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16 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

The strength of will it took me to leave that straight line alone is truly heroic. :whistle:

 

I am so gkad to learn I am not the only one who thought " well _yeah_-!"  Only luck led me to finish reading it before commenting.  :lol:

 

 

 

 

9 hours ago, Pariah said:

I had no idea that Mac and Cheese was a option

 

Heh heh heh....

 

Guess where I live!   :D

 

yep.   And we _bake it_, too.....  ;)

 

though to be fair, anything beats wet bread.  How did that even happen?!

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1 hour ago, Duke Bushido said:

Heh heh heh....

 

Guess where I live!   :D

 

yep.   And we _bake it_, too.....  ;)

 

We bake our mac & cheese, though it has never been part of our Thanksgiving feast.  It's a once-or-twice-a-month regular dinner rotation entry.

 

My favorite (among those options) is stuffing, but we no longer cook it in the bird itself.  Actually the ultimate side dish is the turkey gravy, and almost everything else is just a gravy delivery mechanism.

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My dad had a several-year phase where he would do stuffing that included oysters.

 

He may or may not be over it, but I'm safely in another state now.

 

Also, my mom and dad are big fans of a pink garnish that includes horseradish. I had forgotten about it the first time I took Lady P home for Thanksgiving. Her family makes something similar-looking that's based on cranberry. It was a very unpleasant surprise for her.

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1 hour ago, Cancer said:

 

We bake our mac & cheese, though it has never been part of our Thanksgiving feast.  It's a once-or-twice-a-month regular dinner rotation entry.

 

My favorite (among those options) is stuffing, but we no longer cook it in the bird itself.  Actually the ultimate side dish is the turkey gravy, and almost everything else is just a gravy delivery mechanism.

 

Never cook it inside the bird!

 

Gently loosen the skin from the bird.  Stuff between the skin and the bird.  Try apple chunks, a bit of applesauce, raisins, and-- if you must-- toast cubes.

 

Your reward is nice, crispy glazed skin, and your "stuffing" will be a bit less "wet bread" and more something flavorful.

 

 

1 hour ago, Pariah said:

My dad had a several-year phase where he would do stuffing that included oysters.

 

He may or may not be over it, but I'm safely in another state now.

 

Don't blame you.

 

Cooked oysters seems... wrong....

 

:D

 

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Pariah said:

 

Also, my mom and dad are big fans of a pink garnish that includes horseradish. I had forgotten about it the first time I took Lady P home for Thanksgiving. Her family makes something similar-looking that's based on cranberry. It was a very unpleasant surprise for her.

 

If it's got horseradish, send it this way!  :D

 

(of course, I'm the same guy that makes deviled eggs with wasabi instead of mustard, so.....)

 

 

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We'd usually have Syrian stuffing (Hashweh) as a side, which is pretty easy to make, and tastes wonderful. Mom learned to make it from her friend's Syrian mother growing up in Maine, along with tabbouleh and baked kibbeh, though that was usually for Christmas in our house. Christmas Eve, Mom would also sometimes make tourtière, which a very rich pork pie. (Mom's side of the family is French-Canadian, and I used to call her mother mémère).

 

I must say that Duke's use of wasabi in deviled eggs sounds very good. Mom would occasionally make horseradish deviled eggs, and they were delicious.

 

 

 

 

I had never tasted green bean casserole until I was in my 30s. I was not impressed.

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28 minutes ago, Ternaugh said:

I had never tasted green bean casserole until I was in my 30s. I was not impressed.

 

Consider yourself fortunate.

 

I was born in the late 50s...which means, as a kid, I was still stuck with the 'cooking' trends of the 50s.  Frozen veggies...never fresh.  Iceberg lettuce.  "Casserole" implied canned cream of mushroom soup.  French fried onions.  Crushed potato chip toppings.  The green bean casserole was bad...but far, far worse...tuna casserole.

 

It took a long time before I could overcome that early disadvantage.  And to start figuring out what I need in the way of pans, etc. to do the job.  And let us never forget Alton Brown for the basics, and Emeril Live for inspiration...even if doing half the stuff was impractical down here. :)  But it was fun to watch.

I think I roasted a turkey once...a heritage bird that was about 8 pounds.  Even that created rather a LOT of leftovers.  Roasted chickens more often.  I know I stuffed a few...but, IIRC, not with the greatest success.  Did stovetop a few times, which was...ok, but ehhh.  Eventually I switched to potatoes...canned new potatoes for quite a while, then new potatoes or fingerlings.  Roasted in the pan with the bird, to soak up the juices.  OR, just diced, tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chopped fresh rosemary and thyme.  Yummm.  Or a rosti...bake the potato(es) in advance, let cool, grate, then proceed as before.  Can also add bacon and mushrooms.  Double yummm.
  (Simply Potatoes Hash Browns also served as a great, *easy* base for this.)

 

So what were your Thanksgiving pies?  We had pumpkin every year for sure, and IIRC apple most years.  

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Thanksgiving dessert is usually a pumpkin pie and at least one other random dessert, typically a cheesecake or cake.  It's important that dessert be a nutritionally compete meal.

 

The family's been frying turkey for years, in one of those suicidally dangerous propane turkey fryers.  It's fast enough to make three or four turkeys in a morning.  Have to do the stuffing separately though.

 

Another option we discovered a few years back is frozen turkey breast.  If presentation is not important, it lets you make the best part of the turkey with way less hassle than doing the whole bird.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Ternaugh said:

We'd usually have Syrian stuffing (Hashweh) as a side, which is pretty easy to make, and tastes wonderful. Mom learned to make it from her friend's Syrian mother growing up in Maine, along with tabbouleh and baked kibbeh, though that was usually for Christmas in our house. Christmas Eve, Mom would also sometimes make tourtière, which a very rich pork pie. (Mom's side of the family is French-Canadian, and I used to call her mother mémère).

 

 

Great.

 

Trying to go to bed, and now I'm hungry....

 

 

:lol:

 

 

1 hour ago, Ternaugh said:

 

I must say that Duke's use of wasabi in deviled eggs sounds very good. Mom would occasionally make horseradish deviled eggs, and they were delicious.

 

Thanks, and they are.  You can't go wrong with horseradish, no matter what continent it's from.  ;)

 

 

1 hour ago, Ternaugh said:

 

I had never tasted green bean casserole until I was in my 30s. I was not impressed.

 

I have no idea why people make that stuff.

 

It's been around for generations, and is the only form of green bean recipe that is completely inedible.

 

I'm sixty (and tend to assume that's probably right in the groove for most of the people here, even if it's not  HA!  ), and in all those years, I have had to endure one or two every single year since before I had teeth!   In all that time, I have never met anyone who actually likes it.

 

My wife!  My wife, or her sister, will make that garbage every single Thanksgiving or Christmas-- whichever of those two holidays we've opted to ruin by including the extended family-- AND NO ONE EATS IT!   NO ONE!  I asked her and her sister both:  why are you the only two in your family that like this stuff?

 

Turns out neither of them likes it, either!   It's madness!

 

 

So why do you make it every single year?

 

"It's tradition!"

 

 

Ugh.

 

Why not just call it fruitcake, then?

 

 

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2 hours ago, unclevlad said:

 

Consider yourself fortunate.

 

I was born in the late 50s...which means, as a kid, I was still stuck with the 'cooking' trends of the 50s.  Frozen veggies...never fresh.  Iceberg lettuce.  "Casserole" implied canned cream of mushroom soup.  French fried onions.  Crushed potato chip toppings.  The green bean casserole was bad...but far, far worse...tuna casserole.

 

Born in the mid-50s here, and my experience has strong overlaps with yours.  For a while I told a riff on some natural history documentaries:

Quote

Many creatures feed their young partially digested food, regurgitated by the parent.  Humans, notably, do not do this.  However, humans do make casseroles.

Army cafeterias in the 1960s (I grew up on and around military bases) were kind of this, squared.

 

The in-laws include a number of commercial fishermen, so frequently crab salad is on the Thanksgiving table (a green salad with lots of chunks of Dungeness crab meat), which is always consumed with gusto.

 

Also on the plus side, family desserts include the usual pumpkin pie, which everyone likes.  My father-in-law makes a mince pie, which doesn't much for me but others like it.  I make my great-grandmother's soft gingerbread recipe (I posted it on these boards somewhere years back, and I can relocate it and post a pointer if anyone wants) every year, ideally serving it warm with whipped cream.  Some years there's marionberry pie as well.

 

The dish my wife's family always makes and no one eats is sweet potatoes, a tradition I think is a holdover from the branch of the family that came out of Arkansas early in the 20th Century.  The last members of that generation passed away only 15 years ago or so, so we aren't that far removed from the reverently murmured, "These were Grandma Leona's favorite" that guilted everyone into taking some.

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4 hours ago, Old Man said:

Thanksgiving dessert is usually a pumpkin pie and at least one other random dessert, typically a cheesecake or cake.  It's important that dessert be a nutritionally compete meal.

 

The family's been frying turkey for years, in one of those suicidally dangerous propane turkey fryers.  It's fast enough to make three or four turkeys in a morning.  Have to do the stuffing separately though.

 

Another option we discovered a few years back is frozen turkey breast.  If presentation is not important, it lets you make the best part of the turkey with way less hassle than doing the whole bird.

 

 

 

I used to joke that I liked to smoke the turkey, but it was hard to  keep it lit... until I succeeded.  I still smoke the bird, but I have invested in a fire blanket just in case.

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15 hours ago, Old Man said:

Another option we discovered a few years back is frozen turkey breast.  If presentation is not important, it lets you make the best part of the turkey with way less hassle than doing the whole bird.

 

 

This time of year, you can find fresh, sliced turkey breast fairly easily.  I think it's actually available year-round but should be more common now.

 

Alternately...Jennie-O has turkey breast tenderloins, generally 2 to a pack, 12 oz each.  There's an unseasoned, an "applewood smoked" and a "savory roast".  They're basically brined with seasonings.  The salt content is a bit high from that, but still manageable, and it's such that I don't need to add any.  I do toss on more spices;  the applewood smoke flavor is a good start but it can use more.  Otherwise, it's extremely lean, with no wastage at all.  I often get it when it's on sale, which is...decently often.  I can find it for $5 or $6...DIRT cheap, especially these days.  But the usual price of $9 or so...for 1 1/2 pounds of extremely lean, that's quite reasonable, especially these days when beef prices are notably higher than last year.  The tenderloins are relatively flat, too, so they cook quite smoothly.

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