It’s that time of year again, and what more could we be grateful for this holiday than a reason to eat with those that we love the most.
Families gather together as mouth-watering smells fill kitchens nationwide and we’re reminded of reasons of why we shouldn’t complain so much.
I know lately I’ve been counting my blessings twice. Not only have I married a wonderful man and recently given birth to a beautiful baby boy, I’ve been adopted by a few families that consider me one of their own.
First and foremost, my family at Calhoun Times. This staff has loved me from day one and has been there for me from getting my first apartment, to getting married, and to giving birth. If there was ever anything that I could have needed over the years, these individuals would be the first to take action without me asking.
Secondly, my McDougle/Thomason family. This family has treated me as one of their own for as long as I can remember. I have yet to miss a holiday at “Nana’s” house.
On the day that I walked down the aisle to marry my best friend, Leslie McDougle walked as my mother, Logan McDougle as my brother, and Linda and Bill Thomason as my grandparents. I am far from an orphan but these individuals took me in and made me a part of their family and I couldn’t have asked for a better one.
I am truly blessed that although I was not born into a family fit to call my own, I was provided two when I needed it the most. So this year, when you gather around the table and join hands with your “families”, be grateful, because not everyone is as fortunate as you are.
Nana’s Dressing Ingredients:
Jimmy Dean sausage 1 package ground
1 package of seasoned bread crumbs
1 package of seasoned corn bread mix
Can of water chestnuts, chopped finely
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
small white onion, diced finely
3-4 stalks of celery stalks, chopped small
2-3 tblsp of butter
Cook sausage first and drain grease. Place in bowl. Melt butter and add onion and celery and stir until slightly softened (not brown). Add mixture to sausage. Add bread crumbs and corn bread mix and stir well. Stir in chestnuts. In seperate bowl, mix eggs, milk, and chicken broth. Slowly mix wet mixture into dry bread and sausage mixture until slightly moist. Mixture is now ready to stuff in turkey.
***If not stuffing in turkey, place in pan and add additional broth and bake at 350 until done or knife comes out clean.
Apple Pie Ingredients:
Pastry for 2 crusts (recipe below)
8 cups sliced, peeled assorted baking apples - about 3 lbs. (Granny Smith, Cortland, Jonathan)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 Tablespoons butter
1 egg yolk
1 Tablespoon milk
1. In a large bowl, toss the sliced apples with lemon juice.
2. Combine sugars, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg; add to apples and toss well to coat.
3. Fill pastry lined 9 inch pie pan with apple mixture. Dot with butter.
4. Place second crust on top of pie filling, cut slits in top of crust to vent. Seal the edges of the crust with a fork or by hand.
5. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk and milk. Brush mixture over top crust.
6. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes.
7. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake 40-45 minutes more or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.
Flaky Pastry Pie Crust
(Makes two 9-inch pie crusts)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, chilled and diced
1/2 cup ice water
1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.
2. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Stir in the ice water, a Tablespoon at a time, until the crust mixture forms a ball.
4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
5. Sprinkle flour onto rolling surface. Roll dough out, then divide in half. Roll each half to fit a 9-inch pie plate.
6. Place crust in pie plate, pressing evenly into the bottom and sides.