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Thanksgiving Traditions

November 25, 2010

Do any of you have those Holiday traditions or memories that no matter how many years pass they always pop back up. For me it’s the epic endless battle between my parents over who’s stuffing gets the better orifice. Every thanksgiving and christmas without fail Baker Girl Mommy and Baker Girl Daddy battle over the stuffing. My mom’s is essentially a twigs and berries stuffing (celery and raisins) whereas my dad’s is a meat (beef) stuffing. I am pretty sure they will be buried with their respective stuffings. The best battle was back in 2000 after the whole US Election, Florida Hanging Chad business. My dad created some Hanging Chad ballots and made all 15 people at our Thanksgiving dinner vote on the stuffing. I forget who won but needless to say similar votes have occurred in subsequent years. A great tradition that has resulted in me hating all types of stuffing, no matter their twig, berry or meat content.

Speaking of other traditions, Grill Boy and I were chatting on the way to the grocery store and he mentioned his Thanksgiving memories. An old school Pringles jar that his mom used to keep the baster in, memorable because it was glass. To which I responded “wait, they make glass Pringles jars, clearly I missed out by not growing up here.” Yeah I am sure I am the only person who would come to that conclusion, but apparently its a glass baster, not in fact a dangerous glass snack container. Grill Boy also used to drink milk out of a tiny pewter stein, and pretend to be a pilgrim, what a cutie.

Another favorite memory of mine, or rather dish is a corn casserole type dish made by some of our family friends. Since I lived in the Netherlands growing up we never had Thanksgiving with relatives but instead with other families from my school (Baker Girl Daddy is a Teacher at the school I attended). So we had a smattering of expat families over every year for Thanksgiving, our expat “family,” and while everything was always delicious, that corn dish has stuck with me for years, and I have finally tracked it down! Although it involved emailing my dad, in the Netherlands who emailed his teacher friend in Minnesota, who emailed his wife, who then email my dad back, who forwarded it to me in Boston, THE RECIPE HAS BEEN FOUND! And after all that questing turns out its an old Betty Crocker Cookbook recipe! Which of course brings up a ton more memories of baking with my friend (daughter of the corn recipe family) with all kinds of recipes from the Betty Crocker Cookbook. Even as a wee one I was a Baker, from Mud Pies to Cookies. So at last the epic corn recipe I have tried to recreate from memory for years. We’ll see how it tastes tomorrow when we cook it up for Grill Boys Family Thanksgiving.

Scalloped Corn (Courtesy of Betty Crocker, by way of family friend Carol)

10 oz frozen corn cooked and drained or 16 oz canned corn drained
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 small green pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
dash of pepper
3/4 cup milk
1 egg slightly beaten
1/3 cup cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon margarine or butter

*Note the pictures below are a double batch of what is listed above

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, and add the onions and peppers. Cook until the onions begin to get clear.

2. Stir in the flour, paprika, mustard, salt, and pepper.

3. Remove from heat and stir in the milk. Then put back on low heat, bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly (It thickens up nicely)

4. Add the corn.

5. Add the egg and stir it all together.

6. Pour into a 9×9 baking dish.

7. Mix the breadcrumbs and butter together. We crushed up some stale crackers we had lying around instead of using the breadcrumbs we have (they were italian flavored). Grill Boy crushed them ever so eloquently with his feet.

8. And top the corn mixture with the breadcrumbs and butter.

9. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until the dish bubbles.

We also made a Pecan Pie to bring to Thanksgiving dinner up in the NH. Another great recipe from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook (Where the Pizza Dough Recipe is from).

Best of All Pecan Pie

1 pie crust (store bought or homemade)
3 eggs
1 cup dark corn syrup
4 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup of pecans

1. Line the pie pan with the pie crust (we used store bought pillsbury, I am not saintly enough or rather patient enough to make my own, god bless you if you do). Press into the pan, cut off any excess dough.

2. Mix the eggs in a bowl

3. Melt the butter

4. Add the butter, sugar, corn syrup and vanilla extract to the eggs. Mix together.

5. Add the pecans.

6. Pour into the pie shell.

7. I liked to add a little flair and use a fork to put marks around the edge. Also if you lightly brush the exposed pie shell with egg it will become nice and glossy as opposed to browned and burned.

8. Into the oven for 15 minutes at 450 degrees

9. After 15 minutes, lower the oven temp to 350, and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes until the center only quivers slightly.

And voila pie! It makes awesome bubbly, gurgling sounds as it cools. If only I could add a sound and smell track to the blog!

Happy Thanksgiving!


What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory or dish?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 25, 2010 5:12 pm

    “Who’s stuffing get’s the best orifice” – PRICELESS!! here’s one of our family’s favorite traditions,

  2. November 28, 2010 6:54 am

    I am getting hungry looking at the pictures on this blog every time. We declared a truce this year by not having a turkey with any “orify” so no stuffing. Sad face. I had Turkey Cordon Bleu in an Hungarian Restaurant.


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