November Monthly Mouthful

We just couldn’t contain ourselves. It may only be the first full week in November, but we’ve got turkey on the brain and just had to ask a Thanksgiving-related question for this month’s Monthly Mouthful. Delicious and witty as always, the responses we received recounted favorite Thanksgiving memories and even some special family recipes!

So let this post mark the beginning of the Thanksgiving season with lots more recipes and stories to follow! Thanks to all who participated!

November’s Monthly Mouthful Question: What is your favorite Thanksgiving recipe and why?

Lydia from The Perfect Pantry

When we moved to rural northwest Rhode Island a few years ago, we discovered, to our delight, that we have pear trees — and that those trees produce up to a hundred or more delicious bartlett pears every other year. (By the time the deer and birds take their share, I’m down to a few dozen.) So, every other year I make pear and parsnip soup for Thanksgiving. Roasting the parsnips and onions brings out the sweetness, which is then highlighted by the pears. I usually don’t add cream, and I serve it as a first course. With the cream, it’s more rich and substantial as a main-course soup with a side salad. I’ve posted the recipe on The Perfect Pantry this week; I hope it will become one of your favorite Thanksgiving recipes, too.

Radish from Sassy Radish

Oh this one is so easy! It’s the pumpkin souffle bread pudding – and you can find the recipe here . :-)

I have to say, i should do this one again and post better pictures – the ones i have aren’t very appetizing!

This dish is really incredible – it’s the first thing that goes at the table and I’ve made it for the last 3 yrs. It’s a little tricky at first, so I recommend doing a practice fun before the big event! It’s really tasty!!

Jaden from Steamy Kitchen

My favorite Thanksgiving dish is a brined, deep fried turkey. The night before, I brine a small 12lb turkey in (1 cup kosher salt + ½ cup brown sugar dissolved in 4 cups boiling water) + 1 gallon iced water. The next morning, I drain, pat dry and season liberally with Cajun blackened seasoning. That’s basically where my job ends, as my husband has smartly declared that any activity involving big flames or the words “vat of oil” is in his domain.

Thanksgiving morning, husband goes out and scouts for an ideal location to set up the deep fryer. His criteria is simple. OPY – Other People’s Yard– why risk burning down our house when we’ve got plenty of neighbors on vacation? (I’m just kidding, guys) He sets up on a grassy part of our lawn, away from the roof, the kids and my precious minivan. Once you’ve heated up the oil, the turkey only takes about 3 minutes per pound to fry. So much simpler and foolproof than roasting in the oven. Plus I love gnawing on fried turkey wings!

Anne-Marie from This Mama Cooks

It’s vegan pumpkin pie. You can see the post here. I make this because my daughter is allergic to eggs. She’s also allergic to soy milk, so I use milk instead.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

The filling for this vegan recipe needs to set overnight in the refrigerator, so make it the day before you serve it. Serves 8.


• 1/2 cup unbleached flour
• 7 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon sugar or granulated sugar cane syrup
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 3 tablespoons canola oil
• 3 tablespoons soymilk plus 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
• 3 to 4 tablespoons water

• 2 cups canned pumpkin or pureed home-cooked fresh pumpkin (see intro)
• 1 cup low-fat soymilk or rice milk
• 3/4 cup granulated sugar cane syrup or 1/2 cup honey
• 1/4 cup cornstarch
• 1/2 tablespoon dark molasses or to taste
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice


In medium bowl, combine both flours, salt, sugar and baking powder. In small bowl, mix oil and soymilk mixture. Pour liquid mixture into dry ingredients and mix with a fork until it holds together in a ball. If it is too dry, add some water, a little at a time, until dough is moist enough to roll. (If time allows, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.)

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin forming an 11-inch circle. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the dough. Flute or crimp the edges with your fingers or a fork. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 425.

In large bowl, mix all remaining ingredients until smooth and blended. Pour into prepared crust and smooth top. Bake 10 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350. Bake until filling is set, about 50 minutes. Set on wire rack to cool, then refrigerate overnight.

Amy from Nook and Pantry

I love the holidays! All the cooking, baking, eating, sleeping… good times, good times. :) I would have to say that my favorite Thanksgiving recipe is my twice baked potatoes, a holiday tradition during both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Basically it’s baked potatoes mixed with sour cream (full fat, no skimping around the holidays *wink*), plenty of crisp bacon, sauteed diced mushrooms, sauteed green onions, and the best part: cheese pockets! Instead of shredding, the cheddar is diced into cubes and mixed into the potatoes. Then the whole thing is topped with more cheese (shredded this time) and baked. Rather than disappearing into the potatoes, the cheddar cubes melt into pockets of gooey cheese. It’s always so much fun to dig in and see the golden pockets of pure deliciousness hidden inside.

Cate from Sweetnicks

I grew up hating cranberry sauce. Homemade or from the can, it didn’t matter. Blech. Until I came across a recipe for Cranberry Conserve, and ever since then, it’s had a permanent, and very anticipated, spot on our annual Thanksgiving Day table. Simple to make, and tastes an eensy bit like candy, it will make a convert out of the biggest cranberry sauce hater … guaranteed.

Cranberry Conserve

Print PDF of recipe here.

4 cups fresh cranberries
2 oranges, peeled, sliced and quartered
1 cup raisins
1-1/4 cups water
1 cup chopped pecans
2-1/2 cups sugar

In large saucepan, combine cranberries, oranges, raisins and water. Simmer until cranberries are soft (until they split) – this should take about 20-30 minutes. Add pecans and sugar, stir well and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring often. Cool, then spoon into containers and chill. Stays good for about two weeks.

Anna from Sunday Night Dinner

I have only one job that I do every Thanksgiving. It’s the only one my Mom trusts me not to screw up in a spectacular fashion, as I have done… on occasion(s). I am in charge of the cranberry sauce. My Mom plucked the recipe out of an issue of Food and Wine ages ago and it has since become a family Thanksgiving staple. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it. It’s not very sweet and has great depth of flavor from a generous pour of port (proving once again that most things benefit from the addition of booze).

Cranberries with orange zest and port
1 cup port
6 cups fresh cranberries (1.5 pounds), picked over and rinsed
1.5 cups sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt

- In a large skillet, bring the port to a boil over high heat. Add the cranberries and cook, stirring, until they begin to pop, about 5 minutes
- Add the sugar, orange zest and salt and cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves and the mixture returns to a simmer, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool before serving.
Note: The cooked cranberries can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Food and Wine, November 1998

Gilli from So So Simple Food

Thanksgiving is not a holiday for us in the Antipodes…but I thought you might like to add this little tipple to your day. I concocted it over the weekend and I think it will add a zing to the thanksgiving celebrations.

Using Absolut Pear Vodka, flavoured with mint sugar syrup and lime juice.
Seasonal (pears) green (mint), tasty…
First you need to make the mint sugar.
Just pound 12 mint leaves with ½ cup caster sugar and dissolve in equal amount of water
I call it Absolutely Divine

Take 2 parts Absolut Pear Vodka
1 part mint sugar
1 part lime juice

2 or 3 of these each should get the party going

Ruth from Once Upon a Feast

We celebrate the Jewish New Year and Sukkot with all the dishes I would think would do for Thanksgiving. Here’s a link to a typical Rosh Hashonah meal that I think would be perfect for Thanksgiving.

The orange ginger capon recipe is what my mother used to make since I didn’t really like turkey.

Orange Ginger Capon
From Every Kitchen Tells Its Stories

Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Total Roasting time: 2 ½ -3 hours
Resting time: 10-15 minutes
Serves 8-10

1 capon 6-8 lbs/12-18 kg
1 orange cut in half
1 onion cut in half
1″ piece of fresh ginger
1 tbsp powdered mustard
1 tbsp powdered ginger
½ tbsp paprika
Bouquet garnie:
1 celery stalk chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 carrot grated
1″ piece of fresh ginger cut in 4
Cooking liquid:
1 c water
1 c orange juice
1 tbsp Magi liquid or 1 tsp powdered chicken stock

1. Preheat oven to 325°F/170°C
2. Clean capon of excess fat. Pour boiling water over capon and inside cavity. Pat dry.
3. Season the capon – Rub inside and out with half of orange, onion and the piece of ginger.
4. To stuff the capon (see Holiday Stuffing recipe below), only fill the cavity and skin at neck ¾ full*.
5. Secure skin to back of neck with metal or bamboo skewer. Repeat process at main cavity, closing gap between legs.
6. If you are not stuffing the bird, place the unused half of the orange, onion and ginger inside the cavity.
7. Truss the capon. Tie legs together and secure wings close to body, using kitchen twine. ( The Cooking Primer section of the book actually has photos and very detailed directions)
8. Mix together mustard powder, paprika and powdered ginger and rub all over capon.
9. Place bouquet garnie in large roasting pan and spread vegetables around edge leaving center empty for capon.
10. Place capon, breast down, on small rack in well and pour ¾ cup of the cooking liquid over the capon. Roasting breast side down ensures that juices flow through the white meat keeping it moist. Bake 1½ -2 hours depending on how big the capon is, basting every 30 minutes. Add more cooking liquid as needed to the pan. This will become the gravy.
11. After 1½ -2 hours turn capon breast side up and bake at least 30 minutes more. This gives the capon golden crispy skin.

How to determine when the capon is ready:
Poke the breast with a fork. If the capon is ready, the juices will be clear.
Twist the leg and it will move
very easily.
(My favourite) Buy a meat thermometer and place the tip in the meatiest part of the breast. Make sure it does not touch the bone.

To make gravy
1. Remove capon from pan after cooking and place on serving platter, tented with aluminum foil for 10-15 minutes before carving.
2. Pour off as much fat as possible.
3. Discard ginger.
4. In a blender, put 1 cup of cooked vegetables from roasting pan and add some of the liquid. Puree until vegetables are mashed. Add more vegetables and liquid until all are done. The ratio of liquid to vegetables will determine how thick/thin the gravy gets. It’s a personal preference.
5. Pour into a gravy boat and serve with sliced capon.

If you were not asked to participate and would like to be contacted for the next Monthly Mouthful, please send us an email at chewonthatblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

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  • Ruth

    Everything sounds wonderful. As for the deep fried turkey…I’d love to eat it but am scared to death of making it. Can I come over and partake in the thrill?

  • steamy kitchen


    Honey, as long as you bring a bottle of wine, you can come over anytime to deep fry the turkey.


  • Kelly

    I use that same cranberry sauce/port recipe – always a favorite! And always a great excuse to buy more port…

  • JEP

    These Monthly Mouthful’s are the best! I’m tryin’ Sassy’s recipe for sure!

  • Pingback: Chew On That » Blog Archive » Some Thanksgiving Help

  • melissa

    I love the monthly mouthful posts because they link me to people’s blogs I don’t always visit or know about. and I love the thanksgiving ideas.

    as for that deep fried turkey… I just don’t know. I’m all for going full-fat on the holidays, but that just always seemed so extreme to me. is it just me?

  • Hillary

    Glad you guys like them!! And don’t forget if you’d like to be included, you can always email us at chewonthatblog [at]gmail[dot]com!

  • gilli

    Dince Food channels and blogging I have leart a lot about poultry and poeple from the USA have the turkey well sorted.
    The most wonderful thing is the brining of turkey chicken breast etc. Whay a difference that makes.
    I would love to try Deep fried Turkey though. We have a friend from the deep south and that’s where I first heard about it. It sounds wonderful but we don’t have the gear here for this method. SoI guess I will just have to dream
    Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

  • http://windowsexplorer kathleen gilbert

    Confession of a Maryland Cheater: It seems the Holiday Season’s potluck and baking requirements are increasing as I age. But, my wisdom and wit are also increasing with age! Need a quick and delicious main potluck entree? Follow these directions: 1. telephone your closest Weis’s grocery store deli and order their 13X9 pan of “cheese and spinich lasagna”, $17.99. Upon pick-up grab 1/2 cup shredded/grated parmasean cheese from the salad bar and 1 lg. portobello mushroom from fresh produce. Go home and preheat oven to 375degrees. Wash mushroom and and slice cap (only) lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. Slide slices evenly under top layer of lasagna pasta. Sprinkle cheese on top of lasagna and bake for 15-20 min. Then, remove from oven and transport to your social function. It’s optional as to whether or not you choose to lie when complimented! Rushed and need a quick baked item? Go to your closest Big Lots discounter store and puchase a 17.5 oz bag of Coronet (from Germany) giinger cookies for $2.50. Go home and sprinkle lightly with confectioner’s sugar and arrange a festive Holiday plate. It’;s also optional whether you lie about ithis one! Enjoy your time with your family and break from cooking this Holiday Season.

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