Saturday, November 19, 2011

Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

French Cranberry Sauce 


It’s been a wild and crazy week. Between dashing to appointments with a very talented decorator at Pottery Barn (a fabulous experience by the way) and pulling the condo together for the season, I don’t feel like we’ve even stopped to catch our breath. What a shame too because the weather in south Florida in November is absolutely delightful. Not too cold, not too hot, and the traffic isn’t enough to make you want to pull your hair out just yet.

Last night I had a little panic attack when I realized next Thursday is Thanksgiving. As usual Meakin’s advice is right on. “Don’t worry,” he said, “just rely on our old standards, which is what most people prefer for Thanksgiving anyway.”


And so it is. We’ll have a traditional oven roasted turkey, a French cranberry sauce simmered in red wine that I’ve made for thirty years, a version of my mother’s Southern cornbread dressing, and baby English peas with butter and rosemary. Dessert will be Bahamian sweet potato pie spiked with a healthy dash of dark rum for an island twist. Simple enough and easy to pull off. Besides, our favorite Thanksgiving food is really a turkey sandwich shared between the two of us before we turn off the lights in the kitchen and go to bed Thursday evening.

On Friday I’ll make one of our favorite fall soups – pumpkin squash, which is what I did last year. It can be made ahead and slowly reheated after a Friday morning shopping spree if you’re so inclined to visit the malls. You most definitely won’t find us there. My first career was in retail management and just thinking about shopping on the day after Thanksgiving gives me a major headache. But for others, it’s exciting to snap up bargains and get your Christmas shopping out of the way early, so I say more power to you. The economy will definitely thank you.

Pumpkin Squash Soup

The details and the recipes can be found by clicking the various links. I’ll be sharing our Thanksgiving favorites with Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum and On the Menu Monday at Stone Gable.

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Are you, like us, serving old favorites or are you spreading your wings and trying some new recipes?  Will you be staying home and doing the cooking or are you going to visit family or friends? Whatever you do and wherever you go,  we wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving.

55 comments:

  1. Every recipe spells Thanksgiving! Wishing you a Happy one.
    Rita

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  2. I mostly replay old favorites -- including my grandmother's cranberry-pecan-pineapple-celery gelatin salad. But I may have to try your red wine cranberry sauce. Sounds yummy.

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  3. That looks SO FRESH and delicious! Thanks, Sam. Wishing you and family a blessed holiday season.

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  4. Well it does sound delicious, especially the cranberry sauce. I may have to give that a try. Cornbread dressing is also a favorite.
    I will be taking it easy this year, eating out, and having guests for dessert only.

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  5. Really, no one wants to try new things at Thanksgiving. It is all about tried and true favorites!

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  6. Thanksgiving is memories . . . and you yearn for those dishes you grew up with!

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  7. It's been a long while since I've been the host of a big Thanksgiving dinner, and I miss it. My "assignment" is a veggie side when we go to my sister-in-law's now and I have a lot of freedom to experiment. (And I do.) But everything else better not be different! Have a great holiday feasting.
    P.S. I've always wanted my house to look like it was in a Pottery Barn catalog!)

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  8. Happy Thanksgiving Sam..All the recipes sound and look delish..
    I love Pottery Barn..our dear Fifi just had a book signing there in Sarasota~

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  9. Glad you made it to Florida okay and your meal sounds very good. We'll be on the road so not sure what we'll do for Thanksgiving.

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  10. Lovely post, Sam. I smiled broadly as I visualized your favorite part of the Thanksgiving dinner.

    P.S. I do like all the booze in your traditional recipes. :)

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  11. I do the cooking for the big Thanksgiving dinner in these parts. Always the traditional stuff. I think I will check out your cranberry dish for a little change up. Have a good one Sam!

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  12. We will do our favorite standbys here. Roasted turkey with bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, peas, candied sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie...

    When your condo is all finished will you show pictures, pretty please?
    Hugs,
    Penny

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  13. What beautiful photos Sam. I agree with Meakin, I hardly ever do anything but my standard meal. It's all such tradition, why mess it changing it up.

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  14. They are on my list too Sam! Love them, and beautiful photos as always!

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  15. I'm not allowed to deviate too much from the same things I've been making year... after year... after year. However, that cranberry sauce will be coming to my table. How fun to be in decorating mode! Would love to see the results.

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  16. Even if here in Italy we don't have any Thanksgiving I wish you and your family and firends a wonderful T'Day!!! Hugs, Flavia

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  17. Sam I love your pumpkin soup look amazing and delicious, and love cranberries, gloria

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  18. Mmmhhh, comforting food for Thanksgiving! Both specialities look delicious.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  19. Love all your recipes- will definitely use them next week!

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  20. I love both recipes...the pumpkin soup looks extremely comforting.

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  21. Sam, I agree, traditional is best. I am particularly attracted to the cranberry recipe. I alway make fresh sauce but just with sugar and water. I think I'll try your version with the wine, orange zest and cinnamon.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. XXOO

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  22. Both recipes look delicious! My family loves the old, traditional recipes for Thanksgiving too.

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  23. I made almost the same soup this weekend, Sam. It is so delcious!

    My family also prefers the traditional recipes for Thanksgiving.I will be a guest at my nephew's house this Thanksgiving. It is the first time in many years I am not cooking the meal for my extended family. I am looking forward to it, but will miss all the leftovers. :)

    Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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  24. There's something wonderful about the annual ritual of Thanksgiving, and the recipes that really feed our memories. I am usually the cranberry sauce chef, too, and it has been that way for many years. I'll be bringing pies to my brother's house. He is having 7 guests, so I thought three pies would be a good round number for the group! Happy Thanksgiving, Sam!

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  25. The photos are stunning! Just perfect! The food is great too! :) I will have Thanksgiving with my aunt and uncle and since it's a small group I can bring different things (for a side dish) but it has to be pumpkin pie that I bring. Christmas is another story. We usually spend it with our friends from South Africa, so we can do what we want and make our own blended traditions. Otherwise before when I would have family at my house for Christmas I woulf try something different each year...leg of lamb, standing rib roast, chicken breast with a fancy sauce, beef tenderloin fillets, grilled half of salmon, each year they never knew what they were getting. The rib roast had to be the easiest.

    It was so nice meeting you, you both are great!!

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  26. My mom is doing all the cooking this year for our family get together in Franklin. It feels weird not stressing out about preparations.

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  27. De délicieuses saveurs et parfums
    Je te souhaite une belle soirée
    Valérie.

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  28. Your photos are really incredible - Happy Thanksgiving!!....

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  29. Now that sounds like a wonderful Thanksgiving meal-not overly complicated, just plain delicious.

    This time of year in Florida is delightful. I live in North Florida and we experience a change of seasons. Fall and Spring are amazing in this part of the state,

    Heading north for Thanksgiving. I will hit the mall on Black Friday but only at a reasonable hour (laugh).

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

    Velva
    P.S. If I lived closer I would have joined you guys for lunch.

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  30. Your sweet potato pie sounds amazing! Yep, it's all about the same menu every year for us, my sons would panic if I tried to slip something "odd" in there! Happy Thanksgiving Week:@)

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  31. the cranberries and the soup look divine. I can see why they are some of your favorites. Just beautiful- both of them and perfect for the holidays!

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  32. I love the soup. Happy to see you blogging again.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Mely

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  33. I shall not be at the mall this weekend either! Rather, I'll be home enjoying good memories and leftovers! I'm off to check on your pumpkin squash soup as it looks the perfect treat for a chilly day.

    Sending wishes for a happy Thanksgiving surrounded by those you love.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  34. I guess it must be blogger hickups as this is my third attempt to post a comment... hopefully it will not abort.

    Sam, we hope you and Meakin have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving. Diana

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  35. Dear Sam, I think that is perfect advice. Your menu looks outstanding. I am sure that you will not disappoint and will prepare a beautiful dinner. The time has flown by and I felt the same way. Have a beautiful and blessed Thanksgiving Holiday. Catherine xo

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  36. I have printed out your cranberry sauce recipe to try. It sounds quite intriguing. We're having a smaller family dinner this year, though I somehow doubt there will be less food. :) The Pottery Barn decorating service sounds fabulous, too. I'll have to keep that in mind when we move next year and I get stuck redoing my living room.

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  37. It all looks so good Sam. We will be going to friend's home and I will be bringing a butternut squash casserole. We were going to go it alone, but they would not hear of it. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I will be thinking of you eating your turkey sandwiches before bedtime. I agree with the other Penny. Would love to see pictures of your condo.

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  38. Aww, you just made me hungry and I was saving it until Thursday.. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours..

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  39. Happy Thanksgiving. It sounds like you will be having a wonderful one. We go to friends to share the day with their whole family. All of our family will be calling us from Florida to let us know how wonderful the weather is.

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  40. You really do sound very busy. Although we do not celebrate thanksgiving here I am sure yours will be a great meal and I wish you all the very best. Diane

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  41. that french cranberry sauce looks delish!
    love reading your blog :)
    -mini baker

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  42. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Sam!

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  43. Hi Sam! It looks like you're ready for the big day. We're having T-giving dinner on Friday, as it's not a holiday in Belgium, and our friends have to work. You can't believe how hard it is to find a Turkey here in November!

    On another note, I have your chocolate and will get it in the post in the next day or so. Hugs from over here!

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  44. WOW, both look delicious! Since I'm really into cranberries, I think I might try that one soon!

    xoxo,
    Kayleigh

    Check out the delicious muffins I made at www.o-kayleigh.blogspot.com

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  45. These are excellent festive dishes!! Yummie looking too! :)

    Have a Great & happy hanks Giving with your family & husband!

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  46. It's hard to say which is more beautiful: your soup or the cranberries. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  47. You're getting Belgium chocolate from Kate???!!! Lucky-Dog!!! *wink*

    I just gave Susan the link to this recipe & now that I've come back to comment, I see she found it long before I did. It looks absolutely divine!
    Thanks for both the recipe & the tips that you shared about its preparation.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you & your family,
    fondly,
    Rett

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  48. These are terrific dishes! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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  49. I made this for Thanksgiving - to great accolades! Thank-you.

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  50. I know you're having a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend if these two delicious dishes are gracing your table! So happy to have found your lovely blog this year, Sam...and to have made a new foodie friend.

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  51. Sam, you are amazing, just got to Fla and you are cooking a Thanksgiving dinner? We were invited out but I have a turkey in my freezer waiting for me. Wish I were with you in Fla though, it's getting too cold here.

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  52. I'm so excited I found your delightfully delicious blog! I adore Karen over at Backroad Journal where I saw your blog title. Having lived on the East coast for a while I just had to feed my curiosity and take a peek. I'm hooked. Love your blog and I'm now a huge fan. Happy Cooking!

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  53. I made your red wine cranberry sauce (less cinnamon -- no stick, just a tiny pinch) and loved it. It tasted so much like cherries that I' tempted to use it in a pie or tart.

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  54. Hi Sam, I did a little of both. The old favorites were our potato stuffing and mashed potatoes. I spread my wings with recipes from Williams Somoma. We had a brussle sprout, bacon and thyme dish, cubed butternut squash with brown butter and sage, creamed onions. Oh, how could I forget my cranberry relish! My family brought all the pies! It was a wonderful dinner for 11 and dessert for 20!

    Happy Belated Thanksgiving to you!

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I enjoy reading each and every comment. I appreciate your taking the time to visit my blog and I hope you'll return again soon.
Sam