Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Favorites

Every person, family has their own favorite dishes they look forward to each Thanksgiving. If you don't have turkey during the year, perhaps your favorite part of the meal is the turkey. Or maybe it is the yams. I personally love everything from the turkey & gravy to the dressing & yams. It is all good. Interestingly, I haven't always like dressing and yams. As a child my Mother made stuffing...the kind that goes into the bird. Blech ~ I never liked it. It was bland and mushy. I also don't care much for yams with marshmallows on top and crushed pineapple inside, again to mushy for me. I know many do like stuffing and the marshmallow topped yams. I just prefer something different.

Having seven children I dream of huge family gatherings when they are grown, married and having their own children. I know I may not have them all with me, each and every holiday and I am okay with that. Having half of them with their families will still give us a full house. A long time ago I came up with a plan that would help me to not stay stuck in the kitchen preparing our entire meal while everyone else was visiting. The plan: to teach each of my kids how to make one side dish for our Thanksgiving meal. Once all are grown I will have taught all of them one dish to bring and that will leave me with the turkey & gravy to make. Imagine how wonderful that will be for all of us! So far I've taught my three older children how to prepare one side dish to bring with them to my home for Thanksgiving, to their inlaws, friends home, or for their own meal at home. I will teach my younger four when they are old enough how to make a dish as well.

Having my children contribute to our meal has made each Thanksgiving special and they have really enjoyed making a yummy dish.

I've posted below two of our families favorite side dishes. Both are excellent to bring to someone else home and both get rave reviews!

Thanksgiving blessing to all of you.

Praline Yams
Serves 4-5 (I double this recipe for my family of 9)

29oz cut yams, drained
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 Tbls. flour
3 Tbls. butter, melted
1/2 teas. vanilla
1/2 teas. cinnamon

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place drained yams in ungreased 1.5 quart baking dish. In small bowl combine remaining ingredients; blend well. Sprinkle over yams.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until bubbly.


Canned Cranberries
By Paula Deen

1 (8oz) can whole cranberries (not jellied)
1 (6oz) can mandarin oranges
1 cup walnuts
1 cup pecans

In a medium size bowl, gently fold together the cranberries, mandarin oranges, walnuts, and pecans. Serve.