Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Menu

Here's my mom, seated at our Thanksgiving table in 2003. This was literally the last time we saw her.
As we finish the gathering of supplies for our holiday and begin cooking, my sister and I are naturally thinking of our mother who died in April. Mom loved Thanksgiving and we still honor many of her traditions and recipes. We always watched the Macy's parade, waiting for Santa, because that was when we could officially play Yule music, and not a second sooner. To this day, we play Yule music from noon on Thanksgiving day until late December. And though I have dropped some of Mom's holiday musts (do we really need a crudite tray when we have an enormous load of food and work waiting for us? and I never really cared at all for cranberry relish, sorry Mom) we do still infuse our meal with many of my Mom's favorites. I've included our menu and have included recipes that came from my mother. We're thinking of you, Mom. And I'll be sure the kids watch the Rockettes, I promise.

All foods in BOLD are locally produced foods.

1 20 lb organic turkey w/ bouquet garni, including apples, pears, onion and celery

homemade herb and wild rice stuffing

baked candied (brown sugar only, no orange juice or marshmallows) sweet potatoes

mashed potatoes with turkey gravy and vegetarain gravy

Mom Stafford's scalloped corn

cranberry fig chutney

home canned cranberry jelly

fresh homemade yeast rolls

Mom Stafford's cranberry orange bread

sugared grapes (Mom Stafford tradtional)

Blacksmith's Sparkling Cranberry Wine or maybe some Roughshod

sparkling cider, cider, organic & fair trade hot cocoa

Mom Staffords Scalloped Corn

I have substituted the original creamed corn for the Imagine soup.

8 eggs
32 oz Imagine Sweet Corn Soup
1 lb frozen corn
3 Tbsp sugar
1 lb buttery crackers
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until creamy yellow. Add sugar, pepper and salt. Mix in soup, milk and add corn. Fold in crushed crackers. Pour into greased casserole dish. Bake at 375F until crusty golden on top and it is set up.

Mom Stafford's Cranberry Orange Bread

recipe makes two loaves, can triple, etc.

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

Butter two, 9" loaf pans

In one large mixing bowl sift together:

4 cups unbleached white wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 Tbs baking soda

In separate medium mixing bowl, beat:

2 eggs

combine eggs with:

2/3 cup orange juice or juice from two oranges
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups sugar

In the large bowl, combine flour mixture with egg mixture only enough to blend ingredients.

Then stir in:

1/2 cup melted butter

Fold in:

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup nuts, optional
1 Tbsp orange zest, optional

Place mixture in pans with sides and corners higher than the middle.

Bake 1 hour or so, depending on pans and oven.

Sugared Grapes, Mom Stafford traditonal

2 lbs green, red, or purple seedless grapes

1 cup (or more) of sugar or evaporated cane juice

Wash grapes and pick over grapes. Leave grapes in bunches.

Add grapes to large ziploc bag and pour sugar into bag. Zip bag carefully and shake until grapes are completely coated in sugar.

Remove grape bunch(es) from bag and place in decorative bowl to dry. The sugar hardens. Beautiful, different and delicious.


  1. Wonderful recipes and a nice tribute to your mom.
    I want to try the sugared grapes!
    Sounds like I couldn't even mess that recipe up too much. I'm not to swift in the kitchen. :(

  2. oh, that sounds like a wonderful meal! Happy Thanksgiving!!



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