A few recipes for a traditional Thanksgiving feast

By Nancy Edwards Published:

Editor’s Note: Nancy Edwards died a few months ago following a long bout with cancer after having retired as Franklin County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Science a number of years earlier. In those intervening years, she lived an active and productive life until the final few weeks. At her passing, I promised to reprise once more her “traditional Thanksgiving dinner” and here it is just as it has been published before. If you use any part of it, please take a moment to remember Nancy and her many contributions to this community. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving can bring back memories of the feast at grandmother’s table with the family gathered around a huge turkey and all the trimmings. Favorite recipes are prepared as families gather around to be thankful for what they have and for each other.

Thanksgiving dinner is sometimes larger than the three regular size meals. Some of my favorite recipes are included in this menu.

Timetable for roasting turkey

Roasting the turkey begins early in the week; particularly if the bird must be thawed.

(In 325-degree oven)

Ready-to-cook weight of turkey and approximate roasting time if unstuffed – 6 to 18 lbs., 3 hours to 3 1/2 hours; 8 to 12 lbs., 3 1/2 hours to 4 hours; 12 to 16 lbs., 4 hours to 5 hours; 16 to 20 lbs., 5 hours to 6 1/2 hours; 20 to 24 lbs., 6 1/2 hours to 7 hours.


1 cup parsley

1 cup onion (chopped)

1 quart chopped celery

1 teaspoon celery seed

2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 quarts chopped bread crumbs

1 package Pepperidge Farm Herb Dressing Mix

1 stick margarine, melted

1 1/2 cups hot water

1 cup turkey drippings or broth

Pre-cook parsley, celery and onion in 1/2 cup water in a saucepan. Add remaining ingredients including bread crumbs and stuffing mix. Pour margarine, turkey broth and 1 cup hot water over crumb mixture and stir until well moist. Bake in butter casserole 9x13 at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

Giblet Gravy

1/4 cup turkey fat drippings

1/4 cup flour

2 cups liquid (meat juices, giblet stock, milk or water)

Chopped, cooked giblets

1 hard cooked egg, diced

Salt and pepper to taste

Measure the drippings. Leave crusty bits in pan; pour out fat, meat juices. When fat comes to the top, skim off 1/4 cup and return to pan. Add flour to fat and blend well with a wire whip or spatula. Brown the flour until light tan. Cook gravy until frothy, stirring constantly. Add the lukewarm liquid all at once stirring constantly including the crusty bits in the bottom of the pan. Cook till thick; simmer about 5 minutes.

Giblets and egg may be omitted. Yield: 2 cups of gravy.

Sweet Potato Souffle

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes

1 cup white sugar

3 eggs

1/2 stick of butter

1/2 cup milk

1 tablespoon vanilla

Combine all ingredients. Pour into large baking dish and top with the following.

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup self-rising flour

1/2 stick butter

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix and blend by hand all ingredients. Spread on top of sweet potato mixture. Bake at 350 degrees until topping is light brown.

Corn Pudding

1 (15 oz.) can corn (1 cream style, 1 whole drained or 2 cups frozen corn)

2 eggs

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 1/4 cups evaporated milk

Mix flour, sugar and salt and combine with beaten eggs. Combine all ingredients and pour in 2-quart greased casserole. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes; stir thoroughly. Increase temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes longer or until done in the middle.

Broccoli Casserole

2 boxes chopped broccoli

1 tube Ritz crackers

1 1/2 sticks butter

1/2 lb. American cheese

Cook broccoli and drain. Crush crackers and stir in 1 stick of melted butter. Melt cheese and combine with 1/2 stick melted butter. Put broccoli in baking dish, then cheese, then crackers. Baking temperature: 350 degrees. Baking time: 30 minutes. Serves 8.

Scalloped Oysters

4 oz. butter (1 stick)

4 cups soda cracker crumbs

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon Tabasco

2 pints shucked oysters

1 cup light cream

Melt butter in saucepan, remove from heat. Stir in cracker crumbs, parsley, salt and paprika. Drain and set aside juice from oysters. Sprinkle one third of crumb mixture into 9-inch pie pan, layer half oysters on top, then half of remaining crumbs and rest of oysters. Combine oyster juice, cream and Tabasco in 2-cup measure, pour over top of oyster mix and sprinkle with remaining crumbs. Bake in 350-degree oven 35 minutes till top is golden. Serve hot. Serves 8.

Pumpkin Pie

1 tablespoon butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 15 oz. can pumpkin

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups milk

2 eggs, beaten

1 deep dish unbaked pie crust

Mix sugar and butter well. Add pumpkin and mix well. Add spices and salt then milk and fold in eggs. Pour into unbaked deep dish pie crust and sprinkle top with nutmeg. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Pecan Pie

1 9-inch unbaked pie crust

3 eggs

2/3 cup sugar

Dash salt

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup dark corn syrup

1/4 cup melted butter

1 1/4 cups chopped pecans

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the eggs until light and fluffy. Stir in the sugar and salt. Add the corn syrups, butter and chopped pecans. Mix well. Pour into pie crust. Bake 1 hour, 15 minutes.

Cranberry Orange Relish

1 orange, quartered and seeded

2 cups cranberries

1 cup sugar

1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin

1 cup bottled cranberry juice cocktail

Put orange and cranberries through food chopper. Add sugar and mix well. Sprinkle with gelatin in 1/2 cup of the cranberry juice to soften. Place over low heat and stir until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1/2 cup cranberry juice and orange-cranberry mixture. Turn into individual molds and chill till firm. Unmold on lettuce leaf. Serves 9.

Fruit Salad and Cooked Dressing

1 can chunk pineapple (16 oz.)

3 bananas

3 apples

1 cup seedless grapes

1 jar maraschino cherries

Drain pineapple and save juice. Add pineapple, sliced bananas, cherries and diced apples. Mix and serve very cold with the following dressing in a salad bowl or on crisp lettuce leaves. Garnish top with nut meats and/or maraschino cherries.


1 cup pineapple juice

1/2 cup sugar mixed with 3 tablespoons flour

2 eggs, beaten

1 tablespoon butter

Cook in double broiler until thick. Cool and add 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Add to chopped fruit and serve.

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