I'll have 9 people to feed (and maybe more) this Thanksgiving. I serve a pretty traditional menu; we have no ethnic or regional specialties that go on the Thanksgiving buffet. I thought I'd share the menu with you.
* Turkey - of course! The thing with turkey is figuring out how big of a turkey to buy. I read in a long forgotten magazine that you want 1-1/2 pounds of turkey per person. Seems like a lot, until you figure that they turkey has a carcass and you won't get all of the meat off of that carcass. So we have been gifted with a 15 pound turkey from the in-laws. The only way to bake a turkey is in a roaster bag at 325 F, and you can refer to this handy USDA chart for cooking times:
4 to 8 pounds (breast) 1½ to 3¼ hours
8 to 12 pounds 2¾ to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3¾ hours
14 to 18 pounds 3¾ to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4½ hours
20 to 24 pounds 4½ to 5 hours
4 to 6 pounds (breast) Not usually applicable
6 to 8 pounds (breast) 2½ to 3½ hours
8 to 12 pounds 3 to 3½ hours
12 to 14 pounds 3½ to 4 hours
14 to 18 pounds 4 to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4¾ hours
20 to 24 pounds 4¾ to 5¼ hours
I've always made stuffing the same way. Here's how I do it.
1 bag of cornbread stuffing mix.
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
enough chicken broth (we'll address this later)
Sautee the carrots, celery, and onion until the carrots start to get soft. Take off of the heat, add the stuffing mix. In a seperate bowl, add some chicken broth and the eggs, whisk. Add to the stuffing mix. Add more chicken broth until the stuffing is moist. Put in a greased baking dish and cook at 325 (see how that works - you can cook it with the turkey!) for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the stuffing is done in the middle.
* Green Bean Casserole
I use Campbell's Classic Green Bean Casserole recipe. I think that's all I have to say about that.
* Sweet Potato Casserole
I have bought frozen sweet potato casserole from Honey Baked Ham and it's really, really good. But it's also not too difficult to make it on your own.
Kim's Sweet Potato Casserole recipe on Recipezaar.com is exactly like the recipe I've been using for years (except I don't use marshmellows. You can make up your own mind about this addition). It's the one thing that my mom requests.
* Glazed Carrots
Glazed Carrots are so easy to make. They are so yummy. Once you figure out how easy they are to make, you'll find yourself making them for everyday meals.
1 pound carrots
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
Peel and cut the carrots into bite-sized coins. Boil for 10 minutes or until just tender. Drain.
Melt butter in pan. Once melted, add brown sugar and stir until dissolved.
Add carrots and stir around to coat with glaze. Cook for an additional 10 minutes.
* Potato Rolls
Save yourself some time, and buy them from the grocery store. Heat them in the microwave right before dinner for 10 seconds. Your guests will never know (as long as you hide the bag!).
* Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
I'm not going to insult your intellegence here. I've been peeling and boiling and mashing potatoes for as long as I can remember. I think I'll do it this way, but I'm not sure. Of course, now there are many varieties of pre-made mashed potatoes that are just as great as home made. PLEASE don't used potato flakes! Oh, and I'm going to buy the gravy too.
I'm thinking of baking my own this year, but I could just buy them, too. The menu calls for Pecan, Pumpkin, and Apple pie, lots of Redi-Whip, and Vanilla ice cream.
So are you loosening your belt just reading this? I hope you are.