11.26.13

C8 Thanksgiving Edition: Betty Crocker, fireworks and 7 rolls too many

BY KRISTI PETRIE

Besides over-indulging, there's a lot to love about Thanksgiving. Here's some of the top things we love about feasting on T-giving and the holiday in general. We even included a few recipes and tips.

Jon

My favorite part of the Thanksgiving feast is the fact that calories don’t count on holidays. Also, I love making the cooking schedule, because it always ends up looking epic and makes me feel super-human.

My one suggestion? Brine your turkeys. I have a 25lb turkey this year - I’m going to brine the bejesus out of it.

Katherine

This isn’t specifically about food, but what I like about Thanksgiving is that for me, for a long time, it’s been just as much about friends as family. I lived away from my family for so long, and because it’s not as formal as Christmas in many households, I was invited to take part in friends’ traditions. I got to drink Mai Tais at a Tiki restaurant in Malibu while the sun set over the ocean, I got to play in a Scrabble tournament one year, and another, I watched a friend’s dad blow up a turkey after dinner, using fireworks stuffed inside! It’s the perfect way to celebrate the family you’ve created, rather than the one you were born into.

Jimmy

The Three F’s: My favorite part of the Thanksgiving feast is mixing the 3 F's into our special day… Football, Family and Food!

Lisa

My favorite component of the Thanksgiving feast is definitely the stuffing. Not that fancy crap made with organic berries, obscure nuts, local, free-range feta, artisanal loaves and fresh-picked herbs from the community garden. I am talking old school, Betty Crocker Bread Stuffing.

As with all Betty Crocker recipes, you will need to make a few adjustments to the ingredients to make this classic stuffing really perfect.

  1. 3/4 cup butter or margarine… oh, come on. Just use the whole cup. It’s Thanksgiving, for Pete’s sake!
  2. Two large celery stalks, chopped. Hm, Betty used to tell you to be sure to use the leaves. I guess it’s up to you.
  3. This item: One medium onion, chopped. That is TOO MUCH ONION. Just use a half.
  4. Nine cups soft bread cubes = 15 slices? LIES! Use the whole loaf. Also - just this one time a year - use white bread instead of whole grain or wheat. The taste and texture are way better.
  5. I have found that you can pretty much always double the herbs and spices with Betty. So when she gives you the option of 1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, pick the dried and DOUBLE IT.
  6. One teaspoon salt? This is fine. DO NOT DOUBLE THE SALT. NEVER DOUBLE THE SALT.
  7. 1/2 teaspoon ground sage? DOUBLE IT.
  8. 1/4 teaspoon pepper? DOUBLE IT.

Kristi

I probably shouldn’t put this in writing on the World Wide Web but on the morning of Thanksgiving, I typically round up my sister and a friend and we bandit run a Turkey Trot somewhere around town. (Here’s why we shouldn’t do this and in our defense, we don’t eat any of the food or drink any of the water they offer but I know it’s still bad and I do feel a little bit bad about it.) This is one of my favorite parts of the day because it’s usually gorgeous out, I get to chat-run with my sis and friend and be around lots of jazzed up folks, and then we don’t feel as bad about over, over-indulging later in the day. As far as the feast, I love the stuffing and could eat leftover stuffing every day until Christmas. Here’s the recipe we’re trying this year… it’s made in the slow cooker and has 1,000+ good reviews! Maybe next year we’ll try Lisa’s Betty Crocker recipe plus enhancements.

Jeff

The white dinner rolls. Put a giant slab of butter on one and eat it in two bites. After 3-5 rolls, you'll get annoyed with yourself that there is so much good food and you're filling up on rolls. By the time you finish the thought, you have eaten at least two more.

Chris

During the holidays everyone usually has their own recipes that follow how mom or Gam-Gam used to make those traditional items. So, instead of crossing into that sacrilegious territory, I tend to make something that can sit next to the cheese plate, olives, and pickles that people graze all day - Pumpkin Dip! It's not only an inexpensive item, it's easy as "pie" to make - which is a very misleading saying, because the only thing easy about pie is eating it.

WHAT YOU NEED //

  • A pumpkin to place the dip in [I would recommend a pumpkin a little larger than a softball]
  • Cream Cheese - 2 8oz packages
  • Pumpkin Puree - 1 can
  • Powdered Sugar - 3 cups
  • Nutmeg - Pinch or so to taste
  • Ground Cinnamon - 1.5 tablespoons
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice [optional] - teaspoon to taste
  • Honey Graham Crackers [for dipping]
  • Anything else you want to dip in there!

HOW TO MAKE IT //

  1. Set the cream cheese out and let it soften.
  2. Cut open your Pumpkin how you would if you were going to carve it - zig-zagging the top so that you can add the dip, then put the lid on when you want to transport it to Gam-Gam's house.
  3. Gut the pumpkin, toss the innards. Wash the pumpkin off/out and pat dry.
  4. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, stir it by hand to have a thicker texture, or use an electric mixer to whip it up. We've tried our food processor and it was very creamy!
  5. Add more spices to taste. We tried some orange juice and it gave it a nice kick.
  6. Toss it all into the pumpkin, and add some cinnamon sticks if you feel like Martha Stewart.

Dip your graham crackers in and enjoy!

Erin

I know it's sounds strange, but my favorite Thanksgiving feast items are the cranberry sauce and gravy. Both have to be homemade, of course. There's nothing more delicious than fresh cranberry sauce slathered on top of turkey slices, which is then covered in gravy made from pan drippings, butter and sherry. It really is a taste explosion. I guess I'm a sauce fan.

Kathryn

My favorite part of the Thanksgiving feast is when we buy a turkey that already has the neck and internal organs removed, so my sisters can’t chase me around with that gross stuff. Also, I love homemade mashed potatoes.

Neil

My favorite is the stuffing and, if I’m lucky, the prime rib that sometimes makes an appearance alongside the turkey. But the key to stuffing is the prime stuffing that comes from within the turkey. By the way, the next day, turkey slathered in BBQ sauce with lettuce and tomato on toasted sourdough is as good as the meal the night before.

And that sums up the C8 Thanksgiving Edition. Have a happy, happy Thanksgiving folks!

Kristi Petrie
written by KRISTI PETRIE
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