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Thanksgiving recipes: Hazel’s Cranberry Salad and Mom’s Pumpkin Pie

Written By | Nov 20, 2018
Thanksgiving, Cranberry Salad, Pumpkin Pie, Claire Hickey

Hazel’s Cranberry Salad and Pumpkin Pie

FORT WORTH:  Thanksgiving means old family traditions, particularly when it comes to food. Like most families, our own favorite Thanksgiving recipes have been handed down throughout the generations. Every family has their favorites, from green bean casserole to Waldorf Salad.  At our house, we always serve two traditional Thanksgiving recipes – Cranberry Salad and Pumpkin pie.

Hazel’s Cranberry Salad

The first of these, Cranberry Salad, 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. And now it is also mine. 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.

Cranberry Salad
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 the cranberries. Chop with food processor or hand chopper until no whole berries remain, however retain some chunks.  Dissolve raspberry gelatin in boiling water, 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 by soak bottom of the mold in warm water for a few seconds. Flip over after placing serving dish on top. Gently pat mold to release salad. Cranberry Salad is best when made at least a day ahead.

Mom’s Pumpkin PIe

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.

Pumpkin Pie Ingredients

1 ¾ cup cooked pumpkin (or 15oz. can)
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cup milk (regular – not evaporated or sweetened condensed)
2 eggs
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 package 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 coveredges with a strip of 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. After the pie cools, store it in the refrigerator. Top with homemade whipped cream and a shake of cinnamon and nutmeg.

May each and every one of my readers have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving Day.


Read more of Claire’s work at Feed the Mind, Nourish the Soul in the Communities Digital News and Greater Fort Worth Writers Group.

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Claire Hickey

Claire Hickey was born the last year of the Baby Boom and spent the first half of childhood in Chicago. She has always loved to write but wanted to create pieces worth reading. Her curiosity and love of research lead her to create her column based on the “garbage in garbage out” theory to provide interesting and thought-provoking pieces that enrich her readers. She also believes life is a banquet and loves to learn new things. Her professional pedigree includes Cosmetology, Surgical Technology, and the Culinary Arts. When not working she loves to spend time with family and friends. She lives in Fort Worth.