I hope you and your family and friends have a special Thanksgiving this year. Since I love to cook and love the opportunity to help prepare the Thanksgiving dinner, let me give you some of my favorite recipes or preparations of some of the basic food that covers your turkey table.
Instead of opening that can of pumpkin to use with your favorite pumpkin pie recipe, why not visit the grocery store and get a winter squash and more specifically a butternut squash. Cut in half, take the seeds out and place the halves in the microwave with about 1/2 inch of water. Cook until tender and then use the butternut instead of the canned pumpkin. Find a recipe that folds in beaten egg whites and you have doubled your pumpkin pie pleasure.
I love cranberry relish but this year try adding about a cup of fresh orange, rind and all, put through a food processor. You might need to add a little more sugar than your normal recipe.
What is a Thanksgiving dinner without mashed potatoes? This year again try something different and don't peel the potatoes, mash them with the skin on. It works better when you use red Pontiac potatoes because of their thin skins. If you want a great taste and consistency, try using sour cream and a little butter instead of milk. It won't hurt your waste line just one time a year.
As for the gravy, make sure you brown the flour in the natural turkey oils before you add the milk. Make lots of gravy because it freezes quite well. Safety wise, don't leave the cooked turkey on the table more than about two hours because of the possibility of contamination from salmonella.
Finally, If you are going to deep fry your turkey today, get the deep fryer out into the lawn or driveway. Don't and I repeat, don't deep fry the turkey on your deck or patio especially if its made of wood. I know of a man in St. Albans several years ago that burnt his house down deep frying the bird on his wooden deck.