Friday, November 21, 2008

Food for Friday - Thanksgiving Favorites

With great joy, Tom and I began hosting Thanksgiving for his family 10 years ago when Aunt Helen “retired.” She had prepared it for many, many years and she was truly a tough act to follow. Not only was her food always wonderful, she took such care to set a beautiful and elegant table. She graciously passed down to me her seasonal accessories and serving pieces, that I still use each year.

The first two recipes are "must-haves" at every Thanksgiving celebrated by our family. I suspect they date back to the 1950’s or 60’s, maybe before. Both were completely new to me when I became a part of the family back in 1984.

Corn Pudding
2 cans whole kernel corn, drained
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
2 Tblsp. melted butter
2 Tblsp. sugar
¾ can evaporated milk

Mix all ingredients with the exception of the corn. Once well blended, stir in the corn. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. (Serves 6)

Aunt Helen’s Cranberry Salad
1 pkg raw cranberries (washed, dried, and lightly frozen for easy grinding)
2 pkgs lemon gelatin
2 cups sugar
3 apples (unpeeled, but quartered and cored for easy grinding)
3 oranges (1 peeled, 2 unpeeled, quartered and cored for easy grinding)
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped

Mix gelatin with three cups of boiling water. Let cool completely before mixing with rest of the salad. Run cranberries, apples and oranges through food grinder or processer (you can chop the walnuts and celery separately or process them with the fruit). Combine chopped ingredients with sugar and finally, combine all with the gelatin. Once well blended, pour into an oiled mold and chill until firm (takes approximately 24 hours to become solid) (Serves 10)

This last recipe is one I added a few years ago. It was from my friend Judy…a phenomenal cook, and it became an instant hit. It’s a beautiful, colorful dish on the table and you don’t have to be a bean-lover to enjoy it…I promise! The best part? You can make this as a casserole or you can cook it all day in the crock pot (my method of choice since oven space is greatly limited on Thanksgiving!)

Harvest Beans (aka Five Bean Bacon Bake)
1 pkg bacon
2 large onions, thinly sliced
¾ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ cup vinegar
1-16 oz. can each: butter beans, green lima beans, dark red kidney beans, baked beans, green beans

Fry bacon until done, but not crisp, drain and set aside. Reserve 2 Tblspns bacon drippings in the skillet. Reduce heat and add onions, brown sugar, vinegar and garlic powder. Stir well. Cover and cook for 2 minutes or until onions are slightly soft.

Drain and combine all varieties of beans EXCEPT Baked Beans. Then, stir in undrained baked beans and onion mixture and ½ of the bacon (crumbled). If baking as a casserole, pour into 2 qt casserole (or crock pot) and top with remaining bacon (crumbled). Bake uncovered for 1 hour at 350 degrees, or cook on low 4-6 hours in crock pot. (Serves 8-10)

I’d love to hear if you try any of these for your family!

Have a wonderful weekend! I'm extra thankful (along with countless other college parents) because my boy is coming home! Can't wait!


Becky said...

Those recipes all sound delicious. Those beans sound like something I could make for dinner tonight along with some cornbread. Mmmmm. Thanks for sharing.

Glad your boy is gonna be home, too.

Debra said...


The bean salad looks like something my guys would enjoy!

I pray your time with your son is so blessed! Happy Friday to you!!

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

Oh man...oh man...oh man...what great recipes.

Enjoy your time with your sweet college boy...I have another 3 weeks till my Ash is home! :-)

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Great recipes. My step-dad's mom always makes a cranberry salad. It sounds very similar to this.

Have you every tried a corn pudding with cornbread in it? Oh man, it's delicious. I think it has one can of cream corn also. Of course, I love anything with sweet corn bread (Jiffy) in it.

Have a blessed time with your baby boy! :-)

e-Mom said...

That cranberry salad looks gorgeous and tasty. Thanks for sharing your favorite family recipes with us. :~D

Tricia said...

These look so yummy, thanks for sharing! I will definitely have to try these, I will let you know what I think!


MoziEsmé said...

Wow - thanks for sharing these heirlooms! We are still putting our thanksgiving menu together, but nothing has lasted generations or even decades with us...

Susan said...

OK, you've made me very hungry!!

Thanks for being so kind to share these awesome recipes with us Tracy.

I've tagged you! Come on by...

Sit A Spell said...

Hi, how fun to visit your blog! I'm a new blogger and love to see recipes included! Thanks.