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Reader Callout: What's the one thing you make from scratch at Thanksgiving?

11/20/2008 12:09:23 PM

Tags: Thanksgiving, reader callout

pecan pie

OK, some of you make it all from scratch, right? But others who generally stay away from the oven all year decide to fire it up for that one special something. And the holiday just wouldn't be the same without it, right? Or maybe you have a great memory of making something from scratch and sharing it with someone else for Thanksgiving. (Are you the guest who always brings the best made-from-scratch take-alongs even when you've been told not to bring anything?)

At our house, everyone goes crazy if my dad doesn't make his famous apple-oyster stuffing with homemade cornbread. Hey Dad, you remembered to put fresh oysters on the grocery list this year, right??? Mother Earth News contributing editor Barbara Pleasant remembers fondly making a pecan pie just for herself even when she was living alone: "and it was wonderful!"

So how about you? Please share your "wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it" and "just gotta make it from scratch" stories, as well as your stories about filling Thanksgiving needs through generosity, by posting them in the comments section below.

If your Thanksgiving repertoire could use some new ideas, too, then we've got a seat for you at our table.


Photo: MIKE PANIC/ISTOCKPHOTO


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ypbranch_1
11/23/2008 11:09:58 PM
Orange Slice Cake This rest of the recipe. Sorry Orange Sauce Directions: Combine orange juice, confectioner's sugar and orange zest (must be ultra-fine, if not sprinkle over cake). Using one of the large turkey infectors widely available or a large hypodermic syringe and needle, inject cake evenly with the orange sauce. Be careful not to over saturate one area. You may carefully roll cake on each side, do not twist or break. Inject cake on all sides until all sauce is absorbed. Buttermilk Glaze Directions: Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan and slowly bring to a boil. Boil glaze for 3 minutes. Pour buttermilk glaze over cake while glaze is hot after orange sauce has been injected. Patiently allow the glaze to be absorbed by the cake. Keep collecting the glaze from the sheet pan and reapply until glaze is absorbed. Cool orange slice cake completely. Slice with serrated knife because of nuts. This cake gets better over time. Yield: 1 tube pan

ypbranch_1
11/23/2008 11:07:56 PM
This recipe is about 60 years old. A must have. Orange Slice Cake Servings: 20 ***Cake*** 1 cup butter 2 cups sugar 1/2 cup buttermilk 4 large eggs 1 teaspoon baking soda 3 1/2 cups flour 1 pound chopped dates 1 pound orange slice candies, quartered 2 cups nuts, chopped 12 ounces coconut flakes ***Orange Sauce*** 1 cup orange juice 2 cups confectioner's sugar 3 tablespoons orange zest, micro-plane works best, ultra fine ***Buttermilk Glaze*** 1 cup sugar 1/4 pound butter, on stick 1 tablespoon corn syrup 1 tablespoon milk 1/2 cup buttermilk 1/2 teaspoon soda Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Cake Directions: Cream butter and sugar until light; add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Beat until light. Place flour in a large bowl and add dates, orange slice candy and nuts. Mix with impeccably clean hands until each piece is individually coated with flour. Add coconut and mix well until coconut is dispersed and coated with flour. Mix together buttermilk and baking soda; stir until well mixed and foamy. Pour into batter and fold in until totally incorporated. Add dry ingredients to batter and mix thoroughly with your impeccably clean hands as the batter will be very stiff. Pour into a well greased and floured 16 1/2" loaf tube pan, round tube pan or Bundt pan. Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours (1 hour 15 minutes). Watch carefully as cake often is done prior to this baking time. Remove when a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean or an instant read thermometer registers 195 degrees F. Let cake sit for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Run a frosting spatula or the back of a butter knife around the perimeter of the pan taking care to keep blade a way from cake as to not create blemishes on its surface. Remove to a cooling rack placed inside a jellyroll pan. Orange Sauce Directions: Combine orange juice, confectioner's sugar and orange zest (must be ultra-fine, if not s

Gary_1
11/22/2008 7:10:21 PM
Sweet potatoes/yams have always been a fun improvised important side dish for me...orange juice, brown sugar/honey/maple syrup, cinnamon+ spices, cranberries, crushed nuts, etc. marshmallow on top at the end of the cooking cycle...alot of fun with no measuring. Stuffing/Dressing - the square backing dish kind rather than what is cooked inside the bird, using the broken up bread/cornbread and the drippings and things used above like cranberries, egg, crushed nuts...NUTS in Everything! I grew up with Fruit Ambrosia...(oranges, grapefruit, cherries, pineapple, pear, coconut, crushed nuts, tiny marshmallows,) Coconut Cake, & Pecan Pie for end of meal specialties. HAPPY TIMES EVERYONE!

MistletoeLady
11/22/2008 10:17:22 AM
I always make a simple turkey stuffing. Everyone has complimented me on it, and it is so simple and easy to do! For simplicity sake, lets use 2 cups bread, just double all ingredients for each 2 cups bread you use. Cube whole wheat bread. It doesn't matter if it is fresh or toasted. Boil the turkey neck and use about one cup of the broth from the neck. Add enough to make it moist but not watery. Dice 1 cup celery, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tablespoon orange rind seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon rosemary, 3 tablespoons flax seed meal. Blend everything together, adding more turkey broth if needed to make a moist, but not sloppy mix. You may add 3 tablespoons melted margarine if desired, or 2 tablespoons olive oil. Olive oil is preferred as it does hold some health benefits over margarine. Place the mixture into a well greased baking pan and bake for 20 minutes or until golden on top and done to your liking.

Karen Mauk_1
11/21/2008 8:32:16 PM
My Mother grew up on a farm on Nebraska, she also had an applesauce cake recipe that was a yearly must-have for Thanksgiving. She also made what she called, Vegetable Jello Salad, which was made with lime jello, crushed pineapple, chopped celery, grated carrots and topped with pecans. I was told by a friend that it was named wrong and he didn't think it was a salad! He thought it was more like a desert. We made pumpkin pie and used the recipe on the can of pumpkin. At the age of 64, I make the same dinner that we had when I was a child. I still buy the cranberry sauce in a can even tho I like the homemade better.

Linda Smethers
11/21/2008 7:12:28 PM
When I was growing up, my mother would make what she called "Sweet Potato Souffle". Nothing was measured, everything was to taste. When I grew up and had a home of my own, I started making the dish as best as I could remember since there never was a written recipe. It turned out to be the only way my husband would eat sweet potatoes. Fast forward 36 years, this is the first Thanksgiving we'll be spending as single people. My now ex has even asked how I made them so he can still have sweet potatoes for his Thanksgiving table.

Rosewood513
11/21/2008 6:06:34 PM
I have a few, apple pie the way my mother made it, and stuffing the way my father-in-law made it but there is a new one I would like to share with you. My sons future mother-in-law (at the time) was from Massachusettes and I assumed they would love home made cranberry sauce. I looked up every recipe I could find to get one I thought would be the best. It is very easy to make but I was making it for people from cranberry country. I made a chunky and a smooth pretty jar of each. They were shocked to see I had made it from scratch, I told them that I hoped it compares with theirs, they looked at each other and laughed and informed me that the just open up a can of Ocean Spray. Ever since then I make the cranberry sauce, they all think mine is much better.

enchantedsb
11/21/2008 5:05:52 PM
Every year since I was eight, I have made my great gramdmother's Applesauce cake. They grew up very poor in Oklahoma, and this incredible cake was/is made from what little they had, homemade applesauce, raisins, and walnuts foraged from wild trees. We don't actually know how long ago the cake was first made, but my great grandmother was the first to write it down. Every generation it gets passed on...My 13 year old daughter will be making it for the first time this year.

Nancy Hart_1
11/21/2008 2:58:24 PM
Thanksgiving turkey wouldn't be RIGHT without homemade whole berry cranberry sauce. I follow the directions on the cranberry bag and add 1 cup of pecan pieces. So quick and so good.

David Eccles
11/21/2008 2:34:13 PM
When I was younger and living in Portland Oregon, some of my fondest food memories happened at Thanksgiving. My favorite (the whole families favorite) was the scratch-made deviled eggs my uncle David would bring. They were always the highlight of the dinner, and he never failed to deliver. Since his passing, several of us in the family attempted to re-create those eggs, but of course, none of us could succeed. The eggs, as was my uncle, were impossible to duplicate. Since that time, I have developed my own little niche. Each year, my scratch-made contribution has been pies. I have one standard-recipe apple pie and one lemon-apple recipe I like to use. And of course no Thanksgiving is complete without a pumpkin pie either. Whenever it is possible, my 8 year old disabled daughter joins me in the kitchen cooking, or baking. She's a great assistant, and is eager to help me make these delicious pies. We always have a good time cooking together, but these particular recipes have a special meaning for the two of us. I know that some of her fondest memories growing up will be these times together with me (as they will be mine too). It's something just the two of us have, and that makes me truly thankful.

Lori_3
11/21/2008 2:07:12 PM
Croissants! My family would never forgive me if I didn't make them every year. It's a two day process and I get sore arms from rolling the dough, but they are so flaky! And there's just enough time to have them fresh-baked after the turkey comes out of the oven and the potatoes are getting mashed.

David Eccles
11/21/2008 1:22:55 PM
When I was younger and living in Portland Oregon, some of my fondest food memories happened at Thanksgiving. My favorite (the whole families favorite) was the scratch-made deviled eggs my uncle David would bring. They were always the highlight of the dinner, and he never failed to deliver. Since his passing, several of us in the family attempted to re-create those eggs, but of course, none of us could succeed. The eggs, as was my uncle, were impossible to duplicate. Since that time, I have developed my own little niche. Each year, my scratch-made contribution has been pies. I have one standard-recipe apple pie and one lemon-apple recipe I like to use. And of course no Thanksgiving is complete without a pumpkin pie either. Whenever it is possible, my 8 year old disabled daughter joins me in the kitchen cooking, or baking. She's a great assistant, and is eager to help me make these delicious pies. We always have a good time cooking together, but these particular recipes have a special meaning for the two of us. I know that some of her fondest memories growing up will be these times together with me (as they will be mine too). It's something just the two of us have, and that makes me truly thankful.

David Eccles
11/21/2008 1:22:25 PM
When I was younger and living in Portland Oregon, some of my fondest food memories happened at Thanksgiving. My favorite (the whole families favorite) was the scratch-made deviled eggs my uncle David would bring. They were always the highlight of the dinner, and he never failed to deliver. Since his passing, several of us in the family attempted to re-create those eggs, but of course, none of us could succeed. The eggs, as was my uncle, were impossible to duplicate. Since that time, I have developed my own little niche. Each year, my scratch-made contribution has been pies. I have one standard-recipe apple pie and one lemon-apple recipe I like to use. And of course no Thanksgiving is complete without a pumpkin pie either. Whenever it is possible, my 8 year old disabled daughter joins me in the kitchen cooking, or baking. She's a great assistant, and is eager to help me make these delicious pies. We always have a good time cooking together, but these particular recipes have a special meaning for the two of us. I know that some of her fondest memories growing up will be these times together with me (as they will be mine too). It's something just the two of us have, and that makes me truly thankful.

Donna_3
11/20/2008 4:50:23 PM
I am the oldest of nine. We gather at my mother's every Thanksgiving and everyone brings a contribution (or several) to the meal. We end up with between 40 and 50 people at dinner most years. Before dinner we all stand together and hold hands and say grace and then go around the room and say what we are thankful for this past year. Our table is about 6 ft x 4 ft and is so full of food we have to find another place to sit and eat. On nice days we can spill outside but have been known to be sitting on the beds eating our meals. After the main course all those interested, big and little, go about a block away to the high school football field and play flag football. After they all get their fill of football they come home and we have dessert. It is so much fun to get together and that's one time we all look forward to each year.

Salix
11/20/2008 4:49:40 PM
I usually make the pumpkin pies, often from scratch, including fresh pumpkin. Other members of the family handle the mashed potatoes, yams, oyster stuffing, cranberry relish and pecan pie. Again. It is all from scratch. When we were farming in South Dakota, we raised around 25 broad-breasted bronze turkeys, mainly for a place where individuals and families with less than enough could get good hot meals, called the Banquet. The first time our daughters and I stopped by to deliver the turkeys, we witnessed a dad with 4 young children cheerfully carrying their hot foam-boxed dinners to a rattletrap station wagon. They were positively happy with the gift of warm food. It pretty well choked everyone of us up and made us realize how fortunate we were. After witnessing that, and the joy exuded by all the folks inside this bustling nourishing place, we made it an annual habit to provide turkeys during the holidays and fresh eggs the rest of the year. They say that there's nothing like the gift of love ... that's what we received from all those hungry folks we were fortunate enough to help feed. The gift of healthy food is powerful indeed.

Olivia_1
11/20/2008 4:46:49 PM
I grew up in Spain so my American mother had to make everything from scratch because we didn't have the "luxury" of packaged Thanksgiving foods. Some years, when my mom had been able to travel to the US, we had canned jellied cranberry sauce; which we all loved. I now make everything from scratch...except the cranberry sauce.

hhunt
11/20/2008 4:33:08 PM
I have to admit that I do make everything from scratch except the pie crust - I seem to be incapable of making a crust that isn't all cracks and holes. But my favorite made-from-scratch Thanksgiving story is about my daughter, when she was about 8 years old. Her Dad is from New England and loves whole-berry cranberry sauce. (My family always ate the kind that came jellied from a can.) To make it, you combine water, sugar and a bag of cranberries from the produce department. Bring it to a boil and then simmer and stir until all of the berries pop open. Well, that is what fascinated my daughter. As the cranberries pop open, the sauce turns the most wonderful shades of maroon and pink. She found that to be magical, and from that year on she made the cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving time for our family.










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