Thanksgiving in September

Thanksgiving foods are good all year round, not just during the end of November. My husband spotted turkey pieces, drumsticks and thighs, and we got a big hankering for a Thanksgiving-style dinner. Any time I eat Turkey with a variety of trimmings I always think of Thanksgiving ’08, when I was 9 months pregnant with my daughter. I was adamant that I should get my Turkey dinner first and then she was free to be born. My father did not think that I knew that she would be a Turkey Day baby, but I did, even though her official due date was Dec. 3. Due to my family’s work schedule we planned to have them come down to visit and we would have the dinner on Friday instead of Thursday. We toiled and made the full, delicious dinner, including my cranberry sauce (from scratch). The dinner was fantastic, and my pies were great as usual, and almost as soon as dinner was over my contractions started. I knew when she was going to come, though I would have preferred that she come sooner than 30+ hours into labor, but I loved having Thanksgiving leftovers brought to me while I was staying in the hospital.

The Turkey pieces

My husband put these into the crock pot, with a can of chicken broth, salt, pepper, and a good amount of Bay seasoning. Absolutely essential for cooking with poultry. It is the best compliment to the meat that exists. The turkey was cooked on high for 30 minutes to get it hot and then low for 6-7 hours, until it just falls off the bone. I love using my crock pot to cook chicken and turkey. They would be delicious in the oven, too, but I always worry about poultry being cooked all the way, and I can rest assured that the meat is completely cooked, while still being juicy and tender.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Southern Living is my constant guide and muse in the kitchen. I love Sweet Potato Casserole and I finally found my favorite version of this simple classic. Growing up my father was the only one in the family who really enjoyed sweet potatoes. I remember eating them a little bit, but my mother does not like them. So every year she dutifully makes him a basic sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top. As an adult I grew to love sweet potatoes. They are a healthy vegetable, and a sweet taste to add to many meals. Sweet potato fries have also grown high onto my list of side dishes I adore. Though I have so far omitted to try out the Cornflake cereal topping, the base of this recipe is easy and delicious. The trick to getting it nice and creamy is to beat the heck out of it in the Kitchen Aid mixer. Have I mentioned before that I love my Kitchen Aid?

Apple Crisp

‘Tis the season to eat apples. Fa la la la la, la la, la, la! Now that the beautiful Fall weather is starting up, and that nip is in the air, it is definitely time to eat lots of apple dishes. We picked up the sweet potato, yes- a singular 2 1/4 lb. sweet potato, and I got apples for Apple Crisp. A friend had posted on Facebook that she had gone apple picking and was making lots of dishes, including this recipe for Apple Crisp, and being pregnant and hungry all the time I got a craving for it. I picked out the Early Mac and Ginger Gold apples for my crisp, and have enough that if this batch gets finished up quickly I might choose to make a 2nd crisp.

Apple Crisp

4 cups sliced apples

1 TBSP lemon juice

Place the apples in a greased, shallow pan. Sprinkle lemon juice on top.

For the crumb topping, mix:

1/2 C. flour,

1 1/2 C. oats,

3/4 C. brown sugar,

1/2 tsp. salt,

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon,

1/2 cup melted butter.

Sprinkle crumb mix over apples. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

  • I changed the salt from 3/4 tsp. to 1/2 tsp. I found it slightly salty in flavor, though maybe that’s just my pregnancy hormones. I also cooked it longer than 30 minutes. I cooked mine until the apples were fork tender, and it spent about 45 minutes in the oven, though I did check it regularly to make sure my crumb topping was not burning. It definitely needs to be eaten with either heavy cream or vanilla ice cream. It is yummy, but missing that creamy element in and of itself. 

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