FORT WORTH, Texas November 22, 2014 — Old family traditions are dear to us, especially at Thanksgiving. Like most families, our own favorite Thanksgiving recipes have been handed down throughout the generations. We always serve two traditional Thanksgiving recipes – Cranberry Relish and Pumpkin pie – at my family’s table every year.
The first of these, Cranberry Relish, is from my wonderful mother-in-law Hazel, who taught me how to cook Southern cuisine. Although there are many different recipes for this dish, this one was her favorite. Mine too. It’s also the only way cranberries will cross my lips.
This gelatin-salad has just the right amount of sweetness to counteract the cranberry bitterness. The medley of cranberry chunks, toasted pecans, and crushed pineapple delight the palate, while the raspberry gelatin is the base that brings it all together. This light and refreshing salad is also a welcome addition to the table any time of year.
1 package (3oz.) raspberry gelatin
1 cup miniature marshmallows (10 large)
½ cup granulated sugar
8 oz. can crushed pineapple, with juice
1 cup orange juice
1 cup *toasted pecans
1 cup boiling water
1 package (12oz.) whole cranberries
Wash and sort cranberries. Chop with food processor or hand chopper until no whole berries remain although chunks are nice. Dissolve raspberry gelatin in boiling water while stirring for at least two minutes. Add sugar, pineapple w/juice, and orange juice. Stir.
Fold in cranberries, pecans and marshmallows. At this point put into your favorite serve ware or a gelatin mold. Use cooking spray (unflavored) to make unmolding easier. Either way, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Unmold cranberry relish just before serving. Gently loosen edges of gelatin and, if necessary, soak bottom of mold in warm water for a few seconds. Flip over after placing serving dish on top. Gently pat mold to release salad. Cranberry Relish is best when made at least a day ahead.
Next up: The best pumpkin pie you’ll ever have. My mother made this version every year, much to my family’s collective glee. She never said where she got the recipe. But knowing her, it came out of a newspaper back in the 1950s.
1 ¾ cup cooked pumpkin (or 15oz. can)
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cup milk (regular – not evaporated or sweetened condensed)
2/3 cup brown sugar (I use light brown)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Make crust for 9” one-crust pie (or use an uncooked refrigerated or frozen ready-made pie crust – follow directions.) Mix all ingredients together. Pour into pie shell.
Bake in pre-heated oven @425 degrees for 45-55 minutes. If the crust starts to get too brown loosely cover with foil. Pie is ready when toothpick inserted comes out clean. Center of pie should jiggle just a bit but the rest should not.
Pumpkin pie is best when made at least a day ahead too. It gives all the flavors a chance to blend together. When pie cools, store it in refrigerator. After Thanksgiving dinner, top with homemade whipped cream and enjoy!
May each and every one of my readers have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving Day.