Well … truth be told … I don’t know a thing about getting ready for Thanksgiving. In my entire adult life, I have never prepared Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve never even helped! After spending my early years with my own family where this annual feast was lovingly prepared by my mother and aunts, I married Ed and we started spending Thanksgiving Day with Ed’s family. We spend Wednesday night before Thanksgiving with my family at our annual Oyster Roast … always a fun-filled and festive night hosted by my sister, Nikki, and brother-in-law, Wayne. On Thursday, we make our way to Pinehurst where we enjoy Bloodies, Beers, Burgers, and Fries in the Pine Needles grill. After sufficient napping and sometimes a long walk, we shower and dress for Liz’s beautiful Thanksgiving dinner. Just writing about it all makes me so excited!!!
Because I don’t cook Thanksgiving dinner, I’ve asked my sister-in-law to share a few of the recipes we’ve enjoyed over the years. I’ve chosen to pass along three of our favorite sides. A bounty for this time of year when we give thanks for the bounty in our lives. As I say this, I am quickly reminded in my spirit of those whose tables and lives are not as full or bountiful. I pray the Lord always quickens us to think of and do for others.
We will not have a newsletter next week … EE will be observing the Thanksgiving week holiday. I’ll try to share a few things on Instagram and look forward to seeing some of your moments there too!
With love, gratitude, and blessings for a very Happy Thanksgiving!
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Bourbon Sweet Potatoes
Serves 8 Adapted from Virginia Hospitality
4 lbs sweet potatoes
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup bourbon
⅓ cup orange juice
¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp salt
½ tsp apple pie spice
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup brown sugar
⅓ cup flour
⅓ cup butter, softened
In large pot, cook sweet potatoes in salted boiling water until tender. Peel and mash potatoes.
Transfer to mixer bowl and add remaining ingredients except topping. Beat until well mixed. Transfer to 9×13 baking dish.
In a small bowl, mix together topping ingredients. Sprinkle over sweet potatoes.
Bake at 350° for 45 min.
Recipe may be prepared earlier in the day or 1-2 days in advance. Cover and chill.
For a simpler topping, you can substitute with ⅓ cup chopped pecans.
Serves 8–10 Adapted from Magnolia’s Restaurant
3 bunches collards, washed, trimmed and chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 ham hock
1 cup apple cider vinegar
9 cups chicken broth
2–3 tsp hot sauce
Salt and pepper
In a large pot or Le Creuset, heat olive oil. Saut. onion and garlic for 2-3 mins. Add the ham hock and about 3 tbsp vinegar.
Gradually add the collards. Cook the collards over medium heat until they are wilted. You may add collards in smaller amounts, adding vinegar as needed to keep collards from sticking to the pot. As they wilt, push them to one side of the pot and you will have enough room in the pot.
Add the chicken broth and hot sauce. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 hrs, adding more chicken broth if needed. Season with salt and pepper.
Brussel Sprouts with Radicchio and Pancetta
Serves 8–10 Adapted from Williams Sonoma
2 lbs Brussels sprouts, shredded or sliced
8 oz pancetta, diced or sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 head of radicchio,
trimmed and chopped
¼–½ cup chicken broth
In a large skillet, cook the pancetta over medium heat until crispy and golden brown. Transfer the pancetta to a paper towel. Remove the fat from the pan and wipe with a paper towel.
In the same skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat and add the Brussels sprouts. Cook for 2-3 min. Add the radicchio and salt and cook for 2-3 min. Stir in the chicken broth and continue to cook until the Brussels sprouts are just tender, approx 5 min. Stir in the pancetta, and season with salt and pepper.
Recipe may be prepped earlier in the day.
For slicing Brussels sprouts, Liz suggests using the slicing blade in the food processor.
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