The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving Goodies

Karen Freeman

TARBORO — It’s that time of year again. The mornings are chilly, the afternoons are balmy and it’s time to think of all of the things that we should be thankful for. If I started a list, it would take me all day to list all of the blessings in my life. But, food would definitely be pretty high on the list.  I love the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays in part because of the wonderful food.

But, we also tend to be in a rut at Thanksgiving. We prepare the same things, year after year. We this year, I challenge you to change it up just a bit. Pick one of the recipes from the article this week and one from next week and add it to you menu. As you know, most of the recipes that I share with you are easy to make.

The first is a cranberry fruit salad mold. This is one that you can let the kids do for you. You can also make it a day ahead and put it in the fridge.

The second cranberry dish is a slaw. It uses dried cranberries and is very colorful with red cabbage and red onion. You can make this one 5-6 hours before you need it and allow it to chill.

The third dish in the cranberry group is a relish. You can make this one up to a week in advance. So, make it at least 2-3 days ahead and save yourself some time.

The next recipe is potatoes. You have to have potatoes on Thanksgiving. But, these are crunchy instead of mashed. I think you will enjoy the difference.

The last recipe is lemony green beans. I love these things! The lemon freshens the taste and makes them smell heavenly. I have a love affair with lime so I sometimes substitute lime for the lemon.

Whatever you make for Thanksgiving, enjoy the cooking and the time with your family.

Cranberry Fruit Salad Mold

6 Oz Package Raspberry Gelatin

2 Cups Boiling Water

16 Oz. Can Jellied Cranberry Sauce

8 Oz. Can Crushed Pineapple

3/4 C Orange Juice

1 T Lemon Or Lime Juice

1/2 C Chopped Pecans or Walnuts

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Break up and stir in cranberry sauce, undrained pineapple, orange juice, lemon juice, and nuts. Pour into a large mold. Chill until firm. Tip mold over on plate to unmold.

Cranberry Slaw

1/2 Head Red Cabbage, shredded

1/2 Red Onion, thinly sliced

3 Green Onions, white and green parts, sliced

6 T Olive Oil

2 T Red Wine Vinegar

2 T Sugar

1 Tsp. Salt

1/2 Tsp. Black Pepper

1/2 Tsp. Cumin

1/4 Tsp. Ground Mustard Powder

6 Oz. Sweetened Dried Cranberries

Mix together cabbage and red and green onions in large mixing bowl. Whisk oil, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, pepper and cumin together in a small bowl. Pour over cabbage mixture; add sweetened dried cranberries, mix thoroughly. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour. May be made up to 6 hours in advance.

Cranberry Relish

24 Oz. Fresh Cranberries (6 Cups)

1 Cup Full-Bodied Red Wine or Cranberry Juice

1-1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar

1 Cinnamon Stick

1 Tbsp. Finely Grated Orange Zest

Wash cranberries; drain. Remove any spoiled berries. In a wide nonreactive skillet combine wine, sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt, and cinnamon stick. Bring to simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar; cook one minute. Add the cranberries; cook, stirring constantly, until they begin to pop, 3 to 5 minutes. Add orange zest; cook a few seconds longer. Remove from heat. Cool. Remove cinnamon stick. For thicker relish, smash berries slightly with back of spoon. Makes 16-20 (1/4-cup) servings.

Note: Relish can be made up to 1 week in advance. Store, covered, in refrigerator.

Crunchy Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

6-8 Large Yukon Gold Potatoes, cut into large chunks

4 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary

Kosher Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees f.

Put the potatoes onto a baking sheet. Roughly tear the rosemary and scatter it over the potatoes; season them with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Toss the potatoes well to mix all the flavors and put them in the oven. Remove them after 30 minutes and toss them again. Continue to roast them until they are browned and cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes more. Serve immediately.

Lemony Green Beans


1-1/2 Lb. Green Beans, trimmed, or three 9-oz. pkg. frozen whole green beans

3 Tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

3 Large l" Shallots, cut into thin wedges

6 Cloves Garlic, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp. Finely Shredded Lemon Peel

1/2 Tsp. Salt

1/8 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

 Lemon Wedges

In a 12-inch skillet cook beans in lightly salted boiling water for 2 to 5 minutes or until barely crisp-tender. Drain; rinse beans with cold water. Set aside.

In same skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until softened and beginning to brown. Add green beans. Toss for 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon peel, salt, and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges. Makes 8 servings.

Make-Ahead Tip: Two hours ahead, cook beans as directed in Step 1; cover and refrigerate beans. Thirty minutes ahead, finish recipe as directed in Step 2.

Did You Know?

Thanksgiving Timeline

One week before:

Go through your fridge and clean out/use up items to make room for Thanksgiving foods.

Shop for all the non-perishable items on your list.

Do an equipment check: you'll need a roasting pan, plenty of pots, pans, baking dishes, dinner and dessert plates, glassware and flatware to accommodate your crowd. Purchase or borrow anything you're missing.

Four days before:

If you've purchased a frozen turkey, begin thawing it now. For each 5 pounds of weight, the turkey will need 24 hours in the refrigerator to thaw. Place the frozen turkey in a rimmed tray (to catch any liquid) in your refrigerator. NEVER defrost a turkey at room temperature.

Three days before:

Iron tablecloths, inventory serving platters (placing a sticky note on each platter with the name of the dish to be served on it will help you to stay organized on the big day)

Two days before:

Clean the house.

Thaw any quick breads or cakes in the fridge.

One day before:

Complete pies.

Assemble side dishes; refrigerate, covered until ready to bake tomorrow. Add a few minutes to the bake time for chilled ingredients.

Shop for any salad greens or fresh items.

Set the table; try a centerpiece of mini pumpkins, gourds and nuts cascading down the center of the table. Place candles in glass votives throughout the arrangement for a warm, Thanksgiving glow.

The big day:

Let turkey sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours before roasting it according to the directions included with the bird. Take out the giblets and neck and rinse it in cool water. Pat it dry.

Complete side dishes and reheat gently before the meal.

Just before dinner:

Heat bread or rolls once the turkey is out of the oven and resting before being carved.

Feel thankful that the day has turned out wonderfully and you're able to enjoy a relaxed meal with family.