There is something very special about Thanksgiving – probably because families and friends get together for a satisfying big meal, enjoyable company and in all that, tradition is being gradually built to create life long memories.
But it does take a lot to plan that satisfying big meal – whether you decide to stick to what is traditional or get adventurous in your kitchen and create a new, gourmet style feast.
If this year is the first year you are hosting your first Thanksgiving dinner, I have put together the very basic, traditional menu, complete with easy to make recipes.
- Turkey with Basic Bread Stuffing
- Turkey Gravy
- Mashed Potatoes
- Glazed Carrots
- Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie
This menu is pretty much guaranteed to satisfy all your dinner guests – and there is something special about sticking to tradition.
Basic Bread Stuffing
Enough for an 8 to 10-pound turkey.
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/3 cup butter
- 4 cups bread cubes
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- turkey or chicken brot
- Sauté onion and celery in the butter until softened.
- Combine onion mixture with bread, pepper, eggs, salt, sage and poultry seasoning in large mixing bowl.
- Stir in broth until well moistened.
- Stuff the inside of your turkey and close off the opening
- Or, bake in a greased covered shallow casserole at 325° for about 35 to 45 minutes.
- Take the cover off the last 5 minutes to brown.
Basic Turkey Gravy
- Pan drippings
- Pour the turkey or chicken pan drippings into a 2 cup measuring cup and skim the fat off.
- Put about 1/4 cup of the fat into a saucepan and stir in 1/4 cup of flour (all purpose).
- Add enough water to the drippings (throw the rest of the fat away) to make 2 cups of liquid.
- Pour the 2 cups of liquid into the flour/fat mixture.
- Cook, stirring, until thickened and bubbling.
- Cook for about 1 minute, stirring.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
This recipe makes about 2 cups of gravy.
- 3 pounds potatoes
- water to cover
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup milk
- 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- Peel potatoes and cut into large pieces.
- Cover and cook in boiling salted water for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are tender.
- Drain potatoes.
- Put potatoes through a ricer or mash in a large mixing bowl until no lumps remain.
- Add milk in small amounts, beating after each addition, until desired consistency is reached.
- Add butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper, beating until mashed potatoes are light and fluffy.
- 16 ounces baby carrots
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup water
- dash salt
- pepper, to taste
- In a medium saucepan, combine the baby carrots with remaining ingredients.
- Stir to blend ingredients. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium and continue boiling (uncovered) for about 20 to 25 minutes,or until carrots are tender and the liquid has evaporated.
Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie
- 1 -1/4 cups pumpkin puree, canned or fresh
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup evaporated milk, undiluted
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 unbaked pastry shell (9-inch)
- Combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, spices, and flour in a medium mixing bowl.
- Add eggs; mix well.
- Add evaporated milk, water, and vanilla; mix well.
- Pour into pastry-lined pie pan.
- Bake at 400° for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350° and bake about 35 minutes longer,or until center is set.
If you are interested in putting together a more advanced gourmet Thanksgiving feast, you will find complete menu and recipes here: Gourmet Thanksgiving Dinner Menu and Recipes
I hope you’ve enjoyed these recipes and that they helped you make a good old fashioned Thanksgiving dinner. Please send in your comments, suggestions and experiences, your input is always welcome and very much appreciated!