Thanksgiving with Papa Bear

December 4, 2009 at 12:00 am | Posted in Cookbooks, Dessert, Dinner | 10 Comments

So this year I had two thanksgiving dinners! The first was at my grandma’s house with most of my mom’s family and abuelita basically prepared everything and I got to do the waldorf salad. The second thanksgiving was prepared by my Daddy and I in my kitchen! We fried a turkey (hoooray) and made lots of delicious things including, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, herbed oyster stuffing, green bean casserole, leftover waldorf salad, canned cranberry and cannolis and pumpkin semifreddo for dessert! Lots and lots and lots of food!! Enough for leftovers for all of us + Ned for two solid nights!


The most flavorful part of our meal was the herbed oyster stuffing, such a good recipe I pasted it below! The squishy oyster bits kind of weirded me out so I didn’t take any portions of that for my leftover plates, but man were the green bean casserole and mashed potatoes rockin! Check out some of my dimly lit pictures below…

Yeah so I wish the light above the dining room table is a little better, but whatever! I was not going to go and photograph each dish on my food photography station when there was so much eating to be had!

Here’s our bird- with proud papa! It was a 12 pounder and took about 1 hr 10 mins to fry.


Here’s the potatoes- I had never roasted garlic heads before. And so I found directions from Elise and it worked great! Just enough garlic to flavor the potatoes, but not enough to overwhelm them.


Here’s the green bean casserole- probably the easiest recipe of the lot and boy did I feel like I was cheating! I blanched some fresh green beans and then heated up one can cream of mushroom soup (wegmans brand I’ll have you know) + 3/4 cup 1% milk + dash of leftover cream from potatoes. I took some fried onions and mixed those with the beans in a small pyrex dish and then poured the whole soupy mixture on top. Then grinded lots of pepper to season and baked at 350 for 30 minutes and added some more fried onions at the last minutes of baking. So rich and creamy and so tasty too with the onions and fresh green beans.


Here’s the waldorf salad- grandma’s recipe. Basically apples, walnuts, and celery all mixed together with lemon/orange juice and mayo! The most refreshing part of our meal besides the tasty sweet cranberry!


Ah the cranberry- so full of high fructose corn syrup. so delicious….


Here’s the stuffing- the fresh herbs really hit this one out of the park.


I halved this recipe….

2 loaves Italian or French bread (1 lb total), cut into 3/4-inch cubes (12 cups)
1/2 lb sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil (if needed)
2 medium onions, finely chopped (2 cups)
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried thyme, crumbled
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage or 2 teaspoons dried sage, crumbled
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
18 oysters, shucked, drained, and chopped (3/4 cup)
2 1/4 cups turkey giblet stock or low-sodium chicken broth

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Spread bread cubes in 2 shallow baking pans and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of pans halfway through baking, until golden, 25 to 30 minutes total. Cool bread in pans on racks, then transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain, reserving fat in skillet.

If bacon renders less than 1/4 cup fat, add enough oil to skillet to total 1/4 cup fat. Cook onions, celery, thyme, sage, garlic, salt, and pepper in fat in skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with bread cubes, then stir in bacon, parsley, butter, and oysters. Drizzle with stock, then season with salt and pepper and toss well.

Transfer stuffing to a buttered 3- to 3 1/2-quart shallow baking dish. Bake, covered, in middle of oven 30 minutes, then uncover and bake until browned, about 30 minutes more.

Lastly was Tartelette’s pumpkin semifreddo. I saw the recipe on Wednesday before Thanksgiving and knew that I wanted to do something other than cannolis for dessert on Friday. Luckily I had all of the ingredients in the fridge so I whipped up three ramekins full on Wednesday night! They were very tasty- better than an ice cream I think. See the recipe here!


All in all, I’m really happy Dad and I succeeded at this test of culinary feats! I really can’t wait until I have my own kitchen and big family to cook for!



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  1. Looks wonderful especially the squishy parts!!! Can’t believe you’ve never made roasted garlic before. Wowsers. Looking forward to tonight.

  2. Elizabeth, I have a weakness for canned cranberry sauce from having it at many family holiday dinners. Your feast looks perfect.

    • isn’t it funny that we all love the canned cranberry?? I feel like its a closet love for alot of us!

  3. I also have a serious weakness for canned cranberry sauce. I just try not to look at the label so I don’t see all that HFCS.

    Turkey friers really scare me though–I’m always afraid that propane tank is just going to turn into a fireball!

    Your oyster stuffing looks so much better than what we always have, which is basically two sleeves of saltines, oysters, and butter. Maybe next year I will try to subsitute 😉

    • haha, actually so the line that runs from the propane tank to the fryer actually did spring a leak and there was a teeny fire, but dad caught it thankfully and wrapped up the line in clear packing tape. it did the trick! Hell yeah my oyster stuffing is better! saltines? really beth??

      • “teeny fire” you make me laugh!

        The saltines are SOOO not my recipe, and I have never been involved in the making of oyster stuffing. It’s totally a Schively family thing!

  4. Elizabeth, do not feel guilty about your canned green bean cassarole! Buck once made a bechamel sauce with fresh sliced mushrooms, fresh green beans, and his own fried onions… and while it was good, it wasn’t Cambell’s soup and French’s onions!! So this year we stuck with the canned goo (even canned green beans!). Mikey was in charge of that. 🙂 Canned things can remind you of your childhood, which makes for way better for than from-scratch.

    • thats awesome that you went back to the canned soup way!

      I think thanksgiving is a good time to open up some cans! ha

  5. Oh, that 4th to last word was supposed to be food. Fast fingers, gah!

  6. Oohhh… the pumpkin semifreddo sounds so good!

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