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


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.

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

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

11/22/2008 7:10:21 PM

Sweet potatoes/yams have always been a fun improvised important side dish for 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!

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