I’m dreaming…

Of course! A white Christmas would be lovely, but right now it’s almost Thanksgiving, and every year at this time, I’m wishing for a larger big ole farmhouse table that seats at least ten people. Even though I’m cooking for only six this year, after I set the table, there is not enough room for the food! And, let’s face it, after the blessings and thankfulness, food is what it’s all about. I have removed the centerpiece and added a stacking tray for three of the dishes, but that still leaves very little space for the good stuff.

This year, Saint is frying the turkey. No, not the burn-the-house-down turkey fryer kind, but an old recipe his mom used to make at least once a week since his family had turkeys on their farm. He thought he had a wild turkey breast from last year’s hunt, but he didn’t, so I reluctantlyunselfishly offered gladly gave up the rights to the turkey this year. IF you have never had fried turkey breast, you should try it.
Saintly Fried Turkey
1 fresh or thawed turkey breast, sliced off the bone into thin slices.
2 eggs, beaten with 2 Tbs. milk
2 cups flour seasoned with salt, freshly ground pepper, and a bit of garlic salt
Oil for frying
That’s it! The key is in the pounding, and Saint is very good at this. Pound the slices to a pulp well. Next, roll the slices in the flour mixture, dip in the egg mixture, and back into the flour. Fry slices in hot oil until golden brown. Since the slices are thin, it doesn’t take long, and I give Saint a foil pan lined with paper towels and covered with a foil lid to drain the slices and keep them warm while he’s frying the rest. And…okay, ummm, I banish order suggest he do the pounding and frying on the gas grill or electric skillet outside because, while this is really yummy, it is also really messy! Think little turkey bits flying all over the kitchen windows, and, you know, in the name of health and cleanliness, he works better outside!

I like to make ahead as much as possible, and this cranberry salad recipe that my mom gave me works very well for that. If you are looking for a really easy and delicious recipe, give this a stir.
Raspberry Cranberry Salad
2 pkg. raspberry jello
2 cups boiling water
8 oz. cream cheese
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 cup walnut pieces
Dissolve jello in boiling water and refrigerate until it just begins to congeal. Whip cream cheese, add cranberry sauce and nuts. Fold into the jello mixture. Pour into mold or dish, cover and refrigerate until time to serve. Some people add crushed pineapple, but we like it without.
And now for the real star of the show. No, not the dessert. The stuffing!

No matter how many other stuffings I play with, I always come back to my own, and don’t judge me when you see the fat content. I only make it once twice a few times each year.
Fry 6 to 8 slices of bacon, drain, crumble, and reserve. To the bacon grease, add 3/4 stick of butter. Add to that hot grease, one cup of chopped celery and one cup of chopped onion. Saute until translucent. Pour a 16 0z package of cornbread croutons or stuffing mix into a large mixing bowl. (You can make your own cornbread if you wish, but I don’t see the sense in that.) Add 2 cups of chicken broth, onion and celery mixture including the grease, and the bacon bits. And the not-so-secret ingredient is dried sage. It is best when I have dried my own and can rub and crunch it into the mixture…mmmmm, don’t you wish we had smellaputers, but this year my garden was minimal practically non existent, so I will use a teaspoon or two of bottled, rubbed sage. Finally,add other ingredients as desired. I love dried cherries, but this year I’m using dried cranberries and pecans. Mushrooms, apple bits, anything you like can be thrown in, and add more broth as needed. The mixture should be very moist but not soupy. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to bake. Since I’m not baking the bird this year, I will pour this into a casserole dish and bake at 350 until it is warm and slightly browned. I don’t use eggs, therefore, I don’t need to worry about the internal temperature.
So…what are you making for Thanksgiving dinner and where are you putting all the sides?
Happy Thanksgiving!

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