What\'s For DinnerPart 74

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Coming from http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1432242/?page=6#post_10267363

With Thanksgiving only days away, and other holidays to follow, it seems like a good time to fill a new space with everyday meal talk, holiday food plans and the such and such this thread is noted for. Jump in if you will. The photo is of Prudence the Thanksgiving moose, a gift from a friend years ago. She (the moose, not the friend) is among the flowers on our table every Thanksgiving.

We have out of town houseguests, family and friends coming. I'll probably be short of time but wanted to start off the thread by sending my thanks to all of you for the lively chatter. Thanks for sharing pieces of your interesting and far flung lives. You are an entertaining group!

In the Thanksgiving department...well, the menu is coming together without much fuss. I've got a small-for-us turkey at fourteen pounds. Two baguettes were cut up and toasted for a scratch dressing. Leftover cornbread from the Family Promise dinner is destined for a southwestern-style dressing with creamed corn, chipotles, grilled onions and peppers. Cranberries are made with fresh orange juice and lots of zest plus dried and powdered garden mint. I've cooked the squash and onions for the special request squash casserole and have Brussels sprouts for roasted sprouts. Recently canned, roasted chicken stock will provide the base for porcini mushroom gravy. Dessert options are chocho cookies (baked and in freezer), a fresh apple galette and pumpkin pie from my garden Longpie pumpkins. The pumpkin is a New England heirloom and descended from seed sent by a DG Mainer in 2007. I've grown it every year since. There will be homemade whipped cream for topping pies. Wine with dinner. Port and brandy for dessert. I do the cooking and clean up except dry dishes and silver which must be washed by hand. That's what's up here. What are your Thanksgiving plans?

This message was edited Nov 22, 2016 2:53 PM

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Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

The Thanksgiving meal...........hmmmmm................it's not a big thing for me. I cannot stand dressing (soggy bread......yuck! LOL)...........don't like sweet potatoes OR pumpkin pie. Turkey breast is fine............mashed potatoes and gravy.........well, PLEASE let them both be lump-free!!!!!!!!!!! :>) One year I made lasagna. Bwahahahaha..............

Well, so far for the church bake sale.............3 plates with 12 pieces each of divinity, 3 plates of cranberry bars, and 3 dozen dinner rolls in various "amounts". I like to bag up some with 4 or 6 for the people that may be alone, or the older people that come to the bake sale. Also 12 caramel pecan rolls that I will wrap individually. The dough for the 2 loaves of whole wheat bread (that I ground the wheat) is on its first rise.

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

I have a 6 lb. turkey breast, which will do for five people, fresh cranberries for sauce with a big navel orange for zesting and juice, big Idaho potatoes for garlic mashed potatoes, the beans and such for the ubiquitous green bean casserole, carrots from the garden, sweet potato casserole with brown sugar and pecans on top, hot buttered rolls, and I'll do pastry for a pumpkin pie, but I picked up a variety of apples for a pie. One will get whipped cream, and one with some sharp cheddar because my DSM always said, apple pie without the cheese is like a kiss without the squeeze. It always comes together without much fuss, and DH does the dishwasher duties.

We'll probably play some silly games, if we can tear the guys away from football. I have Exploding Kittens, and DIL has provided the board game Dexter, which might be inappropriately gruesome. I've done it so often, it goes smoothly and it all comes out hot and on time. One year my oven died and we went and picked up Chinese food.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

19 lb turkey.
Mashed potatoes, basic gravy
UGBC (ubiquitous...)
Canned jellied cranberry sauce
Bread dressing
Pumpkin pie

May not have a lot of prep help but will have cleanup help. I keep my notes every year on quantities and who was here and prep.

I will make mulligatawny tomorrow, since I'll be cutting onion and celery anyway. This will be my first time ever making OR eating it

This message was edited Nov 22, 2016 8:04 PM

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I've never made that either. Looks good.

Didn't make much headway on the menu today but the silver is blinding! Haha. The misfortune of being the oldest daughter married to the oldest son is that I inherited several generations of silver from both sides. My girlfriends send theirs out twice a year for polishing. I'm too frugal. Once I start with the pieces for the table I do the whole set of whatever pattern will be used. Then, throughout the holidays I use different sets 'til it's all polished. Love the memories attached, especially that SO's grandmothers gave me their pieces while still alive, but what a pain to keep up!

somewhere, PA

Checking in. I am not cooking for TG. Mom's making my brother and I roast beef and potatoes tomorrow then I'll take dad out for a traditional dinner Thurs


waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

I just have silver plate that I'm sure originated from General Mills products when they used to give you coupons with points towards buying it. That's how my DSM got hers, but I did inherit Blue Willow dishes from her mother who brought it from Ireland. I also got my paternal GM's dishes that have"Johnson Bros. Royal semi-porcelain" on the underside, that she must have purchased in the early 1900s. They have gold around the edges of the plates and on the handles of serving pieces. I never use it. I vacuum seal the silverware, and though I didn't use it last year,there's no tarnish.

I'm doing cranberry sauce today, plus baking the sweet potatoes, and making pastry for the pies, which won't suffer from an overnight in the refrigerator. I'll assemble the GBC except for the onions, and probably do up the dressing as well. I prefer not to be on my feet all day before a meal.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

My niece is having dinner catered, and, I'm heading over there.

Making my second pumpkin bread pudding to bring for dessert. Made my first one last week for the office pot luck. It flew off the table, so I'm good.

Uh, didn't tell them it was pumpkin, til it was all gone!

Caught the pumpkin haters and the nay sayers in mid-chew, LOL!!

This message was edited Nov 23, 2016 9:37 AM

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Vacuum sealing is a great idea. Mine are in chests so it's not too bad but a water pitcher and the tea/coffee service pictured stays out. It's a bear.

I made six quarts of very vegetable stoup and giant garlic croutons from leftover baguettes for dinner. Just set up the slow cooker and folks can help themselves. Out of towners are due in sometime late afternoon or early evening. Not knowing requires a flexible dinner.

The broccoli salad and pie crusts will get made today. I'll blind bake the pumpkin one. Brussels sprouts will be prepped. SO is in charge of flowers and getting the Thanksgiving tchotchokies from the attic. He also needs to grill peppers and onions for the cornbread dressing. He better get to work!

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SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Gorgeous, Laurel!

After tomorrow, I'll be working in the garden until next week. Press is on!!!! Good thing is, there's still time enough here and enough climate-friendly weather to sow seeds until around December 20th.

So, I'll be sowing!


Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Daughter came over and helped us get started. And her boyfriend help too, mixing and washing up. I feel spoiled!. GBC is mixed and in dish. Dressing is made and in a pan. I will do the turkey unstuffed. I think. Ugh. 19 pound turkey, makes me a little more concerned about those warnings about stuffing. When I did 14 pounders I stuffed them and checked the temp. I decided not to brine as the turkey is injected with broth anyway. Well, it was free with store 'points.'

Still to peel and cut potatoes and butternut. Last year's notes say I did all this, plus brusselssprouts. WHat?! I guess so.

Everyone liked the mulligatawny. It was basically lentil soup, with flour for thickness, curry powder, and coconut milk added at the end. Seemed like a really good counterpoint to Thanksgiving. One pound of lentils worth/ 2 quarts, all gone.

Gymgirl, I envy you planting! We had a pretty day here and I did get a couple hours to mess around in the yard, clean up a few things.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Sally, I still love a stuffed bird but would be concerned about the time it would add to roasting. By the time the stuffing is 165 the white meat might be very dry.

Soup saved me last night. Company loved it. Homemade cookies for dessert. I'm a bit behind and was making pie crusts at 10:30 p.m.. Too tired to blind bake the pumpkin one so off to bake pies!

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

I have two pumpkin ready to come out of the oven and an apple ready to go in,with the sweet potatoes wrapped in foil because they are sticky devils if they leak. And they will. Sausage for stuffing is cooking, onions and celery added, ready for bread and then cooling in the garage. Still need to peel potatoes, and prep the sweet potatoes. I hope I'm not already behind, but so far things are going well. Can you believe I forgot to pick up evaporated milk and had to make a 7 30 am run to the store which I hoped would be open. They were. Only burned myself once.

Followup on the stuffing. Noticed too late the turkey stock I was using wasn't properly sealed...I didn't hesitate long, it went out. I wouldn't take a chance on it. Too bad. Nobody's crazy about it anyway. Just me. LOL

Apple pie is done, slightly over done in parts because I was distracted. It will be all right. I'm going to take a load off for a while before I have to tackle anything else.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I'm on break. Most everything is done except the sweet potatoes which we eat plain baked with a butter option and the turkey. Getting ready to roll out crust for apple galette. We won't eat 'til after eight.

Sheila, they've started putting plastic tines on the inside of those small stock lids so you don't have to futz with the foil tab. The tines break the inner foil when you twist. Could that be what happened? Hope you didn't toss good stock.

Sharing pics of dressing in progress, a buttery crust and my final table decision, my mom's mid-century modern silver with Johnson bros. "Strawberry Fields". Strawberry fields forever...

Thumbnail by MaypopLaurel Thumbnail by MaypopLaurel Thumbnail by MaypopLaurel
waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

Uhoh....I did. This was an unfamiliar brand. I'll remember that. I did make another store run, and we will have dressing. I don't want to think what the sausage and stock cost. Live and learn.

somewhere, PA

I'm in a sappy happy warm mood after an incredible few days with my brother w/o any of his family, plus mom and then dad. Sometimes, less really is more.

The last TG dinner I prepared here was the culmination of much planning and was rather stressful and also very rewarding. Since, its 10yrs of new traditions built with my dad. We go to a restaurant that has personal meaning to each of us and is also deeply steeped in the history of the town and of Penn State University.

Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy those leftovers! I can't wait to hear your favorite post TG dishes over the next few days. I'll be busy figuring out meals with the beef I just got as part of a split of a cow. Freezer is full to the brim.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Successful TG day here. Turkey was done WAY early, stuck thermometer in several places, an hour before I expected it done, and was getting 190+!!! Well done for sure, the white meat eaters said it wasn't too dry. The kids came around 5 ish after visiting significant others' events, still managed to eat hearty, they went through a lot of stuffing, and I again made way too much mashed potatoes (nearly 5 lb) We;;, they wre Aldi potaotes so I spent practically pennies on the surplus potatoes. Good time for me to try shepards pie, soon. Kids brought wine, yay!
But next year... we might talk about another plan. Making them split their day between families, and us waiting till 5+ to eat...a bit stressful. I just don't know. Sure was fun and lively having them here.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

As if I'm not maimed enough from days on my feet. Someone got the bright idea that it would be fun to go bowling today. The last time I went bowling I ended up on muscle relaxants and a heating pad for a week!

Wonderful to hear people had nice Thanksgivings. Ours was successful too though late dining makes for later cleanup and a long day. We had guests watching the Redskins game.

I'm thinking of giving the turkey a rest and pulling a meatloaf out of the freezer for dinner. Maybe make mashed potatoes since we didn't eat that on Thanksgiving. I like Sally's shepherd pie idea when we return to the turkey. Maybe turkey and dumplings.

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

We wiped out a 6 lb. turkey breast, except for enough for a couple of sandwiches. I paid for being on my feet all day with legs/feet cramps that got me up three times to walk them off.

I'm having pie for breakfast.

somewhere, PA

Now that's my kinda breakfast!

It sounds like today should be a spa day for all the cooks & hostesses of TG!

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Definitely not going bowling. However, a light bulb went off and I sent the crew out to collect ingredients for a Low Country boil; shrimp, kielbasa, onions, potatoes and corn plus two baguettes for dunking. I'll throw it all in my giant stock pot and revisit Thanksgiving tomorrow. Besides, it gives me time to feed my starter and make dough today and bake a loaf for sandwiches tomorrow. I sent SO out turkey hunting. It's quiet. Time to read. Goody.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

turkey hunting, as in, the woods, or the grocery store?

Pie for breakfast, whether fruit or pumpkin, similar components to a lot of 'breakfast' foods, so 'thumbs up'

Pizza and salad sounds good today. Or pasta/tomato. I just snacked on some tabbouleh. I went to a group fitness class (I was pretty regular till full time work almost 2 yrs ago) and am trying VERY hard to maintain interest in housecleaning, decluttering, and decorating. You see how well I am doing at this moment.

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

Trying to think of what would fire up my interest in housecleaning, decluttering, and decorating. Nope, I got nuthin'

I just made a turkey sandwich on a croissant. Picture me smiling ...

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

A swig of Apple Cider Vinegar will calm the leg cramps. I pour about 1/3 cup into some water and drink it down. Can't take it straight. Kills the throat, but, the cramps are gone by the time I get back to the bed.

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

I will certainly try that. Wonder if balsamic would do the same.... LOL

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Magnesium helps my leg cramps. There are pills called Slo Mag- slow release.

The attention to my decor has to do with book club coming to my house Dec 7. Most of the members' homes are markedly more impressive than mine. I'm going with 'cozy.' Luckily, we spend most time in the kitchen/dining, which was redone 3 years ago and I feel pretty good about . (" May I direct your attention to these two framed hand pieced quilt squares I made?")

Now to decide on appetizers and dinner for them. Also need some wineglasses. Granite counters and fine crystal that I got as weddings presents do NOT play well together.

We wiped out the Thanksgiving side dishes last night, except for a couple cups of mashed potatoes. I think we deserve a break from turkey today at dinner, but can't rule out sandwiches for lunch.

This message was edited Nov 26, 2016 10:19 AM

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

I just added magnesium to my intake of potassium,so we'll see if that helps. Mostly I think it was being on my feet all day because usually the potassium does the job. We took a break from turkey yesterday, except I did make a sandwich for brunch ( too late for breakfast and too early for lunch) but it's turkey sammies tonight for sure.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Know anything about biotin? bought biotin today, after reading it may help my nails. I've always had a lengthwise ridge in one, but it seems worse. Winter always gets my nails chipping and splitting.

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

Check your Dmail

This message was edited Nov 26, 2016 4:41 PM

somewhere, PA

We had roasted salmon w/brussels sprouts for dinner last night. I bought a big bag of broccoli and a couple different types of mushrooms at the organic farm stand on my way home from pottery studio yesterday. They will marry up with some steak I need to use (from last year's christmas gift to DH).

I made a very large round casserole dish yesterday. I'm just hoping its tall enough to be practical. I'd say it was 12" diameter and maybe 3-4" tall. The clay shrinks when you fire it so time will tell.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Sally, turkey hunting sales.

Call me crazy but I hosted a short list of friends for a dinner party that went until almost midnight last night. It was our first pass at Thanksgiving leftovers so what was old was new again. There was quite alot of flavorful stock from the low country boil. After separating out the solid ingredients, then adding them back later, I was able to reconfigure the base into a cioppino-like stew. That and a homemade rustic loaf were the starts to a great meal. Aside from my leftover pies, a friend brought homemade flan and another brought wine and chocolate.

The last of our house guests leaves tomorrow. I'm pretty well tuckered. We hope to get to Maypop by Tuesday for a few days R & R. We're supposed to get heavy rains this week after more than three months of drought. Shut in is fine with me. I'll
bring a project and catch up on reading.

The household is talking about reservations at the Horseradish Grill (upscale Southern) or Swallow At The Hollow (upscale BBQ) for this evening. I've defrosted a large meatloaf and 2lbs. of rice pilaf and have plenty of mushroom gravy if we decide to stay in. I'd rather lay low.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Tammy, I'm picturing something like a layered potato dish, that would have a lot of nice browned top. My sister does one, thin slices, buttered, I hope it turns out as you like. Or use it as a serving dish.

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

We polished off the remaining turkey with sandwiches on Vienna bread, we looked like two year olds because they started deconstructing after the first bite and bits were falling hither and yon, cranberry sauce oozing from all the edges. We finished hunched over our plates to keep the damage to a minimum. . Emily Post would have had the vapors. But they were sooo good!

somewhere, PA

There is definitely a correlation between messy and tastey when it comes to sandwiches!

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

We used to have hysterics when Lil'E's sandwiches came undone. After explaining there are two types of sandwiches, "fall apart" and "stay together", and I mostly make "fall apart", he's learned to accept the inevitable.

Sally, I meant to offer two cents with two options in re: wine glasses. The first is to go with stemless, such as Libby's, for which there are many inexpensive sources such as Big Lots. The other is the small, stackable bistro-type avaliable at Ikea. They look like juice glasses but that's what wine is served in in many casual European restaurants and bistros. I use those here in Atlanta for informal entertaining. Storing stemware eats space.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Hm, food for thought on the wine glasses. Yes they are space hogs, (is that the appeal of stemless?) and easy to knock over, and I don't like the stemless look.

Mark just whipped up his signature pound cake, now in the oven, so that buys me a few minutes to sit before I take on Alton Browns shepards pie recipe.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Sally, sounds like my two cents was worth just that. :>)

Thoughts on ovens anyone? Has anyone replaced an oldie in recent years? What do you have and what do you like/not like? My vintage (1972) GE P7 self cleaning double oven arced in the lower oven unit. SO replaced the burner and the burner works but the thermostat is fried. Next step is to send a photo of the thermostat to a restoration company in California. IF they could rebuild it it would cost $400+ and only have a one year warranty. I have loved these ovens for more than twenty five years. Everyone thought I was crazy when I remodeled with SubZero and Jennair but kept these old girls. So sad, but I think the time has come to move on. What if I get a new, modern oven and it can only cook modern food like frozen dinners or re-heat take in? So worried a new oven won't have the "oven terroir" of my old one. Need some emotional support.

We'll be fridge browsing tonight. I spent the day out and online reviewing oven options.
Our last guest left at noon. Aside from mountains of table, bed and bath linen things are pretty under control here. P.S. The garbage disposer keeps conking out every few days. Maybe a switch, maybe a bad breaker or maybe a new disposer.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

I bought a Jenn-Aire quite a few years ago. I thought I couldn't live without the convection oven. I was wrong.......I do not like it and wish I had never spent the money for it. I never use the convection part of it.

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

I think my Jennaire might be older than Anna's, mine was a 1999 and has the convection oven which I don't use much except for big roasts, or turkey. And cookies. It's great for cookies, three sheets at a time. I don;t usually buy service contracts but in the madness of building the house, I got the three year because of the electronic controls and high heat which can mess them up. First time I cleaned the oven the finish around the downdraft vent blistered. They said it was cosmetic and not covered. I wrote to the CEO and his adm. asst did a masterful job of replacing the entire top. I have renewed that contract and used it frequently. Now convection doesn't work at all I've finally replaced the drip trays because they were in bad shape. Jennaire was subsequently bought by Maytag, and then by Whirlpool. Whirlpool makes almost everything now no matter whaat brand name is on it.

I bought a used Amana free standing electric for my DD and almost wanted to keep it. All stainless, had a grill, a two burner size flat top, and was just gorgeous. It must have been a couple decades old but looked new. I found a photo from before I tiled the back wall behind it.

What does Consumer Rpts say about ovens?? I worried about all the electronics that are so vulnerable to high temp, and push pads for setting temps and time but they haven't been an issue.. My ancient Jennair that I dragged to two houses and left behind when we built never needed a repair.

This message was edited Nov 28, 2016 10:17 PM

Thumbnail by meezersfive
Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Laurel, if I sounded dismissive of your wine glass wisdom, I didn't mean to. Like these?

I'm no help on oven choice. I have a 20 year old GE self cleaning from Lowes, nothing special. I think I scratched the white enamel top, I can't get it 'clean' around some burners, but certainly won't ditch it until a major malfunction.

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