Thanksgiving Recipe Swap and Open Thread

Well, it’s Tuesday night before Thanksgiving and you might be wondering to yourself, “What the fuck am I going to take to that pot-luck?” or “Would anybody notice if I used the pot butter in the mashed potatoes?” or “Did Nojo really watch that entire Republican debate with only one six pack?”

If you’re tired of the same-old, same-old holiday recipes, and are looking for something new to try out, Stinque is here to help.

A few favorites from the SFL household after the jump. Feel free to ask for ideas or offer recipes in the comments.

First, Dungeness Crab, more of a tradition in Ess Eff than the turkey.

Grilled Dungeness Crabs with Spicy Butter

4 cooked Dungeness crabs, 1-1/2 to 2 lbs each
2 stick unsalted butter, sliced
6 garlic cloves, crushed
Juice of 1 or 2 lemons, plus another for garnishing
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. fresh black pepper
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 c. chopped green onions

Start the barbecue to medium heat or indirect coals. Crack and clean the crabs.  Divide into 8 separate piles on a large sheet of aluminum foil. On each pile, place one-fourth of the other ingredients (except use only the lemon juice). Wrap up the pile in foil so that there are no leaks and they are in little pockets. Pop on the grill and cook for about 10 minutes. Put each foil packet on a plate and garnish with lemon. Pig out.  Serves 8.

Corn Bread Dressing With Chestnuts

8 c. cornbread, cut into 1/2″ pieces
3 c. turkey or chicken stock
1 c. dried cherries
8 bacon slices, finely chopped (tip: can also use ground sausage removed from casings)
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 jar (14.8 oz) French chestnuts
3 tbs. fresh chopped sage
3 tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 13 x 9 baking dish.  Arrange cornbread on a baking sheet and toast for 20 minutes in the oven. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, warm stock.  Remove pan from heat and add dried cherries. Let cool.  In a fry pan over medium heat, warm olive oil.  Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp.  Transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate.  Add onion, celery, and carrot to the fry pan and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 min.  Season with salt and pepper.  In a large bowl, combine corn bread, bacon, onion mixture, chestnuts, sage, and parsley. Whisk egg into stock mixture and add to cornbread mixture.  Season with salt and pepper and stir gently to mix.  Transfer dressing to prepared baking dish. Bake until browned and crispy, about 1 hr. Serves 10-12.

SFL’s Cranberry Sauce

2 c. minced onions
1 c. minced celery
1 tsp. canola or vegetable oil
1 bag fresh cranberries
salt to taste
1 c. unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp. freshly grated orange peel
juice of 1 orange
1/2 c. pure maple syrup

In a covered non-reactive saucepan on medium heat, saute the onions and celery in the oil until softened and translucent, about 10 min. Add the cranberries and a pinch of salt, lower the heat and cover, simmering and stirring occasionally until the cranberries have popped, about 10 min. Remove from heat and stir in the applesauce, orange peel and juice, and maple syrup. The sauce should be tart – only add enough maple syrup to offset the sourness of the cranberries. Can be served cold or warm. If you want to be really fancy, bake acorn squashes sliced in half and use this as a filling.

Okay Stinquers, what do you have to share with the crowd?


I like the simpler cranberry sauce — one bag of cranberries, one cup of water, 1/2 cup sugar, in a pot together, bring to a boil, voila, cranberry sauce! Mmmmm!

It’s excellent also on English muffins.

And then there’s creamed onions which are a must-have for any complete Thanksgiving.

2 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons flour
1 cup scalded milk (or 1/4 cup onion water and 3/4 cup cream)
1 small onion studded with 3 or 4 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
One jar baby onions
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Melt butter over low heat. Add and blend flour into butter over low heat for three to five minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool, then slowly stir in liquid.

Add onion and bay leaf. Cook and stir with a wire whisk or wooden spoon until thickened and smooth. Place in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. You can strain the sauce if you want it super smooth. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Add jar of onions (or go nuts and steam fresh baby onions*), cook over medium heat for one minute. Add parsley and paprika. Voila!

*I consider this a bridge too far. Have you ever tried to peel enough baby onions to serve even four people?

@karen marie has her eyes tight shut: I add a bit of chopped candied ginger and toasted slivered almonds to that basic cranberry sauce.

We’re doing all local this Thanksgiving: roast chicken (just two of us), veggies from CSA, and this apple tart cake (which is also great for breakfast the day after):

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
5 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into a few pieces
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced very thinly

For topping:
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade attachment, combine the sugar, flour, and baking powder. Pulse to mix. Add the butter, and pulse until no large lumps remain. Add the vanilla and the egg, and blend well, until it resembles cornmeal. Dump it into the prepared springform pan. Nudge it around with your fingertips to distribute it evenly, and then gently press it along the bottom of the pan. You’re not trying to really tamp it down; you just want to compact it a little. At the edges, let it curve up ever so slightly, like a tart shell with a very low, subtle rim. Arrange the apple slices over the base in a tight circular pattern. It may seem as though you have too many apple slices to fit, but keep going. Really squeeze them in. Slide the pan into the oven, and bake for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the topping. Combine the ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk to blend well. After the cake has baked for 45 minutes, remove it from the oven, and spoon the topping evenly over it. Bake for another 25 minutes or so, until the topping looks set. Transfer the pan to a wire rack, and cool for 20 minutes. Then run a thin knife around the edge to release any areas that may have stuck, and remove the sides of the pan. Cool completely before serving. Can be made the day ahead.

I’ve been cleaning and spot painting since Sunday. Thanksgiving is a Mrs RML production. I’m just the help.

what do you have to share with the crowd?

Botulism, mostly.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: Ha!

Impressive and delicious sounding receipts. For a perfect ending to the traditional Limey Thanksgiving I suggest Whim-Whams.

Have Fortnums fly you out a package of ladyfingers. Buy a bottle of really good brandy. Drink brandy to pass time till ladyfingers arrive. When ladyfingers arrive buy more brandy. Setting aside a couple of glasses of brandy pour a generous amount onto a dinner plate. Have a decorative serving dish standing by. I recommend Limoges. Oh. When you order the ladyfingers have Fortnums add a couple of bottles of double cream. Do NOT buy the clotted cream as it tastes like snot. Where was I? Right. Pour the cream into a bowl and whip lightly. Do not beat it. But treat all gently. As you whip it into foaming peaks of frothy goodness put thoughts of Johnny Earl to one side and drizzle in a thin thread of brandy. Back to ladyfingers. Dip lightly in brandy and set out in a layer on serving platter thingy. Cover layer with layer of brandied whipped cream. Speaking of brandied, add some of Fortnums finest crystalized fruit which you have remembered to add to your order so can now chop to put near the whipped cream. At this point I would recommend drinking at least one glass of brandy for the nourishment it provides. You might need two. Now add a second layer of brandy-dipped ladyfingers on top of the whipped cream. Then another layer of ladyfingers: and so on. Set it to chill, put your feet up and enjoy an adult beverage or two. Brandy comes to mind. Take Whim-Wham from Frigidaire and slice like a cake, and do your best to get slices onto plates.

I make no promises. And if it all collapses into a foul stinking mess use it as another reason to be thankful and celebrate with a glass of brandy or two and try not to make embarrassing calls to disgraced politicians.

A traditional 18th cent English desert as might have been enjoyed by Miss Austen. Forerunner of the vile Victorian trifle.

Rum Balllzzzzz

Nilla Wafers
Karo syrup
unsweetened Hershey’s cocoa
powdered sugar

@karen marie has her eyes tight shut: Agreed.

Rum ballz = Xmas, oh and, using Flor de Caña in RBs is like, I dunno, pouring it down the drain.

Use the cheap stuff, drink the good stuff. Repeat. Florevah.

WTF am I doing up? I’m wondering the same fucking thing. At 3 something AM, Crazy Relative decided to come downstairs and turn on the lights – those long florescent tube lights – and rustle around. I was like, uh, what the hell is she doing? I pulled the covers over my head, and she said, “JNOV? I didn’t know you were down here.” I have no idea where she expected me to be at 3 whatever AM, and I said, “What time is it?” She didn’t respond and went back upstairs and turned off the light. I am at the dunkin donuts attempting suicide by caffeine. Not. Working.

@baked: If you’re up, this would be a great time to call.

I’m having to prepare Mac and cheese for my dad’s Obama hatin side of the family this year. Does anyone have any good recipes? I’m not looking to include cyanide–yet. At least my libtarded mom will be there with me, and for her, I’m bringing a flask of scotch.

@rptrcub: The baked custard kind? I have a good one for the stove top. Very easy and cheesy.

@rptrcub: This is what I make, and I toast the breadcrumbs in a toaster oven.

Toasted Bread Crumbs
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs from French or Italian bread
Pinch table salt
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
2 large eggs
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
2 teaspoons table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard, dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, American cheese, or Monterey Jack cheese, grated (about 3 cups)


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix bread crumb ingredients together in small baking pan. Bake until golden brown and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes; set aside.

2. Meanwhile, mix eggs, 1 cup of the evaporated milk, pepper sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, pepper, and mustard mixture in small bowl; set aside.

3. Meanwhile, heat 2 quarts water to boil in large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and macaroni; cook until almost tender, but still a little firm to the bite. Drain and return to pan over low heat. Add butter; toss to melt.

4. Pour egg mixture over buttered noodles along with three-quarters of the cheese; stir until thoroughly combined and cheese starts to melt. Gradually add remaining milk and cheese, stirring constantly, until mixture is hot and creamy, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately topped with toasted bread crumbs.

@rptrcub: The only possible conflict I see for tomorrow is between my friend who is running for judge and another friend of ours, who was invited yesterday by another guest, who is supporting our friend’s opponent. Fun fact: Guest used to sleep with the guy she invited.

All our 12-13 guests tomorrow (parents, my niece who runs, friends) are either mod to super lib Dems or at least Obama supporters. Mr. Guest is my friend who did two tours in Iraq who I think may be upgrading his resident alien status now.

/ off to fold laundry, clear the kitchen and clean the rugs

@JNOV will never finish this fucking sweater!: Sounds good. Thank you.

@redmanlaw: Sounds like a time for alcohol. At least for me.

I’m going to the doctor today and will hopefully come back with a script for Xanax or something to get through Christmas. I’ve been having panic attacks in enclosed spaces with large numbers of strangers. Holiday parties are going to be either awkward or completely avoided. I am going to hate going to the grocery store this afternoon, and will definitely avoid one of the Krogers near our house, where a friend of mine witnessed a knife fight in the parking lot over a parking space.

@rptrcub: Have you tried Klonopin? Xanax lasts 3 hours, but usually scripts are written for no more than 3 mg/day. So, every three hours, no matter the dose, you go through a mini-withdrawal and rebound panic which leads to taking more Xanax to handle the rebound.

Klonopin last for ~8 hours, so the chances of rebound panic are greatly reduced. Xanax works faster, but if you know that you’re going to be stressed, Klonopin taken about 30-45 minutes before Expected Shitty Situation tends to hit and last through Expected, Unexpected, and Out of the Fucking Blue Shitty Situation, and there’s less chance you’ll build up a tolerance as quickly or as severely as you might to Xanax.

@JNOV will never finish this fucking sweater!: Hmmm. That might work. My bet, though, is the doc just saying “let’s see if the current assorted galaxy of drugs that you’re taking help anything” (two anticonvulsants, one antidepressant and one antipsychotic) without changing anything. “It’s just the holidays, you’ll get through it.” or even better, “Let me give you the number of a therapist so you can think your way out of this.”

And then bumming Vitamins K or X off of my mother, who has done that before for me.

@rptrcub: Tell him(?) about the panic bordering on agoraphobia – that this is not your usual GAD. Describe any fight, flight, or freeze responses in detail. Say you just need it PRN, and chances are that you’ll get a limited amount. But take it from me, you do not want to risk becoming addicted to Xanax. It’s a very, very bad ride.

@JNOV will never finish this fucking sweater!: Thanks. Last Saturday, I ran and hid in the cafe at the front of the grocery store (Mr. Cub’s grocery shopping strategy is to stop and investigate items in the middle of busy crowded aisles, whereas I target the needed item and get the fuck out of the vicinity), then later at a Thanksgiving gathering in a small 2BR house with FIFTY PEOPLE I didn’t know inside, I ran screaming down the street trying to get away.

@rptrcub: Yeah. Once I was on the train home, and I was reading a NYT article about 9/11. Someone left a paper sack on an empty seat, and I was like, “Um. Oh.” The rational part of me was like, “Someone left their lunch container or something.” But Panic said, “Get the hell off of this train at the next stop!”

Rational: C’mon — it’s nothing.

Panic: Should I tell the conductor or just get off? I don’t want to sound crazy, but if I don’t report it, and people blow up…

Rational: Yes, you will sound crazy because this is crazy talk. It’s just someone’s left-over lunch.

Panic: Do you really want to take that chance? Remember all the signs you’ve seen about reporting unattended bags?

Rational: C’mon! Who’s going to blow up the R5?

Panic: You never know.

Rational: You read that article, you already have anxiety issues, this is just a trigger.

Panic: Fuck it. I’ll just blow up with everyone else.

@rptrcub: The best mac & cheese is the simplest.

2 cups milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups (12 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
Worcestershire sauce
1 pound dried pasta (elbow macaroni, cork-screw cavatappi, spiral rotini or fusilli)
Fresh bread crumbs, browned in butter

Start the pasta. Heat milk in microwave. Melt butter over low heat, add flour and stir for a couple minutes. Add hot milk slowly, then bring to a boil to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, a couple shots of Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Season with salt to taste.

Dump cheese sauce and pasta into buttered baking dish, cover with bread crumbs browned in butter and, if you feel like it, throw some more shredded cheddar over the top. Bake in a 375 oven for 10-12 minutes until toasty.

If you like a saucier mac&cheese, like me, increase sauce ingredients by 50%.


I make a lot of pies. This is a pretty simple recipe for crust. It works well for me.

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick Butter flavored vegetable shortening
2 teaspoons lemon juice
7 – 9 tablespoons ice water

Toss flour and salt together in a medium bowl. Add shortening, breaking it into small bits. Using a pastry blender, cut the fat into the flour until it looks like rice.

Sprinkle the lemon juice over the crumbs, plus 1 tablespoon of the water. Toss with a fork. Add the remaining water 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with the fork. When the dough sticks together, form it into a ball. Divide the ball into two pieces, one slightly larger (for the bottom crust.) Flatten to 1 inch thick, wrap in plastic and refrigerate.

When ready to bake the pie, roll out the larger piece of dough. I do this between sheets of plastic wrap, 2 pieces overlapped for top and bottom. I keep flipping and resetting the wrap as the dough spreads out. When it is more than large enough to cover the plate, take the top layer of plastic off and fold the dough in half over the remaining plastic. Position the folded dough over half of the plate and unfold over the other half. Adjust if needed and then press the dough down into the bottom.

If a two crust pie is going to be made, leave the plastic in place until the filling is ready and the top crust is rolled out. Then remove the plastic wrap and trim the dough to about ½ inch of the plate.

I will freeze my leftover crust to use for mincemeat tarts at Christmas. We’ll be making the SFL cranberry sauce tonight along with apple pie.

I see I am going to have to throw down with the best Chocolate Cookie Recipie ever when I get back to the real computer.

@DElurker: Woot! LMK how it goes and if you have preguntas. Sometimes if there’s any leftover chopped carrots from Mr. SFL’s cornbread dressing recipe, I throw them in to bulk up the sauce and give it some natural sweetness.

@Tommmcatt Be Fat, And That Be That: Oh, it’s on. Here we go:

Crush one sleeve graham crackers into bowl. Add 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips and one can sweetened condensed milk. Stir. Bake in 8×8 pan at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

All the prep work is done for tonight. The house looks awesome. Time to pour a drink and slap on “Love Actually” with Mrs RML. A co-worker of her’s woke up this morning and found her husband cold and unresponsive. He’d died during the night. Their two sons were flying in for Thanksgiving and now they’ll be burying their father. Mrs RML took it very hard.

Hold your loved ones close.

@DElurker: How the hell do you roll it out without it looking like a map of Texas? That’s my issue. Great crust, shitty rolling. Oh, apple pie!

@redmanlaw: Xrist that’s rough. My worst fear is that during one of my extended jaunts (like now), a close one – or me – will suffer something dire like this.

I’m missing T-day with all my loved ones (now traditionally held at my homestead), having to make do with a gathering of artificial family members with whom I only share the blood and sweat of eight hour work days and limited knowledge of the local language.

I usually do the bird, the stuffing (bagged with some sliced apples and celery thrown in), mashed potatoes and rutabaga. Moms does the sprouts and the real cranberries, brother 1 supplies the vino, sis-in-law 3 makes the pies. When I was a kid there was always one/one sweet potato on the table, until Moms learned that I too liked them.

@redmanlaw: This is a delicate time, the time towards the end of the year. My birthday is Nov. 10th, but my dead father’s was the 18th and my parents’ anniversary was the 8th – thus November is a horrible month for my mother. And your wife’s friend will always associate the holiday with this awful event. Sad.

@redmanlaw: And my mother was just diagnosed with cancer. Stage 1 kidney cancer, we caught it in time. Not trying to one-up you, just trying to reinforce the point: love them, hold them, call them and make up if you need to, but do it now. Tomorrow might be too late.

So sorry, Catt, RML, bloggie. It is a bad time of year. My dearest friend died of an aortic aneurysm11/22/03. Thanksgiving used to be my favorite holiday, but now I find it hard to face.

@Tommmcatt Be Fat, And That Be That: My boy Catt would never try to one up anyone one this. Our prayers will be with Mom Catt.

@Tommmcatt Be Fat, And That Be That: Oh Catty, I hate to hear that. Best wishes for your mom.
@redmanlaw: That’s horrible.
@Mistress Cynica: I hope that with time, the holiday will not be so hard for you, and maybe move to being more in the “bittersweet” category, as Thanksgiving is a good holiday (it’s my favorite, too, because it’s (1) not religious, (2) not overcommercialized, (3) all about food). Mr. SFL’s best friend died last year on my birthday, which needless to say made it a sad day, I’m already anticipating the day with some dread.

@SanFranLefty: What, you don’t like “Love Actually”? That chick flick has the coveted Dude’s Seal of Approval at Casa RML.

@redmanlaw: I really like “Love Actually” – I’m a huge Emma Thompson fan-girl. Alan Rickman is a great actor. The comment “that’s horrible” was with reference to Mrs. RML’s coworker.

@SanFranLefty: PBS Masterpiece has a great piece (just 45 min) with the two of them called “The Slow Lunch.” It’s online now. Highly recommend.

@Mistress Cynica: Hans Gruber/”Clay, Bill Clay” rules.

@SanFranLefty: There’s a flag on the field: “Attempted humorous misdirection, offense. Five yards.”

@Mistress Cynica: Oooh, thanks for the tip. I love the two of them in “Sense and Sensibility,” the movie that Mr. SFL refers to as “The Vexations Movie”

@redmanlaw: Flew over my head… I hadn’t had coffee yet.

@mellbell: Your chocolate chip cookie recipe sounds like a cookie/brownie hybrid. I’m oddly intrigued by it, perhaps because I can’t bake for shit (all those rules and precision) yet it sounds idiot-proof.

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