Thursday, November 17, 2011

Special Recipes for a Special Holiday

It's that time of year again.

Thanksgiving. The time of year when we gather with our families, give thanks, love each other, and stuff our faces full of whatever food we can get our hands on.

I love this holiday. It's the one time of year I can eat any amount of food and not one person will judge me for it. I have a tremendous appetite, especially when there is enough food being served to feed a village of Hobbits.

For those of you who have as big of an appetite as I do, you know what it's like. We deserve to have a day of deliciousness every year. In a world where we sometimes feel frowned upon for occasional self-gratification and gluttony, Thanksgiving wipes the whole slate clean and gives us one whole day to eat! To me, that is amazing.

You know what else is amazing? Thanksgiving recipes, and that is exactly what Carla Emery has written in a portion of her book The Encyclopedia of Country Living. Sure -- turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy are all great, but perhaps you have been pondering some alternative Thanksgiving ideas this autumn season. Well, Carla has provided recipes from her unique Thanksgivings in 1972 and '73, years she claims were her "banner years for home growing and good cooking." Yes, her recipes are a bit unorthodox by American standards, but they are every bit as delicious. Here are her menus from these special years:

Thanksgiving 1972

Gander (the turkey that bit our son Danny twice) stuffed with sage dressing; sliced tomatoes (last of the fresh ones - picked green just before frost and stored to ripen gradually)

Cooked pumpkin mashed with butter

Boiled green beans with onion and bacon

Boiled potatoes with giblet gravy

Sweet crock pickles

Bread and cheese;

Brandied peaches (buried in September and dug up for Thanksgiving)

Root beer.

Thanksgiving 1973

Roast goose stuffed with sauerkraut

Giblet gravy

Mashed potatoes

Baked acorn squash halves (a dab of butter and honey cooked in the heart)

Boiled Swiss chard

Brandied peaches

Mincemeat pie.

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