Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Thanksgiving: Favorite Recipes From My Childhood

I'm still taking my trip down memory lane.  I think everyone has an Aunt Sal, who wasn't your blood relative but the aunt of a friend.  Some of life's fondest memories come from those experiences.  I grew up in a family that only had one other living relative and their family which gave me exactly 3 cousins.  So I adopted my next door neighbor's family and all of their many aunts, uncles and cousins.  That family knew the meaning of family and visited often.  I don't remember my friend going to visit that often but I remember the various parties and holidays spent with the Aunt Sal's and Uncle Dave from next door.

My friend and I moved into our homes when she was 2 years old and I was almost 1.  We grew up together and shared more than just toys and fun times.  She passed away two years ago but I still make Aunt Sal's Apple Cake.

I diverse from my reason for today's article.

Square of Aunt Sal's Apple Cake

My favorite fall recipe or maybe just one of my favorites, because thinking back there are many, is Aunt Sal's Apple Cake with Caramel Drizzle Icing.  This cake was different because it was made with chunks of apples instead other means of making the cake moist.   Moist was an understatement for this cake because it oozed of sweetness and goo.  It was full of apple and walnut goodness along with that syrupy caramel drizzle.  Being a sugar freak when I was younger I gobbled up this cake like there was no tomorrow but one piece at a time.  That was more than enough with all that sweet, sweet and more sweet.

Sage dressing made on the side in a pan. 
Another of my Favorites for Thanksgiving was my Mother's Sage Stuffing.  She would save heels of bread in a brown paper bag and my brother and I would break them up into pieces for my Mom to cook over the stove the night before Thanksgiving.  she mixed it in a skillet lined with Crisco and added chopped onions, green pepper and celery.  She would keep on making it until there was enough to stuff the turkey the next day. The stuffing was stored in the roaster until my Dad would stuff the turkey in the morning.

When there was leftover after the turkey was stuffed, we made stuffing balls.  This idea came from a neighbor who never stuffed her turkey but made the stuffing balls on the side.  Since it is no longer suggested to roast your turkey with the stuffing inside it, I now make more of these in a casserole with just enough turkey stock poured over to keep the stuffing moist.

The dessert for Thanksgiving was always made by my grandfather, who made the best pumpkin pies on earth.  He would also make a mincemeat pie but I wasn't fond of that pie.

You need to know that I judge a pie by it's crust rather than the filling so I'm very particular about my pies.  My grandfather taught me that you needed to be sure to have it right the first time you rolled it out because rolling it more than once made the crust tough.

Turkey Dinner with Cranberry Jelly, Stuffing and Ambrosia 
Whatever you serve as sides on Thanksgiving with the turkey, you need to have at least the stuffing and pumpkin pie to make my Thanksgiving perfect.  I love mashed potatoes, corn and cranberry sauce with my turkey, but these three recipes are my all time favorites.

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