A smaller, more intimate Thanksgiving doesn’t mean sacrificing style
Family celebrations might be slightly scaled back, simplified and more intimate this year, but we can still enjoy our favorite flavors and décor of the season. For Thanksgiving, the table is set with vintage Royal Worcester tableware from the 1960s, designed with classic oven-proof serving dishes to match. Inspired by the colorful dishes, a festive holiday table arrangement is easily created with fresh fruits of the season, fall flowers and natural elements, gathered together from our local coastal grocery.
Honey Cider Glazed Turkey Breast
5-8 pound whole bone-in turkey breast (8-pound breast serves about 10)
1 apple, cut in wedges
1 onion, cut in wedges
1 celery stalk, cut in 2-inch chunks
1 carrot, cut in 2-inch chunks
2 tablespoons butter, softened
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
½ teaspoon garlic powder
For the glaze:
2 cups apple cider
3 tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
If turkey is frozen, thaw in refrigerator for 3 days.
Preheat oven to 325 F. Line roasting pan with foil. Place rack on roasting pan. Pat turkey breast dry and place breast side up on the rack.
Stuff apple, onion, celery and carrots into the turkey cavities. In a small bowl, mix butter, salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary and garlic powder. Spread all over turkey. Place turkey in the oven and roast 45 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare apple cider glaze. Place cider, honey and cloves in saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until reduced to and becomes a syrup, about 20-30 minutes.
After 45 minutes, baste turkey with glaze. Insert meat thermometer in turkey. Arrange remaining vegetables around the turkey.
Baste often with glaze and continue roasting until turkey reaches 165 F in the thickest part of the turkey or about 40-50 minutes or more, depending on size of turkey. (Cover lightly with a tent of foil when needed to avoid over browning.) Remove turkey and allow to rest 15 minutes before slicing.
When ready to serve, remove vegetables. Arrange a festive platter, featuring the turkey, surrounded by fresh kale, the cooked vegetables and wedges of red and green fresh apples.
Green Beans with Olive Almond Tapenade
½ cup whole salted toasted almonds
½ cup large garlic-stuffed green olives
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons packed parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
3 tablespoons butter, chilled
1½ pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
1⁄8 teaspoon salt or to taste
¼ teaspoon pepper or to taste
In food processor, pulse almonds until coarsely chopped. Add olives, lemon zest and parsley; pulse until crumbly, stopping and scraping occasionally. Add butter and pulse lightly until well blended.
Heat large covered pot of salted water to boiling on high. Add green beans and cook 5-8 minutes or until preferred crispness or tenderness.
Drain well; place in serving bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle tapenade on beans; or toss lightly. Garnish with lemon slices and more parsley. Serve warm.
Easy Spiced Peach Jam
Yields: About 5 cups (This recipe fills 10-11 mini jars for gifts.)
3 (16-ounce) bags freestone frozen ripe peach slices
2 1⁄3 cups sugar
2⁄3 cup water
2 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon almond extract
In a large uncovered saucepan, add sliced frozen peaches, sugar, water and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil. Add butter and reduce heat to medium. Continue to simmer peaches on medium, stirring occasionally to avoid scorching, and cook until peaches are soft, most of the liquid has evaporated and jam has thickened, about 50–60 minutes.
Use a potato masher or back of a spoon to further break down the peaches. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract.
With slotted spoon, divide among sterilized glass canning jars, secure top and keep refrigerated for up to 2-3 weeks.
Dress up the jar tops with fabrics of the season, placed using double-faced tape around outside of the lid and tied with cord, raffia or colorful ribbons. This is delicious on toast or even ice cream.
Sausage Apple Dressing
2 diced apples, skin on
1 (1-pound) roll premium regular pork sausage
½ cup butter, divided
½ cup onion, diced
1 cup celery diced
8 cups dry French bread cubes (diced and set out for three days)
2 cups chicken broth
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon ground sage
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves minced, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
½ teaspoon pepper or to taste
Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a 9-inch-by-13-inch pan with cooking spray.
In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook 5-6 minutes, breaking up meat and stirring just until done. Add remaining butter, onion, celery and apples to the pan. Cook an additional 4-5 minutes until tender.
Place bread cubes in a large bowl. Top with sausage, vegetable, apple mixture. Stir together chicken broth, eggs, sage, parsley, salt and pepper. Pour over bread and sausage. Gently stir just until lightly combined. Spoon dressing into prepared pan.
Bake 45-50 minutes, covered lightly with a tent of foil to avoid over-browning. Uncover last 5 or 10 minutes if you like the top to be crispy. Sprinkle with additional parsley and serve with cider-baked turkey breast.
Fresh Cranberry Salad in Orange Cups
Yields: About 7 or 8 cups
4 cups fresh cranberries
¼ cup light brown sugar
½ cup fresh orange juice from 2 oranges
1 tablespoon orange zest from 1 orange
1 cup orange segments from 4 oranges
1 cup pineapple tidbits, drained
½ cup diced celery
½ cup chopped toasted walnuts
2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur, optional
Bring cranberries, brown sugar and orange juice to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until cranberries pop and mixture thickens, 12-15 minutes.
Cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Stir in orange segments, pineapple, celery, orange zest, walnuts and liqueur. Chill 4 hours or overnight.
With slotted spoon, scoop into crystal compotes or fresh orange cups.
Yields: About 8 or 10 pieces
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 loaf French bread (about 16 inches long) halved lengthwise
Combine all ingredients except bread. Evenly spread on bread. Bake at 350 F or 20 minutes or until golden. Slice into sections and serve hot.
Old-fashioned Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
22 ginger snap cookies
¼ cup softened butter
1⁄4 cup sugar
Pumpkin pie filling:
1 cup canned pumpkin (not entire can)
1 envelope plus ¼ teaspoon plain gelatin
3 eggs, with yolks and whites separated
1 cup sugar, divided
1 cup milk
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup cold water
Sweetened whipped cream or Cool Whip for topping
For the crust, crumble ginger snaps in food processor with butter and sugar. Spread in 9-inch pie plate. Press firmly against sides and bottom of pan and chill. Or to save time, use a 9-inch prepared graham cracker crust.
On stovetop, cook pumpkin on low for 10 minutes, stirring continually. Add 2 tablespoons butter and stir until melted. Beat together egg yolks, ½ cup of the sugar and milk. Add this to pumpkin with salt, spices. Stir and cook 5-8 minutes more until achieving a thick custard consistency.
Mix gelatin in ¼ cup cold water in separate bowl and stir until dissolved.
Remove custard from heat, add gelatin and stir until completely dissolved. Pour into a bowl and place in refrigerator to chill, but not too firm.
With electric mixer, beat egg whites on high speed, gradually adding remaining ½ cup sugar. Continue beating until whites form stiff peaks.
With wire whisk, gently fold egg whites and pie filling together. Spoon into gingersnap crust. Surround with whole ginger snaps, if desired. Refrigerate pie overnight. Serve topped with sweetened whipped cream or Cool Whip.
Our dear mother, Lorene, always served this yummy pie for the holidays.
Warm Spiced Cranberry Cider
Yields: 7 cups
4 cups red cranberry juice cocktail
2 cups apple juice
1 cup orange juice
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tablespoon whole cloves
½ tablespoon whole allspice
3 sticks of cinnamon, broken in half
Place cloves, allspice and cinnamon in a strainer or place in a paper coffee filter, tied with wire twistee, to close.
Place filter in a large pot on stove top. Add juices and brown sugar and heat to a full boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve warm with cinnamon sticks as stirrers.