Over years I have had groups of 10-12 over
to our house for Thanksgiving and served a
nice dinner with all the extras but didn't break
my budget. It takes planning and watching the
sales early instead of buying everything the
If one of your guests offers to bring
a dish then let them! They will feel good about
helping and you will be able to cross something off
your list. We have to learn that we can't do it all!
I have a set of antique china I picked up for $10.00
at a shop in town. It's wonderful for the holidays and
you can add many Victorian touches to your
table that are inexpensive. Use doilies, both paper
and cloth to accent. If you don't have a punch
bowl, borrow one! It's a fun touch and makes
everyone feel festive. Have fun and relax with
your Holiday meal. Your festive attitude will
be contagious and your guests will have a great
1 12-14 pound turkey
3 tablespoons each melted margarine and oil
3 tsp. instant chicken bouillon
1 tsp. dried thyme or 1 Tablespoon fresh
1/2 tsp. garlic powder or two crushed cloves
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 cups water
Rinse and stuff turkey if desired. Secure wings
and legs. Place on rack in roasting pan. Combine
margarine, oil, bouillon and spices. Whisk well. Brush
turkey with mixture. Cover top of turkey with foil,
removing halfway through cooking. Roast at 350
degrees for 1 1/2 hours, basting every 30 minutes.
Add water to pan, and roast 3 hours longer, still
basting. Turkey will be done when meat thermometer
inserted in thigh registers 180-185 degrees and
juices run clear. Transfer to platter, remove
stuffing to serving bowl. Turkey should
rest about 20 minutes before slicing. Makes about
Family Style Gravy
Drippings from pan
3 tablespoons cornstarch
If you wish, you can place giblets and neck from
your turkey into a pan with 3 cups water and simmer
for about 30 minutes to start your gravy. Remove
the giblets and neck from broth. Then add
the drippings from the turkey pan. Mix your cornstarch
with 1/4 cup water, and add to the saucepan whisking it in.
Bring to boil, stirring. Boil about 2 minutes until thickened.
Season with salt and pepper as desired. Optional: you can
place a bay leaf and chopped onion in with the giblets. You
will also have extra flavor from basting the turkey with your
herb mixture above.
5 pounds mashed potatoes
milk or cream
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
Peel your potatoes, cut into chunks and place
in large pan, cover with water. (two pans can be
used if necessary) Boil until tender when poked
with fork; 20-30 minutes. Drain potatoes. Add the
butter or margarine, season with salt, Add your
milk or cream, as you mix with electric mixer. Start
with a cup and add until it is the consistency you
desire. Options: You can also mix in sour cream
or cream cheese right before the milk, then mix. At
the end you can add fresh chives and mix in with
a wooden spoon.
Herbed Green Beans
3 cans French style green beans
2 garlic cloves, slivered thinly
2 tablespoons olive oil or margarine
fresh sage, 3-4 leaves (optional)
Other fresh herbs
Heat your green beans until heated through. Drain
well. In a large skillet heat oil or margarine. Add garlic
and sauté lightly about 2 minutes. At this point you can add
the beans and heat through while stirring, then season with
salt and pepper. If you have fresh herbs you can chop and
add them in for 30 seconds before you add the beans. Sage
works well, but so does basil, oregano or thyme. If you
don't grow your own herbs, look in the produce section where
they may sell bundles of many herbs.
4 cups crumbled cornbread
3 eggs, beaten
3 1/2 cups herb stuffing
3 cans chicken broth
1 onion, chopped fine
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tablespoon poultry seasoning
Your cornbread can be made ahead with
your favorite recipe or two small boxes of cornbread
mix. You may not need it all, but feel free to snack on it!
Combine all ingredients. Stuff turkey, or place in greased
casserole and bake at 350 degrees 1 hour or until golden
More Holiday Tips
*Visit your bread outlet (many brand name bakeries
have these) or a bakery for specials on rolls, bread, heat
and serve rolls or stuffing.
*Often you can get great deals on Turkeys at your
local grocery store with an extra $10.00 or $20.00 purchase.
Watch the ads!
*Look at thrift stores for wicker baskets. You can use hot,
soapy water and a stiff brush to clean. Then place paper
doilies in basket and use on the table for rolls, breads, silverware,
napkins, or you can even place bowls in the larger ones.
*Have extras on hand to place on the table while guests are
waiting for dinner. Homemade Quick breads, dips and crackers or
even nuts work well.
Brenda Hyde is a wife and Mom of three, a freelance writer,
and editor of http://OldFashionedHolidays.com.
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