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.
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:
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
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.