Best way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. Do this.

You have more than likely had all the turkey sandwiches you want by this time in the Thanksgiving weekend. (If not, go ‘head on. I am not the boss of you.)

Here, then are some ideas of what you can do with said turkey, and some of the other Thanksgiving leftovers, as well.

I’ll start out with non-turkey, since that’s the photo above. Anyone who’s read this blog very long knows of my love for the latke, and his first cousin, the potato pancake. My Mama used to make stewed potatoes, in a white sauce, regularly; I loved them, because I knew the next day or so would bring potato cakes. These are one of the highest and best uses of leftover mashed potatoes.

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Thanksgiving: The recipes

November 16, 2017

It occurred to me, after looking back at the annual pre-Thanksgiving post, that it would be a worthwhile endeavor if I were to post for you the canonical Thanksgiving dish recipes. Because, well, if you want to follow the canon, you need the instructions, yes?

I may, in fact, have posted these recipes previously (in the case of the cranberry salad and the rolls, I KNOW I have), but hey, repetition is not necessarily a bad thing, and besides, here they all are in one spot.

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The Turkey Day countdown

November 15, 2017

It’s mid-November, which means….

It’s time to start thinking about Thanksgiving!

Anyone who knows me well knows that Thanksgiving is my very favoritest holiday of the year. I think because it’s such a paean to excess (and ain’t NOBODY loves excess the way I love excess) and good food (and not very many people love good food the way I love good food) and family (and I know lots of people love their families very much, but y’all, mine are just special, that’s all). Besides, it was my mama’s favorite holiday, and that apple did not fall far from the tree.

Well, it did, but over the years, it’s rolled back toward it. I think. I hope.

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Fifty years plus worth of Thanksgivings and Christmases...that I can remember.

Fifty years plus worth of Thanksgivings and Christmases…that I can remember.

The cooking has begun.

Reposing in my refrigerator as we speak are three, count them, three dishes of cranberry salad.  One will go to church with me tomorrow for the Thanksgiving potluck. One is stashed for next week’s dinner. And what wouldn’t fit in either one is in the fridge for me and Child A to eat between now and then, because she and I? Will eat that stuff like it’s ice cream.

Also made a sweet potato casserole; not the family T’giving one, but the church T’giving one, because I didn’t have as many sweet potatoes as I thought I did. No matter. That’s relatively simple to make, and I’ll get to it next Wednesday or so.

As my annual holiday gift to you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em, in case you didn’t record it last year, here’s my cranberry salad recipe. Gen-you-wine Atchison family heirloom, it is, and well over half a century old.

  • 1 12-oz bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 red apple (I like to use Fuji)
  • 1 green apple (I like Granny Smith)
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 orange
  • 1 small box cranberry or raspberry jello
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water

Chop cranberries in food processor. Core, but don’t peel, apples, and chop those. Zest orange, then peel and puree orange flesh. Combine all the fruit and nuts in a bowl. Make a simple syrup of water and sugar; when sugar is completely dissolved and water is nearly boiling, remove from heat and whisk in jello. Pour syrup over fruit and stir to mix well.

This doesn’t make a congealed salad, but rather, forms a sort of syrupy “dressing”  for the fruit.

Make this. It’s more important to my holiday table than anything else.

I have in my head a general schedule for cooking this week, which should involve me not half losing my mind on Friday. Having a late dinner will help.

Monday, himself the turkey will be delivered around 3 p.m. He’s 23 pounds. He will reside in the fridge overnight, and go into a two-day brine on Tuesday afternoon/evening. Also Monday, if I can get in touch with my knife-sharpening fellow, I’ll take my knives to have them sharpened. They’re due. And I’ll make cornbread for dressing; having forgotten to order dressing, I’m imploring a good friend for her recipe for crock-pot dressing that she says everyone swears by.

Tuesday, I’ll bake my coconut cake and get it in the fridge to start the “getting-right” process.  Will also most likely make the cheesecake. I think it’s going to be a peanut butter cheesecake with a chocolate topping. Because that sounds good. Because Child B is gluten-intolerant, the crust will be made from granola.

Wednesday, I’ll probably make the sweet potato casserole, to the point of getting it ready to go in the oven. Will stuff and wrap some dates for baking Thursday.

Thursday, since Child A and I won’t be doing a big T’giving dinner, I think I’ll make us a big T’giving brunch. With waffles. Because we love some waffles. I’ll get the bird out of the brine and let him dry overnight in the fridge. May mix up the dressing. Will thaw and slice the gravlax, make a relish tray (I have some pickle-eating children!).

Friday morning, I’ll get the bird on to roast moderately early.  I’ll put the dressing in the IP to cook. Will have brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes to make midafternoon, and rolls to make, though I could make them Thursday and par-bake them.

If all goes as planned, I should be relatively non-exhausted when we sit down to eat Thanksgiving dinner. There’ll be eight, possibly 10, adults and three munchkins, who’ll be dining on beach towels in the floor because that’s how they roll. My table has two leaves and I have plenty of chairs (though they don’t all match). You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em come on.


Excess. Pure, unadulterated, all-American excess, right here.

Excess. Pure, unadulterated, all-American excess, right here.

Except for the fact this was not a particularly good dressing year. Other’n that, it was all quite fine.

And I cooked the best turkey I have ever cooked In My Life. Tender, juicy, tasty — I was just blown away. And it’s a good thing, as I think I put away about 8 pounds of meat off that carcass last night.

We will have turkey for a while, yes, we will.

This turkey, y’all. You will recall I picked him up at the farm on Wednesday, and his little sticker detailed that he had been processed on Tuesday. Which would tell me he was strutting around his tractor cage early in the week this week.

I was a bit taken aback at how big he was — I really did not NEED a 16-pound turkey — and how much he cost. And at five bucks a pound, that’s the priciest turkey I ever bought.

It was worth it.

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On schedule, so far

November 24, 2015

Cornbread, getting stale for the dressing.

Cornbread, getting stale for the dressing.

Things are progressing along nicely in the pre-Thanksgiving kitchen at Chez Brockwell, as we cook untold amounts of food — much more food, in point of fact, than we will eat — for Thursday’s family dinner.

The cheesecakes and the cranberry salad are made and in the fridge. Could I possibly have overdone the cranberry salad? Is a gallon too much?


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This basket

November 22, 2015

History, heritage and a basket full of love.

History, heritage and a basket full of love.

I got up Sunday and hustled into the kitchen, needing to put together a couple of dishes in a hurry for Thanksgiving pot-luck at church. Sweet potatoes boiling for casserole and butter cake in the oven, I headed out to the storage room to grab my picnic basket.

And I stopped and thought about how many meals over a half-century that basket has carried to church pot lucks, to family reunions, to picnics at the lake, to dinners and cookouts at friends houses.

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