The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 18, 2005


A traditional Thanksgiving dinner: simple, savory and satisfying recipes

Years ago I used to think that Thanksgiving dinner needed an imaginative twist. I would clip and try recipes for stuffing that added homemade breads, cranberries, figs, prunes, pecans, sausage, ham, oysters, or exotic crunchy ingredients. My family called the results "interesting," but let me know that at Thanksgiving they craved the flavors and comfort of a simple New England bread stuffing. Today I prepare an uncomplicated traditional feast: a moist turkey, stuffing that starts with a bag of Pepperidge Farm mix, mashed potatoes, and pan gravy with a bit of cream. The house fills with the aroma of butter, onions, garlic, sage — and nostalgia.

Since I want left-overs, I typically roast a large turkey, 18 to 22 pounds. Brining the turkey overnight produces a moist and tender bird. For additional moisture and flavor, I roast the turkey stuffed loosely with a mix of vegetables and seasonings, which are later discarded. The bread stuffing is baked separately in a casserole, but gets it's flavor from the turkey stock.

Thanksgiving Turkey

Bread stuffing with mushrooms

Turkey Stock and Gravy Stock

Mashed Potatoes

Marilyn Harte once again recommends:

Cranberry relish

Cranberry Sherbet

Indian Corn Bread

Note: Doubling this recipe works well because you can use the whole can of pumpkin and because you'll need extra cornbread either for your guests or for toasting for breakfast with jam. This recipe also freezes well.

2005 The Carlisle Mosquito