Thanksgiving may be my favorite holiday. Yes, even this year, despite the pandemic. Remember the silver lining blog - we CAN look for the positive and persevere in being grateful. First, I love this holiday to celebrate with anyone and everyone. For me, everyone is welcome at my table as it really is about family, friends, community and kindness. While this year, may be different with gatherings limited due to COVID, there are other things we can do, like Zoom, FaceTime, and in some places, socially distant gatherings outdoor are possible! Everyone should celebrate Thanksgiving and even dropping a plate of food for an elderly person is a very kind gesture to include them!
Second, I love to cook! And I love to nourish people. So I try to find delicious, yet healthy recipes to nourish my family or anyone to whom I can distribute food. Finally, it's simple. Thanksgiving involves simple family time to be together, to eat, talk, and relax, really. No gifts and the only preparation is cooking, which I enjoy. I enjoy this even more now as our small boys get so excited and help me cook as well, which is truly magnificent.
I'd like to share a few recipes, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have any questions.
Turkey: I like to buy a good quality turkey, often organic and pastured, but they are very expensive. I justify this because I use the entire turkey, both for Thanksgiving, leftovers for enchiladas, biscuits and turkey with gravy, sandwiches, and the bones for bone broth to make soup. I prefer to spatchcook the turkey (or simply cut it in half entirely), because I find it remains more moist, cooks more evenly and I can baste the meat easier. Furthermore, it cooks faster! So in order to do so, you'll want to cut out the backbone of the turkey, which is quite easy, and then break the breast bone to flatten it out and place on a baking sheet or a large cooking pan. Then, I use fresh herbs and garlic cloves - alot of both - to really season. I use alot of rosemary, thyme and some sage as well (similar herbs in my stuffing.) I stick the springs of the rosemary where ever I can in the turkey. I also baste the turkey at least a dozen times when it's cooking. When you cook it this way, it takes approximately 2.5 hours, at 375 degrees. Obviously, be sure to check it as you don't want to under cook or over cook your turkey.
Apple Cranberry (Gluten Free) Stuffing:
I have made this recipe for at least 10 years and shared it with Team De Soto on Wednesday, when we celebrated our office thanksgiving. You can add or take out what you like and you can also add apple sausage (chicken or pork), if you like sausage in your stuffing.
5 c. of homemade bread (GF, if you prefer) bread crumbs or store bought
1 c. onion, diced
3/4 c. celery
1 green apple, diced
3/4 c. dried cranberries
6 tbsp. fresh sage, thinly sliced
6 tbsp. fresh rosemary, stems removed
2 tbsp. thyme, stems removed
1/4 c. miced parsley
1 1/2 c. bone broth or chicken or turkey stock, or veggie stock, if you're vegetarian, vegan
Bake at 375 degrees, for 45-60 minutes. Check as well as if it's getting dry, add more broth. If it's too soggy, let cook longer.
Apple Orange Cranberry Relish
1 orange, juiced and rind finely diced
1 1/2 c. water
1 granny smith apple, peeled and diced
3 c. fresh cranberries
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
Combine water and rind over high heat, bring to boil, and let cook for 10 minutes. Add diced apples, cranberries and orange juice and cinnamon and cloves. Bring to boil over high heat, reduce heat to low, cover partially and let simmer. Once most cranberries have "popped," approximately 10-15 minutes, turn off, transfer to heat safe bowl and let sit for one hour before serving.
These are just a few of our family favorites. Feel free to try them out or just use your own. After all, thanksgiving is about community and nourishment, two of my passions!