Let's be honest. The turkey is on everyone's table. Some people stuff it and put chicken and duck and sausage inside the turkey, but there is always TURKEY. Heck, we often refer to it as Turkey Day.
What differs from table to table is the sides. Everyone has something that makes Thanksgiving dinner. I remember when my daughter was born, my ex-husband and I went to his parents for Thanksgiving. Dinner was nice. His mother was an excellent cook. However, it was "different", and it wasn't my family's traditions. Ya know?
We have lots of family traditions. One of my mom's traditions, that I have picked up now that I do the cooking for Thanksgiving and Christmas is we have a ham and a turkey. The ham I cook overnight. Low heat oven. I put it in before we go to bed (keep in mind I go to bed in the wee wee hours of the morning). Then in the morning we have ham rolls or biscuits. It's awesome, and it's just like my mom always did it!
In an attempt to please my dad, I tried year after year to find a substitute for cranberry sauce. His mother used to make some orange cranberry relish stuff that he loved. I was never a fan of cranberry sauce. As a matter of fact, that stuff that comes out of a can? G-ross! It's slimy and it slides out onto the plate with a plop! The suction in the can let's go and if you aren't careful, that gelatinous red goop will slide right off the plate onto the floor. Not exactly the looks and sounds of appetizing.
So...after trying jams, jellos, compotes, conserves and multiple variations of those, I ended up with a conserve that is my mom and dad's favorite part of dinner now. I have to make it for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I haven't made it yet this year, and I didn't have time this week to grab the ingredients. However, here is a picture of what it looks like all done.
1 bag fresh cranberries
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 large granny smith apple (peeled and chopped)
2 lemons zested and juiced
1 navel orange zested and juiced
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup pecans chopped
In a sauce pan over low heat cook the cranberries, water, sugar and honey until the berries start to pop open. Takes about 5 minutes. Zest the lemons and the orange into the sauce pan and juice them into the mixture. Add the chopped apple. Stir well and cook for 15 minutes until the mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat. Add the raisins and nuts. (Feel free to leave the nuts out if you don't like them, or substitute walnuts.) Refrigerate. This keeps in the refrigerator for several weeks just make sure you put it in an air tight container.
I love this on turkey sandwiches ANY time of the year, but it really adds a little something to your left overs the next couple of days!
BDC is a huge fan of green beans. Just green beans, no mushroom soup, no fried onions. That is to say, green beans hold the casserole!
So I thought I would share my green beans as well.
I wash 3-4 pounds of fresh green beans. Snap off the ends and snap them into pieces. Set aside.
In a large pot add 2 tablespoons of olive oil (twice around the pot). Brown 5-6 slices of thick cut bacon over medium low heat. You are looking to render out most of the fat, so don't crank up the heat trying to save time because you will lose some of the pork fat your looking for! Once the bacon is crisped nicely add your clean snapped green beans. Stir until you have coated all the beans with the bacon grease. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt, 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and a box of chicken broth. Add water to the chicken stock until the beans are just covered. Put a lid on the beans and let them boil for 30-45 minutes.
Trust me....southern green beans are hard to beat!
Don't forget I already cooked the turkey and the dressing/gravy last week. You can find the step by step here.
Now, SHARE your favorite sides so that I can add something new to my table this year! Don't forget the link is open for a week. I will be by to visit each and every one of you.