Some recipes for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving is once again upon us. It is a time of parades, giving thanks and most importantly food. I love Thanksgiving dinner. It gives me an excuse to pig out and not feel guilty about it. One of the cool things about Thanksgiving dinner is that it is different in each household. Each family has their own recipes, cooking styles and menus. Some families have recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. Others try something new every year. I am going to share with you some of my family’s recipes that make for a tasty menu.

First of all, we need to start off with the staple of all Thanksgiving dinners: the turkey.  I recommend using a basic turkey. Butterball is my brand of choice. Add some salt, pepper and butter and roast it in the oven. Some people like to deep fry their turkeys. I’ve had deep fried turkey before and it’s good and all but roasted is so much better.  It’s healthier and there is a lower risk of burning your house down.

The next part is the mashed potatoes. When I say mashed potatoes, I mean actual potatoes, not the store bought, concentrated garbage. My family boils them, adds some salt, butter and milk and mashes them by hand until they’re soft and fluffy. It makes for a delicious and satisfying dish.

Now it’s time to bring in the veggies. For the green bean casserole, my family uses green beans, French fried onions and cream of celery soup. Then there’s the cole slaw. My family uses a homemade dressing made from mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, pepper and celery salt. The variety of ingredients makes for a tasty serving of nutritious vegetables.  

Then there’s the dressing, and yes my family calls it dressing because it’s only called stuffing if it’s stuffed in the turkey. It consists of a combination of corn bread, sautéd onions, pepper and sage to add a little taste. I recommend using vegetable broth if you want it nice and moist. My family’s dressing is both filling and delicious.

Now it’s time for my favorite part: pie. My family served two types of pie on Thanksgiving: pumpkin and pecan. We usually buy the pecan pie at the store but the pumpkin pie is always homemade with my mom’s secret recipe. We always add a dollop of whip cream to help add flavor. Are you watching your weight? No problem. My mom has a special recipe where she fills custard cups with the pie filling and does not include the pie crust. Removing the pie crust really takes off some calories.

Wondering what to drink? I recommend a fine glass of wine. My type of choice is pinot grigio. It’s a nice white wine that has a sweet flavor. It goes great with a nice piece of roast turkey. The brands I drink are Barefoot and Yellow Tail.   

These are the recipes that my family has been using for years and will continue to use. I plan on using these recipes when I have a family of my own. I encourage you to give these recipes a try.

Michael Willson

(Photo: Val Miller|Marlin Chronicle)