Friday, January 6, 2012

It's Thanksgiving Every Day!

I think I may have mentioned I have been collecting recipes for over 30 years. I started as a teenager for my hope chest - one day I would be married and have to cook. Sounds a little sexist now, when I think about it, but such as it was. I would periodically shuffle through them, discarding those I knew I would never make or had an ingredient that made us shudder. Additionally, I have two bookcases stuffed with cookbooks. Yes, I'm a bit obsessive...

My kitchen had stacked in one corner several boxes of recipes that had not been filed or sorted through, and last year I decided come hell or high water I would plow through them. I did. It took me six months, but I did it. Okay, I didn't work on it every day, but most days I did!

At any rate, the sorting and organizing resulted in multiple bags for the recycle bin and several glorious labeled binders. One of the first I worked diligently on was the binder for Thanksgiving. Not only is it huge, but required at least two binders. Afterward, I mentioned it to a friend about what I'd done and how I was looking forward to Thanksgiving now. She remarked, "Why wait? Every day is Thanksgiving!"

I realized she was right, and while the recipes remain currently in that designated binder, I do now periodically go through it for ideas for my weekly meals. Kind of out of character for me, but hey, new year, new ways, right?

Cheezy Gratin of Cruciferous Vegetables (not a sexy title, but sums it up well enough!)

4 slices vegan bacon
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 package frozen Brussels sprouts
1 package frozen broccoli/cauliflower mix
1-1/2 c. vegan milk (I used plain soy)
1 c. vegetable broth
4 T. vegan butter
5 T. flour
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. thyme
Pepper to taste
1 package Daiya cheddar cheese

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until softened, set aside. Boil Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower according to package directions. Drain. Cook bacon and set aside.
Combine milk and vegetable broth in a pot, bring to a simmer and remove from heat.
Melt butter in another pot, add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until flour is a light golden brown. Whisk in half the milk/broth mixture until thick, then add remaining milk/broth mixture. Cook about 5 minutes, whisking often. To this whisk in the mustard, salt, thyme and pepper.
Add vegetables to a casserole dish and pour the sauce over it. Sprinkle with the Daiya cheese and crumbled bacon.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

Home Style Succotash

1 package of baby carrots
1/2 c. vegetable broth
1 package frozen lima beans, thawed
1 package frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 package sliced mushrooms
1/4 c. vegan milk
1/4 t. pepper

In a large pot, bring the broth and baby carrots to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes, until carrots are still a little crisp. Stir in lima beans, corn, mushrooms, milk and pepper. Simmer, covered until all vegetables are tender.

Delectable Ambrosia

2 grapefruit
3 oranges
2 tangerines
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. shredded coconut

Peel all the fruit and break into sections. Cut each section in half and remove any seeds. Mix fruit in a bowl with the sugar and coconut. Chill at least one hour.

And it just wouldn't be complete without the

Cumberland Cranberry Sauce

2 lbs. thick, whole-berry cranberry sauce (the directions are on the back of the cranberry bag)
1/2 T. dry mustard (more if desired)
Juice and grated rind of 1 or 2 oranges
1 to 2 T. cornstarch
1 t. lemon juice
2 to 3 T. sugar

Dissolve the mustard in the orange juice, together with about a teaspoon of cornstarch. Add to the cranberry sauce, along with the lemon juice, grated orange rind, and 2 Tablespoons of sugar. Heat the sauce, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes. Taste the sauce for seasoning, adding more sugar if needed. If the sauce is too thin dissolve another teaspoon of cornstarch in a little juice or water and stir it in. Chill well before serving.

Now feast!

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