Thanksgiving menu relies on lots of tradition

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

This weekend started the discussion of our family plans for Thanksgiving. No matter what we think we will do, somehow we always wind up coming back to the good family standbys that everyone has grown accustomed to. Each family has its own traditions, and I find those very interesting. As I was pulling out many recipe cards from my file, I thought you might enjoy a few of them too.

Nothing is better on a cold afternoon than a hot cup of flavored tea. Anyone can enjoy a hot beverage whether watching football or visiting around the kitchen table. Here are a few of my favorites for Thanksgiving.

Raspberry Hot Tea

10 Celestial Seasoning Raspberry Zinger tea bags

8 cups water

1 Dole Country raspberry frozen juice concentrate, made per package directions

1 cup orange juice

1 cup sugar

Combine tea bags, water, raspberry concentrate made per directions, and orange juice into large percolator. When finished, stir in sugar, adding or deleting per your personal taste. Serve hot.

Hot Apple Punch

2 quarts apple juice

2 quarts pineapple juice

1 quart orange juice

1 cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

Sugar to taste

Combine all ingredients together in a large pan. Heat through and simmer until spices have flavored the juice to your likeness. Serve hot.

Cranberry Orange Tea

10 Celestial Seasoning Mandarin Orange tea bags

8 cups water

4 cups cranberry juice

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup lemon juice

Combine all ingredients together. Allow tea bags to steep in hot liquid, then remove. Heat through but do not boil. Serve hot.

Besides the traditional turkey and dressing, everyone in our family has a favorite recipe, and Mom tries to make as many of those as possible. David likes a certain crab dip, Barb has to have mincemeat pie, Dad and I like oyster dressing and Wes needs lots of mashed potatoes.

Here are a few recipes I hope you can add to your upcoming Thanksgiving dinner menu.

Cranberry Salad

1 large can crushed pineapple

1 (3-ounce) packet of cherry gelatin

1 cup ginger ale

1 container Ocean Spray cranberry orange ground relish (or make your own)

1 cup chopped red apple

1 package Dream Whip

2 (3-ounce) packages cream cheese


Drain the juice from the pineapple into pan and boil. Dissolve gelatin in hot juice. Slowly pour in ginger ale. Add pineapple, relish and apple. Turn into desired serving bowl; allow to chill. Whip Dream Whip as directed on package. Add softened cream cheese and beat. Spread over chilled mixture. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13 inch baking pan.

1 pound macaroni, cooked al dente, drain; rinse well

3 tablespoons flour

3 cups milk

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

3/4 teaspoon dry mustard

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3 cups shredded extra sharp cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

6 drops Tabasco sauce

1 cup fresh bread crumbs

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon butter, melted

Whisk together 1/2 cup milk with the flour and place in a saucepan, then add the rest of the milk. Add the onion, garlic, dry mustard, salt and pepper to the milk mixture. Cook over medium heat. Stir constantly until thick and bubbly. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in Cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and Tabasco. Stir until well combined and cheese is melted. Combine macaroni and cheese sauce in large baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Combine the breadcrumbs, paprika and butter. Sprinkle over top of macaroni and bake an additional 10 to 15 longer or until bubbly and top is browned.

Carrots and Apples

2 cans carrots (or sweet potatoes)

1 can apple pie filling

1 tablespoon butter

Brown sugar

Drain carrots and gently mix with pie filling. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Slice 1 tablespoon of butter on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Cranberry Apple Harvest Pie

3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar

5 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch salt

2 pounds tart green apples, cut into 1/4-inch wedges

1 3/4 cups cranberries

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 9-inch pie shell

For the topping:

1/2 cup butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons evaporated milk

1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix first four ingredients together. Add apples and cranberries, then juice and toss. Transfer to pie shell, mounding in the center. Bake 1 1/2 hours. Cover with foil and 15 minutes more. Cool. For the topping, melt butter with milk and sugar over low heat. Increase heat and simmer, stirring constantly. Mix in vanilla then pecans. Pour into bowl, let stand until slightly thickened and just cool. Stir occasionally about 10 minutes. Spoon over pie, covering completely. Let stand until topping sets, about 30 minutes. Can be prepared about six hours ahead of time.

Cranberry Orange Cake

3 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup mayonnaise

1 can whole berry cranberry sauce

1/3 cup orange juice

1 grated orange peel

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon orange extract

1 cup chopped pecans

Mix all ingredients together except nuts until all ingredients are well combined. Fold in nuts. Turn into a well-greased and floured tube pan. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees or until tests done. Glaze with an orange juice and powdered sugar glaze.

We still have a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving and if your family has a favorite recipe you traditionally serve, send it in so everyone can enjoy it as well.

Have a wonderful week, and until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at or by mail at P.O. Box 699; Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by the Southeast Missourian staff.

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