Saturday, November 14, 2009

It's Just Not Thanksgiving Without...!

Why don't we whet our appetites a bit in preparation for our national holiday coming up?! I want to share some pictures to get your anticipation level rising!

It's just not Thanksgiving without...( my Carver side says) ...

Mother's cornbread-based dressing. This is still my favorite - we always baked it separately from the turkey...of course! Otherwise it would be called stuffing. This is one recipe I HAD to carry into my marriage.
Always my mother served it with...Giblet Gravy.

This is the only gravy we ever made to go with our turkey dinner. It's delicious with the dressing.

Mother's sweet potato casserole was another Thanksgiving must-have. We never had the marshmallow topping and that is still my favorite way to enjoy this dish. My husband's mother always tops her sweet potatoes with the little marshmallows, and I can enjoy it this way, too!

This Thanksgiving Must-Have is called Ambrosia Fruit Salad. My mother never did the sour cream/sugar sauce; it was always whipped cream- either the real thing or Cool Whip. Our version always had chopped pecans. If we used fresh oranges, my mother would always remove the thin membrane of the orange slices. Sometimes she would use canned mandarin orange pieces. I want to say that she also peeled the grapes! Not too many years ago we were celebrating the holiday with her and I was preparing this fruit salad- she wanted me to peel the grapes! (or was it the oranges?) Whichever it was, I did not follow that step!

Our Carver family dinner was never complete without Chocolate Pie! It's still a family tradition to say at dessert time, "Bring out the chocolate pie!" I miss you, Daddy...

Now for the Kelly Traditions! Galen's dad loves coconut creme pie, and Mom Kelly always fixes one for him at Thanksgiving. I love this pie, too.

All have come to expect me to bring at least one cherry pie if we are celebrating with the Kellys. This is Galen's favorite- also my son Ben loves this...actually almost everyone wants this kind of pie. I can hardly get by with making only one. Yes! It has to be homemade- no storebought frozen pies will do for this farm-raised bunch! I try to make a beautiful crust for this one.

This next beautiful pie is...Apricot! Grandma Classen always made an apricot cobbler that my husband remembers fondly. I have the pan she made it in every time. We do not always have this now that she is gone but it is one of the family favorites. You may have noticed that fruit pies are the favorite in the Kelly Klan.

Love that blackberry pie from Gwen and Phillip's wild berry patch!

Now here is the pecan pie...I luuuuuve this- IF it is not too sweet. I do not use as much sugar or syrup as most recipes call for...Who does not like pecan pie?

Finally, the pumpkin pie- or punkin pie... I really enjoy a piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream. BUT it must not be too spicy...I like it really mild. Sweet potato pie is a good substitute for a pumpkin pie, also...if you do not do the sweet potato casserole. Sometimes Mom Kelly will do a type of cheesecake that has a pumpkin (or sweet potato)  layer and that is very good, too.

Mom introduced me to this 7-Layer Salad...I had never seen it before. I must have this at Thanksgiving to be happy! (For your information, did you know the type of dish holding the salad in this picture is called a "trifle"? That's an interesting name to learn about. A trifle dish is used to display the different beautiful layers, usually a dessert. Mom generally uses a large rectangular glass pan for this salad- it makes for much easier serving.)

I'm beginning to look forward to Thanksgiving! Since we all bring things for the big dinner, the whole load does not fall on one person. We have not decided yet which place we will be going to yet- Louisiana or Western Oklahoma. Oh mother always fixed her turkey like no other one I have ever seen. She made a roux-type baste out of flour and butter that browned up really crisp on the turkey. I love it! Now that she is 84 years old, we don't have it that way often if we are at her place. She likes to get a deep-fried turkey from a local restaurant. It's a great way to fix the bird, also, if you have never tried it...

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