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Happy Thanks & Giving = Thanksgiving

Now that the Thanksgiving season is upon us, it is simple to understand why and how we are to celebrate. I separated the word “Thanksgiving” into two different words “THANKS” and “GIVING” with each word having a lot of meaning.

The first word, “thanks,” is a very important word which we all should use very frequently. I personally use this word in my vocabulary often when someone gives or does something nice for me and even for a compliment or a praise. This lets the person know that you are appreciative and it is a word to let them know so.

The second word, “giving,” is very important as well, however this is an action procedure to give and share special things with family and friends. I specialize mostly in giving various foods I make to various family members and also many friends that I think will enjoy it. This is a way of using and sharing my talents and what I enjoy doing, plus hopefully making people happy. I also make it a point to give foods to various organizations, schools, churches and people in need. There are numerous places that one can donate foods and or gifts that will be well appreciated.

This coming Thursday is Thanksgiving Day, so don’t forget to put these two words into use frequently. It is a very special holiday with family and friends getting together, for not only thanks and fellowship, but also for the start of the Christmas season that follows.

After the dinner, then many are stuffed with various foods and flopped down on a couch or chair to watch the football games on television.

Both these words combined makes a perfect word “Thanksgiving.”

Then the next day is the traditional “Black Friday” that is so exciting for many people, running to different stores to find the sales and special bargains. Many shop all night and stand in line to be sure to get the right toy or item. This is a tradition for many and plus they save money with the good buys, enjoy the event and the kick off of the Christmas shopping season.

Be sure to visit the Blennerhassett Hotel to view all the annual Easter Seals Christmas trees on display. The trees will be on display from today until Dec. 4 when they will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to help the children and adults of the area that have disabilities.

This year, I decorated 6 different Christmas trees that took me almost two weeks to turn out. Now I will use both the words “thanks” and “giving” to thank all my sponsors: Jan Dils, attorney at law, and Chuck Hughes, United Bank, Mary Anne Ketelsen and WVU Medicine-Camden Clark for their yearly support.

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Sweet Potato Pudding

1 16-ounce can syrup packed sweet potatoes

1/2 stick melted margarine

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon salt

Mash potatoes with half of liquid in can. Beat in remaining ingredients. Put in 9×9 pan or pie plate.

Topping:

1 1/2-2 cups corn flakes or Chex

3/4 stick margarine

1/2 cup brown sugar

Toss cereal in melted mixture. Spread over potatoes. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

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Thanksgiving Rice

12 green onions, sliced

2 green peppers, chopped

2 cups long grain rice

3 tablespoons oil

4 bouillon cubes

3/4 cup minced parsley

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Saute onions, peppers and rice in oil. Stir until rice is golden. Add bouillon cubes and four cups of water. Bring to boil. Stir in cheese and parsley. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

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Cranberry Cream Cheese Mold

1 1/2 cups boiling water

1 8-serving package cranberry flavored gelatin

1 1/2 cups cold water

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 medium apple, chopped

1 cup whole cranberry sauce

1 package cream cheese, softened in microwave

Pour boiling water into gelatin until it is completely dissolved. Stir in cold water and cinnamon. Pour 2 cups of the gelatin mixture into a medium bowl. Refrigerate about 1 1/2 hours or until thickened (until spoon drawn through leaves a definite impression.) Reserve remaining 1 cup gelatin at room temperature. Stir apple and cranberry sauce into thickened gelatin. Spoon into 6-cup mold. Refrigerate until set, but not firm. (Should stick to finger when touched and should mound.) Stir reserved 1 cup gelatin gradually into cream cheese with wire whisk until smooth. Pour over gelatin layer in mold. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Unmold.

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Cranberry-Pineapple Salad

2 3-ounce boxes strawberry gelatin

2 cups boiling water

1 16-ounce can whole cranberry sauce

1 can crushed pineapple, syrup included

1/2 cup chopped nuts

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water and refrigerate until the mixture begins to thicken. Then add cranberries, pineapple and nuts. Use low setting on mixer to stir 30 seconds. Pour into mold and chill until firm.

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Fruit Salad

oranges, green grapes, red grapes and kiwi

Yogurt Dressing:

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Use any seasonal fruit and put in fluted half orange.

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Turkey Strata

cooked turkey, cut in 1/2-inch cubes

1 medium onion

2 stalks thinly sliced celery

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

2 tablespoons margarine

1 cup sour cream

1 can mushroom soup

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup chicken or turkey broth

1 8-ounce bag dry stuffing mix

Saute onion, celery and mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter. Combine turkey and sauteed vegetables. Combine soup and sour cream and blend into turkey. Spread turkey mixture over the bottom a greased 13×9 pan. Combine 1/2 cup butter, broth and stuffing mix. Spread over turkey. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover with foil. Bake 45 minutes at 350.

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Calypso Pork Tenderloin

3 tablespoons butter

2 pounds pork tenderloin, fat removed

1/2 cup currant jelly

1/2 cup dry vermouth

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons cream or water

In large skillet, melt butter. Saute pork until lightly browned on all sides, about 5-6 minutes. Place in a 6×10 baking pan. Season with salt and pepper. In small saucepan, combine jelly, vermouth and mustard. Cook over medium heat until smooth, stirring constantly. Pour over pork. Bake in preheated 325 oven 60-70 minutes, basting every 15 minutes. Cut into 1 1/2-inch slices. Arrange on warm serving platter. Combine cornstarch with cream or water. Stir into pan juices. Heat and stir until thickened. Drizzle sauce over meat slices.

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Cornish Hens with Rice Stuffing

2 1-pound cornish game hens

salt to taste

pepper as desired

2 tablespoons slivered almonds

2 tablespoons finely chopped onions

1/3 cup uncooked long grain rice

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup water

1 chicken bouillon cube

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 3-ounce can mushroom stems and pieces

melted butter

Wash birds. Season inside and out with salt and pepper. In a small saucepan, cook almonds, onions, rice and butter together for 5 minutes, until almonds are toasted and onions become limp and translucent. Stir frequently. Add water, bouillon cube, lemon juice and salt. Bring mixture to boiling, stirring to dissolve bouillon cube. Reduce heat and cook on medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is fluffy. Stir in drained and chopped mushrooms. Lightly stuff Cornish hens with rice mixture. Place, breast side up, on rack in a shallow baking pan. Brush with melted butter and roasted in a preheated 400 oven for 30 minutes, covered. Uncover baking pan and continue to roast for about 1 hour or until drumsticks can be twisted easily in sockets. Brush birds with melted butter during the last half hour of roasting.

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Kiki Angelos is a food columnist for The Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

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