Thanksgiving Feast a la Renee’

  • Break Out Your Family Holiday Platters …. It’s TURKEY TIME!

platter2    platter3Whether you have an antique turkey platter or a heavy duty plastic goblet, holidays are special times of gathering with family and friends.  You may use special decor, table setting, and recipes.  Or, maybe you want to start your own.  Our family Thanksgiving starts with the turkey.  I have included how I prepare along with many of the sides my family like to have.  There are so many it is hard for one person to prepare. So that is where all the fun comes in with family and friends bringing their own sides, desserts and even other meats.  Enjoy Thanksgiving.  We can all take time to be thankful.


TURKEY:  Most Turkeys come with instructions these days.  I love a good Butterball.

  • One 10-12 lb.* Turkey
  • 3 Tbsp.  butter (yes I use butter on my butterball – you can not have enough)
  • 1/2 chopped onion (use other 1/2 with more onion for dressing)
  • 1 Sliced apple
  • Celery Salt
  • 1 tsp Poultry Seasoning
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (163 degrees Celsius) 
2) Pull the giblets (neck, gizzard, liver, heart)  out of the neck and tail cavities (some producers put them in both places); put giblets in a pot of water and cook on stove top for 1/2 hour medium heat)
3)Rinse bird off and pat dry with paper tower (do not take off skin)
4) Take  2 Tbsp. butter and rub all over skin and inside bird leave remaining patty inside bird
5) Sprinkle celery salt over bird as well as some inside.
6) Place chopped onions and sliced apple inside bird.
7) Place breast-side up in a roasting pan.  Cover with foil ‘tent’ and bake for two hours *  (you will add an extra 15 minutes for every pound over 10-12 pounds for larger turkeys.) a foil tent is simply foil attached firmly to sides of pan and folded down to allow ‘breathing room’.  “Tents” are great for when you do not have a lid.foil ten
8) When done, take off foil and brush with remaining 1Tbsp of butter.  (remove some turkey stock at this point to use for dressing)
9) Turn oven up to 425 degrees F ( 218 Celsius)
10) Bake for another hour or until meat thermometer in thigh is 165 F or 73.9 Celsius.  (or, as in Butterballs, pre-inserted one pops up)
11) Remove from oven and let rest while you finish meal.
CORNBREAD DRESSING:  (Patties to serve along side your turkey with giblet gravy).  You will make these made while turkey is in oven and put them in when turkey is done while it ‘rests’
Cornbread: If you need to make some, place two cups of Self Rising Cornmeal** (I like Martha White brand) in a large bowl, make whole in middle by pushing cornmeal up against side.   Fill “hole”  with buttermilk ***.  Break in an egg, an add a Tbsp. oil – mix well, pour in pan and bake in oven at 425  (218 Celsius) degrees for 20-25 minutes {Make the day before}.  ** If you use regular cornmeal, add salt and baking powder per instructions on bag.  *** a buttermilk substitute can be made by adding 2 tsp of white vinegar to milk  and stirring well. Let stand for five minutes.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 stalks celery chopped; cleaned and stripped (use a peeler to remove rib fibers)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Poultry Seasoning
  • Turkey Stock
Directions: Break cornbread in bowl with eggs.  Add onion, celery, pecans and Poultry Seasoning.  Take turkey stock you set aside from turkey earlier.  Slowly add until you have mixture at consistency of ‘molding’ in the spoon and holding shape.  Form 1/2 ‘egg’ shaped patties onto a greased cookie sheet.  Cook at 425 degrees (218 Celsius) for 20-25 minutes.  WATCH at around 18 minutes.  Ovens vary.  You want a light golden look to top without burning bottom.
  •  1 boiled egg chopped
  • Giblets (cooked earlier in a pot and cubed – use gizzard and liver and neck meat pulled from bone – give the heart to dog or cat :-D)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup Turkey Stock (if your turkey does not make enough stock, you can use a can of chicken soup or purchased turkey stock)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • pinch salt



6 medium or 4 large potatoes (med is woman’s hand, large is man’s hand)
(Rub olive oil over sweet potatoes – you can also spray with PAM Olive Oil
place on parchment or waxed paper on a baking sheet.  400 degrees – 1 hr (30 mins then turn and 30 mins more).  You can do these the night before.  Cool and “jackets” will fall off easily. Trim off ends.  The casserole can be made ahead.  Keep covered in fridge ready to bake.
  • 3 cups mashed (or creamed depending on consistency you want) sweet potatoes  NOTE: if you use canned to save time, just drain
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs (well beaten)
  • 1/4 Cup melted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, orange juice, salt, vanilla, eggs and butter in a mixing bowl in the order listed. Mix thoroughly.  Pour mixture into buttered (or PAM sprayed) baking dish.  Make sure it is a deep dish as you do not want this to boil over. (Pictured is an 8×8 x3 dish).
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (pecans preferred)
  • 1/2 butter (melted)

Combine brown sugar, flour, nuts and butter in mixing bowl.  Cover the surface of the sweet potato mixture evenly with the crust mixture. You are ready for the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to set at least 30 minutes before serving.

SQUASH:  (double recipe for larger crowds)

Six summer squash, peeled and sliced

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 6-10 Ritz crackers (add 2-3 at a time for desired consistency)
  • 1 medium pot


  • Place squash, onions, water and salt in pan
  • Bring to boil and cup back, cook until squash is tender (use fork to push against side of pot, it should mash easily) Keep eye on to make sure does not scorch
  • Add butter and beaten egg
  • Add Ritz crackers
  • Mash with potato masher or fork
  • Keep warm until ready to serve


  • 1-3 lb. green beans (l lb serves 3-4), strung and snapped (Or, most groceries have them in freezer section if they are not available fresh.  Look for ones that just have one item: beans. They are flash frozen just like we did way back when c.)rops were only available locally during harvest.  We canned or we flash froze
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion (optional)
  • 1 strip bacon (optional), or 1/2c ham cubes or 1/2 cup  slivered almonds (optional)

Preparation:  Place all ingredients in 3-4 quart pot and bring to boil. Reduce to stove top Medium heat and cook 20 minutes to the pound or desired tenderness

FOR Casserole:
If you do not have French cut beans, then before cooking beans, Julianne slice beans (long ways) before cutting them in sections.
Cook as above, add one can cream of mushroom soup (do not add the can of water), stir and top with French’s Onion Rings Topping.  If you do not have the pre-made.  You can fry up some onion rings in a pan. 
  • Slice an onion, separate rings (removing thin skin between layers).
  • Dip in a mixture of  1 part flour, 1 part milk/buttermilk, and 1 egg.
  • Drop in oil, turn when they ‘float’ so they are golden brown on both sides.
  • Drain on paper towel. When drained and cooled, crumble or chop.

Place on top of bean mixture.  Bake at 325 degrees (163 Celsius) for 30 minutes.

Yield One (1) Gallon                                                                                                              
  • 5 regular tea bags (I make one of them Mango/Green Tea, Cranberry Apple, or Orange Spice)
  • Fill tea kettle full of water and bring to boil.  Set aside and place tea bags in the water.
  • To bring out flavor and color, add a pinch of baking soda.
  • Let sit for as long as you can (no less than 30 mins).
  • Pour in gallon container, add 1-1/2 cups sugar and extra cold water to make one gallon. Stir well.
Lime Jello Salad
  • 2 Family size Jello box mixes
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple (drained)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • dash salt (that means – 0.13 teaspoons – VERY little)
  • maraschino cherries halved (optional)
  • MIX Jello per box instructions.
  • In a blender cream in cream cheese.
  • Hand blend in celery, pineapple, pecans and salt.
  • Prepare mold by wiping a little mayonnaise in it so it will release easily.
  • Pour in mold and refrigerate until it sets.
  • Turn out on plate lined with iceberg lettuce.
  • 2 pkg Cherry jello
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 cup pineapple juice (from drained can of pineapple)
  • 2 cup ground cranberries (or whole berry  cranberry sauce)
  • 1 orange (peeled, separated and cut in to 2-3 pieces each slice)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 teas. salt
  • 1 cup nuts chopped
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple (drained)
  • Add hot water to jello, dissolve well.
  • Add pineapple juice.
  • Let sit in fridge to ‘set’
  • Mix the cranberries and orange in another bowl.
  • Add the sugar.
  • When sugar is ‘melted’ in mixture, add celery, pineapple and nuts.
  • Remove jello from fridge
  • Fold in fruit mixture.
  • Wipe mold with mayonnaise to make it easier to turn out.
  • Fill mold and place in fridge for at least two (2) hours.
  • Turn out on an iceberg lettuce lined plate.
Desserts:  Cakes, pies, fruit. (See deserts under my DinnerTime Menu Tab)
~ RBG b7-copyright-pic