I probably should have cropped RH's leg out of this picture but who's going to notice it anyway with our two beautiful granddaughters in it?
This picture is from last year's Thanksgiving Day that was held at Zack and Court's house (our old Valley View). That's their handsome Forest posing with the girls.
I had to post this picture first because I couldn't lead off a post with a package of meat, could I?
This is a post of one of three dishes I took last year to Thanksgiving at Zack and Court's house because the younger set is now doing the cooking. There are three things I still make or it just wouldn't seem like Thanksgiving to me or RH.
The Cornbread Dressing, the Cranberry Sauce, and a couple of pies--Chess and Pecan. Here they are, for myself and RH and perhaps for Mimi's Family Cookbook someday for grands and great-grands.
For wonderfully rich turkey stock, rub the turkey parts of your choice with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast till golden. These could have stayed in the oven a little longer.
Put them in a stock pot with carrots, celery, onions, and garlic.
Add water (distilled water makes the clearest stock), fresh herbs you still have growing outside, salt, whole black pepper pods, bay leaves, any dried herbs you want to include. Cook all day long.
And you have beautiful stock at the end of the day! Strain and store in fridge for up to five days or freeze for longer.
Make two pans of buttermilk cornbread the day before Thanksgiving and sit unwrapped till next day. Hopefully you have made buttermilk biscuits a few weeks earlier and frozen 6-8 of them, set out to thaw, unwrap to dry. Add 4 slices good white bread. Let all the bread dry on Thanksgiving Day morning by crumbling on clean tea towels for several hours.
Melt two sticks butter in saute pan, add 3 cups chopped onion, 1 1/2 cups chopped celery and sauté, stirring until soft, not brown.
[I wash celery when I bring it home from grocery, dry well and chill so it's ready to use.]
[Also good to wash a bunch of parsley and dry well early before chopping. Dressing is one time I use curly parsley instead of Italian.]
Add 3 tablespoons dried sage or more to crumbled breads in a very large bowl, 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning, 1 teaspoon dried marjoram, a dash of mace, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Also add some chopped fresh sage if you have it.
Stir in the sautéed vegetables and 1 cup minced fresh parsley.
Stir in 2 cups of the rich broth (warmed up), and stir in 2 beaten eggs.
Add more stock if needed to be of pancake batter consistency. You don't want it to be soupy but not dry either.
Bake at 375 degrees F. for about 40 minutes, maybe a little longer if it looks like it needs it. Don't dry it out.
Sprinkle with chopped fresh Italian parsley when serving.
Excellent hot with a dab of cranberry sauce. I don't even need turkey if I have these two things.
This was my mother's dressing, with a few changes I've made over the years. I would eat hers in a heartbeat if she were still here to cook it.
To end with another picture from last Thanksgiving Day other than food, here is another of Zack and Court's fur babies, Peanut Buttah, a rescue from a hurricane in Puerto Rico a few years ago. She's had several eye surgeries and still doesn't see much but she doesn't need to as Zack sees for her.
Happy Thanksgiving Day prep to my U.S. friends and family!
[Dressing from Thanksgiving Day 2022--It's so much prettier in a glass baking dish!]