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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default A Frugal but Elegant Thanksgiving

    A Frugal but Elegant Thanksgiving

    Over years I have had groups of 10-12 over to our house for
    Thanksgiving and served a nice dinner with all the extras but didn't
    break my budget. It takes planning and watching the sales early
    instead of buying everything the week before. Something else that at
    first I was reluctant to do, is not to turn away help! If one of
    your guests offers to bring a dish then let them! They will feel
    good about helping and you will be able to cross something off your
    list. We have to learn that we can't do it all! I have a set of
    antique china I picked up for $10.00 at a shop in town. It's
    wonderful for the holidays and you can add many Victorian touches to
    your table that are inexpensive. Use doilies, both paper and cloth
    to accent. If you don't have a punch bowl, borrow one! It's a fun
    touch and makes everyone feel festive. Have fun and relax with your
    Holiday meal; your festive attitude will be contagious and your
    guests will have a great time!

    Shopping List

    1 12-14 pound turkey (up to 10 people)
    fresh or dried thyme leaves
    2 boxes cornbread mix
    bag of herb/bread stuffing
    3 cans chicken broth celery onion
    3 cans French greens beans
    fresh garlic
    5 pounds potatoes
    Brown and Serve rolls
    Large can sweet potatoes or 4 fresh
    brown sugar

    Thanksgiving Turkey

    1 12-14 pound turkey
    3 tablespoons each melted margarine and oil
    3 tsp instant chicken bouillon
    1 tsp. dried thyme or 1 Tablespoon fresh
    1/2 tsp. garlic powder or two crushed cloves
    1/2 tsp. pepper
    2 cups water

    Rinse and stuff turkey if desired. Secure wings and legs. Place on
    rack in roasting pan . Combine margarine, oil, bouillon and spices.
    Whisk well. Brush turkey with mixture. Cover top of turkey with
    foil, removing halfway through cooking. Roast at 350 degrees for 1
    1/2 hours, basting every 30 minutes. Add water to pan, and roast 3
    hours longer, still basting. Turkey will be done when meat
    thermometer inserted in thigh registers 180-185 degrees and juices
    run clear. Transfer to platter, remove stuffing to serving bowl.
    Turkey should rest about 20 minutes before slicing. Makes about 10

    Family Style Gravy

    Drippings from pan
    Giblets, neck
    3 tablespoons cornstarch

    If you wish, you can place giblets and neck from your turkey into a
    pan with 3 cups water and simmer for about 30 minutes to start your
    gravy. Remove the giblets and neck from broth. Then add the
    drippings from the turkey pan. Mix your cornstarch with 1/4 cup
    water , and add to the saucepan whisking it in. Bring to boil,
    stirring. Boil about 2 minutes until thickened. Season with salt and
    pepper as desired. Optional: you can place a bay leaf and chopped
    onion in with the giblets. You will also have extra flavor from
    basting the turkey with your herb mixture above.

    Mashed Potatoes

    5 pounds potatoes
    milk or cream
    4 tablespoons butter or margarine

    Peel your potatoes, cut into chunks and place in large pan, cover
    with water. (two pans can be used if necessary) Boil until tender
    when poked with fork; 20-30 minutes. Drain potatoes. Add the butter
    or margarine, season with salt, Add your milk or cream, as you mix
    with electric mixer. Start with a cup and add until it is the
    consistency you desire. Options: You can also mix in sour cream or
    cream cheese right before the milk, then mix. At the end you can add
    fresh chives and mix in with a wooden spoon.

    Herbed Green Beans

    3 cans French style green beans
    2 garlic cloves, slivered thinly
    2 tablespoons olive oil or margarine
    fresh sage, 3-4 leaves (optional)
    Other fresh herbs

    Heat your green beans until heated through. Drain well. In a large

    skillet heat oil or margarine. Add garlic and saut? lightly about 2
    minutes. At this point you can add the beans and heat through while
    stirring, then season with salt and pepper. If you have fresh herbs
    you can chop and add them in for 30 seconds before you add the
    beans. Sage works well, but so does basil, oregano or thyme. If you
    don't grow your own herbs, look in the produce section where they
    may sell bundles of many herbs.

    Family Dressing

    4 cups crumbled cornbread
    3 eggs, beaten
    3 1/2 cups herb stuffing
    3 cans chicken broth
    1 onion, chopped fine
    1 cup celery, chopped
    1/2 tsp. pepper
    1 1/2 tsp. salt
    1 Tablespoon poultry seasoning

    Your cornbread can be made ahead with your favorite recipe or two
    small boxes of cornbread mix. You may not need it all, but feel free
    to snack on it! Combine all ingredients. Stuff turkey, or place in
    greased casserole and bake at 350 degrees 1 hour or until golden.

    More Holiday Tips

    Visit your bread outlet (many brand name bakeries have these) or a
    bakery for specials on rolls, bread, heat and serve rolls or
    Often you can get great deals on Turkeys at your local grocery store
    with an extra $10.00 or $20.00 purchase. Watch the ads!
    Look at thrift stores for wicker baskets. You can use hot, soapy
    water and a stiff brush to clean. Then place paper doilies in basket
    and use on the table for rolls, breads, silverware, napkins, or you
    can even place bowls in the larger ones.
    Have extras on hand to place on the table while guests are waiting
    for dinner. Homemade Quick breads, dips and crackers or even nuts
    work well.

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