Thanksgiving is a gracious and wonderful time of year, where families and friends come together to enjoy delicious food and loving company. In the spirit of mouth-watering meals and full bellies, our team is dishing about their favorite part of the delectable Thanksgiving spread.
My family has passed down the secret recipe for a traditional Italian meat stuffing that is a Thanksgiving meal staple. My preparation starts early morning, browning pork, ground beef, sage and onion to perfection, mixing in Italian bread pieces to give it some hold. Usually, I’ve perfected the art of making this dish while actively watching the day’s traditional football contests. The aroma of slow cooked meat permeates the house. It’s a glorious scene. We don’t count calories on this day and neither should you. This dish adds a belt adjustment or two but it is so delizioso!
So each Thanksgiving I cook the turkey. Turkey is my favorite food on Thanksgiving and without the turkey the side dishes don’t taste as delicious. Each year, I may tweak the seasonings on the bird a bit, but the bottom line is … the turkey has to be tender and juicy to please the turkey lovers in my family— and there are many! A few years back, I did my usual prep and cooking of the Turkey. As I started carving, I noticed there wasn’t any turkey breast meat…what happened! How could a 20-pound bird be so lean? As I relayed the news to my wife (who doesn’t eat turkey, prefers seafood), she proclaimed…”Honey, you cooked it upside down!” And sure enough I did.
So with foot in mouth, I turned over the turkey and you would not believe it. The turkey was the tastiest, the juiciest and the most delicious turkey we ever had! Silly mistakes sometimes turn out great, and here’s to a new twist to my favorite food on Thanksgiving— upside down turkey!
My favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal is definitely the stuffing – as long as it’s homemade and not out of a box. I like it soft, with just a little crunch on top and a hint of spice. Overall, I like turkey, sweet potatoes, cranberries and all the other trimmings, but once a year is plenty for me. I know people who eat that meal in July … no thank you! Time spent with family and friends and a little football are what make the day special to me.
Amanda Powers Harris
Believe it or not, cranberry sauce is my favorite Thanksgiving dish! I will cover the rest of my meal in both canned and homemade (I never discriminate against cranberry) and for me it just makes it that much more festive! It also helps that it’s also the only side dish you really can’t mess up, so it’s the only dish I’m allowed to handle for Thanksgiving dinner!
Sweet potato is not my favorite vegetable, and Thanksgiving is about the only time I would find it on my plate. Five years ago a guest made a baked sweet potato and pear dish that was absolutely delicious. It has layers of thinly sliced sweet potato and Bartlett pears, dipped in melted butter with a touch of brown sugar and cinnamon. It’s baked in a shallow dish to sweet and tender perfection. It is now a traditional Thanksgiving favorite.
If you think you don’t like yams, please think again. In the name of Thanksgiving gluttony, my meal cannot be complete without candied yams. Candied yams topped with marshmallows. Soothing. Comforting. Pulls together for a perfect bite with turkey and ooey-gooey semi roasted marshmallows.
My all-time favorite Thanksgiving dish is pumpkin pie! I love the sweet creamy filling with those delicious spices, it’s practically impossible to go wrong. However, my pumpkin pie absolutely must be served with homemade whip cream! Nothing beats whipping together that delicious heavy cream with sugar and a dash of lemon juice!
A crown roast is definitely at the top of the list in terms of holiday meals. It’s a rack of lamb shanks or ribs wrapped in a circle to look like a crown with the ends trussed with twine and slow roasted. The center portion is stuffed with your stuffing of choice. I like to coat it with my personal garlic herb butter mix to maximize flavor. The appearance and smell of it gives an instant mouth-watering effect. My second favorite would be a turducken under a bacon weaved blanket.