Santa Claus Worldwide distills the cheerful essence of Christmas from many sources and studies, old and new. In addition to his wide reading, author Tom A. Jerman has brought a wealth of personal experience
In my prior post for Thanksgiving week, I promised to post a number of my favorite vintage Thanksgiving postcards, most of them postmarked between 1907 and 1910, and some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes. This is No. 3.
World’s Best Cranberry Sauce
The first recipe, which I borrowed from Emeril Lagasse, is for the best cranberry sauce ever made. If it is not as much as you want, you can double or triple the ingredients without any problem.
Mix the following Ingredients a good sauce pan:
- 2 cups cranberries
- Juice and zest of one orange
- 1/4 cup Ruby Port
- 1/2 cup sugar (or more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for a couple of hours. Use potato masher to break up cranberries.
If it is not thick enough for your taste, simmer longer or add a tablespoon of cornstarch, mixed with water. You can make and refrigerate two or three days in advance.
King’s Arm Sweet Potatoes
This recipe is from King’s Arm Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg. Sweet potatoes can be hit or miss but most folks seems to like these.
Boil 3 pounds of sweet potatoes until tender–fork ‘em–and let cool until you can easily peel them. Put peeled potatoes into a stand mixer with following ingredients and mix well.
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed, divided
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk
You can double or triple ingredients if desired. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use a hand mixer. When well mixed, put into buttered casserole pan, sprinkle with reserved brown sugar and cover with aluminum foil. You can kick it up a notch, to use Emeril’s favorite phrase, by topping with a half cup of roughly chopped pecans. You can make it to this stage the day before and put into refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and place in oven for about 30 minutes, removing foil for last ten minutes. Serve in same dish.
All-Time Favorite Creamed Corn
There are lots of different side dishes that work for Thanksgiving, and you can be tempted to rotate them. Having once failed to include this dish, however, I will never do so again. It is inexpensive, quick and works as a side for both turkey and roast beef at Christmas.
In a medium sauce pan, mix the following ingredients over medium heat.
- Two 20-ounce packages of frozen corn, thawed
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon salt (preferably Kosher)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Accent
Bring to a boil, then lower temperature and cook until it thickens. If you double recipe, reduce milk by about a quarter cup. (The Accent, which is MSG, increases flavor but is completely optional.)
As the corn thickens, mix two tablespoons melted butter and two tablespoons flour (a “roue”) and add to corn, stirring until flour is cooked through and sauce is thickened. If the sauce seems too thin, be aware that you will see a dramatic thickening after you add and cook the roue.
A common variation is to pour the creamed corn into a casserole pan, sprinkle a quarter cup of grated parmesan cheese on top, and place under broiler until cheese melts.