little something to take to the Ducking Punches show. I’m pretty sure the whole band is vegan (certainly Dan Allen and Pete Wright are), and I baked them a ginger cake for their final album launch show, decorated with my version of the album cover art. You can find the cake in the video for one of the songs from that album:

      • puzzled scottish person says:

        Not primarily punk, to be honest. My musical taste is pretty varied – classical, prog rock, dub reggae, heavy metal, all sorts. A good band’s a good band, whatever they’re playing. But I will confess I haven’t encountered either Ducking Punches or Pet Needs. My loss, I’m sure, and I shall check them out.
        What with the pandemic and other things, I haven’t been to a good gig for ages so I must rectify that. Kicking myself for missing Sigur Ros who were in Scotland just recently.

  29. Jenny says:

    Thank you Rayne. Your rolls are beautiful and look delicious. Picture perfect for a cookbook.

    Unusual Thanksgiving for me. An expect the unexpected unexpectedly day.
    Had plans to attend family gathering with 25 people until my daddy, pulled a muscle. Feeling uncomfortable and having a difficult time walking, he decided not to attend. I stayed with him to help out.

    We had a grand time watching the World Cup. I put together a platter of Jarlsberg and Cheddar cheese, St. Agur blue cheese, salami, olives, crackers and red grapes. We topped it off with a cold Flat Tire beer. Scrumptious! Even Daddy said it really hit the spot.

    Thanksgiving is a day of gratitude. I am grateful for a priceless gift to share the day with my 93 year old daddy.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

  30. Knox Bronson says:

    I’m making a cassoulet. Been cooking for two days. Flageolet beans, duck confit, homemade chicken stock, pork shoulder, pancetta, Italian sweet and garlic sausages, various fresh vegetables and herbs, all layered in cast iron dutch oven, now bubbling away for a few hours. Serving with baguette and a simple green salad with avocado, red onion, and goat cheese.
    But right now, just putting my feet up, listening to classical guitar before anybody shows up.
    Grateful for this community, Marcy, Blaine, bmaz, et al.

  31. Molly Pitcher says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, All. I am grateful for having found such an interesting group of people with wit and intelligence.

    Hope you have a wonderful day.

  32. klynn says:

    Hope all are having a happy Thanksgiving weekend. This has been a great post to read.

    Our recipes have changed over the years. We have a child on the fodmap diet and a child with a meat allergy due to Lyme disease. This year, we made a Pumfu ham. I know, it sounds terrible but it is actually pretty good.

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