Saturday, November 26, 2016

Chaotic Cookery! - From Someone Else's Table: I am thankful....

It begins....with family, fun, laughter, and food!

Stuffing a pre-roasted pumpkin with bread and cheese...recipe to follow!

Yes, there are always flashlights!!!! 

Turkey breast...roasted on a bed of celery, onion, lemon slices and thyme...with sage leaves tucked under the skin, a little olive oil massage, salt and pepper!!  No more complicated than that.  Roast at 350 for 20 minutes per pound!
And then there was.....Roast DUCK!!!  Clean, prick skin (without pricking flesh) and boil for 10 minutes.

Then, drain and pat dry. (You should let it cool...but we ain't got time for that!!!)  Stuff with one whole garlic bulb (de-papered and halved), celery, and orange pieces.  Smear with mixture of salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.  Roast at 350:  breast side up for 45 minutes, remove from oven...
...drain fat and turn breast side down, return to oven and bake 30 minutes, remove, drain any fats, turn breast side up again, and cook another 30 minutes or so...until leg/thigh has temp of 175.  Rest 10-15 minutes.

It takes team work!!!

Ta dah!!!!

Green bean casserole.  Baked sweet potatoes plain.  And some dolled up by Roo with marshmallows, butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg!  See below for the best dressing recipe....E'VAH!!!

Canned "cranberry sauce" for some people (always in special bowl from Frankie!!!).  And Ruthie/Rosie/Jamie cranberry relish:  One bag fresh cranberries, 4 'cuties' (3 peeled, one not - probably one orange whole), 1 apple with peel - but cored, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon salt....all grated together!

Greens!!!  Very large bag of kale and another of turnip greens.  Saute one onion in olive oil, add about a cup of chopped ham - brown a little.  Add one cup chicken broth, the greens, and water to cover.  Salt and pepper. Cook an hour or so.  Easy to do the day before.

Roast Pumpkin with cheese "fondue"!  B found this recipe some years ago via NPR and  We have made several iterations of it.  I think this year's was best.  A smallish pie pumpkin, seeds removed.  Rubbed nicely with olive oil.  Roasted empty at 350 for 30 min to one hour....until pumpkin is tender, but at no risk of falling apart or caving in. (Time will vary depending on size of pumpkin. Can be done ahead.) After roasting...layer toasted bread (slices or bite size pieces) alternating with grated Gruyere cheese within the pumpkin until filled.  Pour cream with a bit of grated nutmeg over bread and cheese, until full.  Roast another 30 min or so at 350.  Serve by scooping out servings of bread and cheese with the pumpkin flesh out the top...or as we did with our small pumpkin, just cut in half and serve wedges to everyone!!

Duckie goodness!

Pumpkin fondue!!!
 Vallie Leslie's Dressing

     As written from my cookbook years ago:  I was 'adopted' by a wonderful lady who looked after me as a young nurse living alone in the big city of Chattanooga when I was barely 19 years old.  She took great care of me and made me feel at home.  Not the least of her gifts was this recipe for dressing.  Thanks Ms. Leslie.  You'll never know how much you meant to me.

1 medium onion, chopped           2 stalks celery, chopped      Saute both in 1 stick of butter seasoned with 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, 1 tsp sage, and 1 tsp thyme until tender.  Add about 2 cups chicken broth.  Pour this mixture over crumbled cornbread.  Place in baking dish and bake about 30 minutes at 350.  Serve with the gravy and meat dish of your choice.


     You can bake this in a glass baking dish (especially if using in dressing) but, it is even better in a cast iron skillet with a little oil heated hot and sizzling before you add the batter!

1 c flour      1 c cornmeal       2 T sugar       3/4 tsp salt        2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda       2 beaten eggs        1 c buttermilk        1/4 c vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 425.  Put cast iron skillet with enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom in to heat if that is what you are using.  Sift dry ingredients together.  Mix wet ingredients together.  Stir wet and dry together without over mixing.  Pour into heated skillet or baking dish coated with non-stick spray.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Substitution tip:  Don't have buttermilk?  No worries.  Use 1/2 quantity of sour cream or yogurt and 1/2 milk to make up the portion needed.  Or - add 1 tablespoon vinegar to enough milk to make one cup and let sit for 10 minutes...then use as needed.

Yes....I am thankful.  I am thankful to be able to share such an abundance of delicious food with my dear ones.  Thankful to have seen another beautiful crop of fall leaves.  Thankful for chaotic adventures with B.  Thankful to be done with PAL's for another 2 years!!  HA!  Thankful that my kiddo's are busy working, playing and living their own lives on their own terms.  Thankful that Jeannie, Allyson, Stevie, Susan, Jonathan, Francoise, Kerri, Eric, Joshie, Ed, Mat, Paul, Gary, Sue, Lucy, and so many others are part of my chaotic world.  I am thankfully looking forward to more chaotic food and fun with those I love.  But, most of all, I am thankful to each and every one of you who take time to laugh and play with me.  Much love and appreciation to you all! - c


  1. That looks scrumptious! And it looks like y’all had a lovely time together ~ which means more than anything!