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Talking turkey. November 9, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in recipes, wit and wisdom.
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Or not. Silence Dogood here. We have friends—Joy, Cole, Candyce, Edith, Rob—who think Hallowe’en is the greatest holiday of the year. Our friend Ben’s brother thinks Easter is the year’s premier holiday. But here at Hawk’s Haven, the cottage home our friend Ben and I share in the precise middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania, Christmas and its family traditions rule, except when it comes to food. As far as food is concerned, the annual Thanksgiving feast—our celebration of the abundance of Harvest Home—reigns supreme.

Mind you, I’m a vegetarian, so no actual turkey makes an appearance on our Thanksgiving table, nor do the luscious turkey sandwiches and creamed turkey on toast I recall fondly from my childhood make a post-Thanksgiving appearance. But that’s not to say you can’t sub the Butterball for my main-dish entrees recommended below. If you follow my lead, you’ll have a spectacular Thanksgiving dinner, with or without the big bird.

I love planning the Thanksgiving meal, as well as seasonal harvest dishes after the Thanksgiving leftovers have been enjoyed. And I have lots and lots of special seasonal recipes to share with all of you. So this year, I’m opening the floor to requests. Let me know which recipes you want, and I’ll publish them here at Poor Richard’s Almanac on the days leading up to Thanksgiving. Since I’ll be travelling this weekend for my father’s birthday and won’t be home ’til Monday evening (don’t worry, I’ve made tons of reheatable dishes for OFB), I’ll definitely be facing a Thanksgiving cooking crunch come Tuesday, and will be posting a make-ahead schedule for the rest of you who don’t want to risk heart attack or stroke from pressure on the big day.

Meanwhile, here are the options for a Silence Dogood blowout Thanksgiving meal. Vote for your favorites, and let me know which recipes you’d like to have! And needless to say, please vary your courses. If you choose the curried pumpkin or winter squash soup as an appetizer, don’t make sweet potatoes or the potato and winter squash casserole. If you make the luscious Endive Boats as an appetizer, don’t make the Green Apple Salad with Endive and Radicchio. No repetition!

So, everyone, place your votes and request recipes at will! I’ll be only too happy to serve them up.

              ‘Til next time,



Appetizers (choose 1):

Endive Boats

Curried Pumpkin Soup or Chaz’s Winter Squash Soup

Cranberry-Cream Cheese Rangoons

Martha Stewart’s Cheese Balls Three Ways

Salad Course: (choose 1):

Coleslaw with Cilantro and Scallions

 Aunt Debbi’s Coleslaw

Silence’s Quick Colseslaw

Bibb-and-Radish Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Green Apple Salad with Endive and Radicchio

Pear and Frisee Salad with Blue Cheese and Walnuts

Garlicky Caesar Salad

Delilah’s Lentil and Apple Salad

Lively Lentil Salad

Sides (choose 5):

Silence’s Ultimate Cranberry Sauce

Silence’s Amazing Cranberry Dressing

Toasted Sweet Corn Pudding

Amy Good’s Broccoli Saute

Cat Cora’s Brussels Sprouts

Silence’s Super Squash Casserole

Landis Store’s Sweet Potato Souffle

Sauteed Chiffonaded Brussels Sprouts, Corn and Sweet Onion

Dinner Rolls

Mashed Potatoes (OFB always insists on these)

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Sweet Onions and Mushrooms

Stuffed Roasted Portabella Caps

Green Beans Amondine

Main Dish (choose 1):

Potatoes and Winter Squash Casserole with Gruyere Cheese

Delilah’s Crock Pot Mac’N’Cheese

Baked Curried Brown Rice and Lentil Pilaf

Jen’s Mushroom Carbonara

Easy Pesto Pasta

Super-Simple Creamy Pasta 

Apres-Feast (choose 1 or 2):


Black tea

Herb tea (preferably a digestive like peppermint. chamomile or fennel)

Tawny Port

Hot apple cider spiked with dark rum (Gosling is our favorite), cinnamon, and cloves

Cold Hard Cider

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pecan Pie


Fruit and Cheese Tray

Dark Chocolate Confections

Glaceed Apricots

Apricots or Ginger Dipped in Dark Chocolate

Medjool Dates


There you have it! Cast your votes!



1. h.ibrahim - November 9, 2012

Endive Boats
Pear and Frisee Salad with Blue Cheese and Walnuts
Silence’s Ultimate Cranberry Sauce
Toasted Sweet Corn Pudding
Silence’s Super Squash Casserole
Sauteed Chiffonaded Brussels Sprouts, Corn and Sweet Onion
Stuffed Roasted Portabella Caps
Potatoes and Winter Squash Casserole with Gruyere Cheese
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Medjool Dates


2. narf77 - November 9, 2012

We don’t have thanksgiving in Australia but if we did I would have a small celebration that hit the nail on the head…being thankful is more the issue NOT spending a fortune on food! Steve and I are heading out this Christmas to volunteer our time at a local homeless and alone at Christmas event. We will share something simple but delicious when we get home because we are so tired of the overcommercialisation of Christmas…its so pumped full of spending steroids that the true meaning is totally lost. Bring back simplicity and true meanings and reap the real “feeling” that our holidays were originally intended to give us.

What a lovely idea, Fran, and a great holiday tradition to create! It sends chills up my spine to see all the Christmas hype hitting the stores and ad media the day after Hallowe’en. Hey, what happened to Thanksgiving?! We prefer to saty home and recreate the traditions we grew up with in a peaceful and leisurely manner, rather than rushing around to holiday parties and putting ourselves in debt with one extravagance after another.

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