A week before Thanksgiving I started with preparing the family cheese ball. This is an easy recipe and something that you can make ahead of time. I typically make many and freeze.
REINETTE'S CHEESE BALL
Folks have been known to eat an entire cheese ball at one sitting!
1/3 square blue cheese
1/4 lb. Velveeta cheese
2 small pkg. cream cheese (or 3/4 of a large pkg)
green onions chopped
Combine blue cheese, Velveeta and cream cheese, add the green onions and mix with an electric mixer until smooth.
Roll all the ingredients into a ball, then roll the ball into chopped pecans.
Either refrigerate or wrap tightly and freeze for unexpected company or your next event.
BAKED POTATO CASSEROLE
6 potatoes ( recipe calls for Idaho)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese ( I like sharp)
1 stick butter
2 cups sour cream
1/2 chopped green onions
salt and pepper
Cook potatoes in the skins until tender, (they're done once you can insert a fork into the potatoes) pull the potatoes off the stove and refrigerated until cool. Once the potatoes are cooled peel and shred them coarsely. In another bowl mix your cheese and melted butter. Then add the prepared potatoes. Add onion and season with salt and pepper, add sour cream and mix. Put in a greased baking dish and sprinkle the top with paprika. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.
JOHNNIE'S GREEN BEANS
The first time I had this recipe was at Aunt Lauren and Uncle Steve's rehearsal dinner in Topeka, Kansas. They were prepared by Steve's mother, Johnnie Drenner, this recipe I have been asked for the most often.
2 cans green beans
6 strips of bacon - fried crisp
1/2 cup of vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
Set on the stove until ready to serve. It's best when fixed several hours ahead of time to let the flavors mix.
THANKSGIVING STUFFING -
The smell and taste of this dish can only bring back fond family memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas in San Antonio. There are many little steps to make this special stuffing but well worth the effort! Kudo's to Heidi for keeping the tradition alive for so many years....
The key to making this moist stuffing is to use the stock to mix and top the entire mixtue with the gravy.
2 large celery chopped fine, divided
Equal amount of finely chopped onions, divided
2 sticks butter
1 batch biscuits
1 batch cornbread
salt and pepper to taste
Stock (this can be canned, approximately 2 quarts, 2 - 32 oz)
sage to taste - (2 tablespoons - fresh)
2 cups flour
raisins - optional
2 DAYS AHEAD
2 cups of flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons Crisco (or butter)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
Mix all ingredients together, bake in a greased baking dish at 375 for 25 minutes.
1/4 cup of veg. oil
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
2 - 4 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 egg - beaten
Combine all the dry ingredients then pour the oi, milk and egg together.
Bake in a greased baking dish at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
1 DAY AHEAD:
Chop celery and onions and put in separate bags.
Take out giblets. Put with 1/2 celery and onions. Fill large (2 plus quarts) pan with water and make broth. Use the tops of celery. Simmer 4-5 hours. (you can do this early and refrigerate)
Start preparing the stuffing 2 hours before dinner. Saute 1/2 onions and celery until clear. Crumble the biscuits and cornbread together.
Crumble biscuits and cornbread together
1 stick butter, 1/2 of the celery and onions and saute. Pour 1/2 cup of turkey juice, 1 1/2 cups of flour and some broth. Strain the flour and broth mix into celery and onions. Mix, add more flour if needed. Darken with Kitchen Bouquet. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer. Add more broth if it cooks down too much.
3. When mixture is thickened, add butter, almond extract, food coloring and cherries. Cover and refrigerate.
4. On lightly covered surface, roll out half of the pastry into an 11 inch circle. Put into 9 inch pie dish. Roll other half of pastry into another 11 inch circle. With a knife or pastry wheel, cut eight 1/2 inch strips.
5. Pour cooled cherry filling into pie dish. Place pastry strips horizontally, then vertically,across the top of the pie and lightly brush with egg yolk.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes, and cool before serving.
I find myself being grateful for the smallest of things these days. I know how very lucky I truly am. I cherish the smiles, the laughter and just being together.... It was almost perfect, but we missed our Natalie...