Monday, November 18, 2013

Thanksgiving... the planning begins!

We are having a relatively quiet Thanksgiving this year, but the quantity of people doesn't seem to matter, I still make the same variety of dishes so the planning begins. I usually layout a "project plan" noting when I have to make everything as some dishes can be made ahead and others like the turkey need to be started two days before Thanksgiving.

I always make a cider brined turkey, which is a combo of two Epicurious recipes plus an oyster stuffing. The oysters make the stuffing so moist and you can't really taste the oysters (I don't advertise the fact that there are oysters in it, though I do make sure guests don't have allergies or are those cases, I will pull aside some and make it without). Mashed potatoes are a must and some kind of cranberry relish or sauce. My husband, who usually does not care for cooked carrots, loves my mom's recipe of horseradish carrots. They are one of those old recipes that are so easy but so tasty...they have quite a bite! This year, I may do a recipe I found that is butternut squash and brussels sprouts. The original recipe was a bit bland, but I think with the addition of some of the sage/rosemary/garlic salt that I made, it will be the orange and green of the vegetables will add the right colors to the plate. I'll often make beets, though my sister and I are usually the only ones that eat them. When I did this years ago one Christmas, we had an awkward conversation the next day. We both thought we had contracted a rare disease...our pee was bright red. Fortunately we traced it to the be prepared if you over indulge in them!

For dessert it's often the usual culprits: pumpkin and pecan pies, but sometimes I'll deviate and do a pumpkin flan or cheesecake. I think this year, my sister is going to make an apple pie, which I love. I may make a cinnamon ice cream to go with it if I have the time. Still need to have some pumpkin flavored dessert, though. I'll need to ask my youngest son, what he wants: pie, pumpkin roll, whoopie cookies?

So here is the horseradish carrot recipe, an oldie but goodie. You can assemble and make up to 2 days ahead (gotta love that!).

Kate's Horseradish Carrots

Serves 6

  • 1 pound plus 3 carrots
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 Tablespoon horseradish
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
Peel the carrots and cut into julienne strips about 1.5-2" long, 1/4" wide. Cook about 10 min in salted boiling water. Drain and transfer to a 1 quart casserole. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and sugar.

Mix the horseradish and mayo together and spread the mixture over the carrots. At this point you can cover with foil and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Remove from frig 2 hours before baking. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Cover with the breadcrumbs for the last 15 minutes of baking (in other words, add the bread crumbs after it's baked for 10 minutes).

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