Saturday, November 26, 2022

Thanksgiving 2022

Having hosted many Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, this one was really easy to put together.

Shopping List

  • Turkey Breast with ribs
  • Cranberries - 2 bags + sugar
  • 2 jar gravy
  • 3-4 5 to 6 inch potatoes - cream cheese
  • Corn Bread Stuffing - 1 box
    • onion
    • celery
    • sage sausage
    • butter
  • Veggies - (large) brussel sprouts with bacon and onion, chicken broth
  • Pumpkin Pe, evap milk, pumpkin spice, sugar, egg
  • Corn Crescent Rolls

I did the shopping in under 35 minutes at the larger Von's near where my mom used to live - timed because I fit the time between two appointments and I had to allow time to get the food in the frig before the trip to the second one.

I saved the receipt as I was really pleased with the prices and quickness of the shopping trip.  (Receipt is at the bottom of this post.) The news is full of discussion about inflation, so I guess I was just better at shopping than in previous years and I am pretty sure my $124 comes in a lot lower than what I paid in previous years. I overbought and bought things not for the holiday too! It was nice to be able to get everything at one store.  It has been years and years since we had more than just the three of us for the actual holiday meal, so I don't know why I bought to much extra.  We do have friends over for dessert though pretty often.

Day before:

Cooked the sage sausage, 1/4 diced one cup each of celery and onion and cooked that next in the same pan.  Stored separately in the frig. Always think of Heidy when I make the cornbread and sage sausage dressing. We had fun a few years cooking food before holidays together.

Put one cup of water and one cup of sugar in saucepan. Boiled until sugar melted. Added rinsed cranberries - stirred while it boiled for about 10 minutes.  Next time, try mashing some of the cranberries before removing them from the heat.  Put in clear serving dish and let cool to room temperature before covering and putting in the frig. Next time put in my prettier clear dish.

Peeled four 4-5 inch potatoes and put them in water, then diced into about 1 inch chunks. Turned on the heat to boiling - when they were soft I drained, put in a square of cream cheese, S&P and mashed it all together - transferred to a casserole - topped with a few pads of butter and few shakes of paprika.  Covered with foil and put in the frig after the potatoes cooled down a bit. My Mom found the recipe in the newspaper - Celebration Potatoes.  The original recipe had sour cream and cream cheese.  We all loved them the first holiday she made them. The next time everyone put big spoonfuls on their plates.  And then dug in in anticipation of the taste - but then spit them out.  I remember though how terrible they tasted!  Dad: Opal these do not taste right, what did you do?  Mom: I just followed the recipe!  Dad: That was a very stupid thing to do!  On investigation, she discovered the sour cream had spoiled.  So I don't put sour cream in my potatoes and since DH remembers/prefers his childhood mashed potatoes with just milk and butter I only put one box of cream cheese. Next time, add some milk and butter in the potatoes. And bake them in the oven.

Cooked 1/4 lb of bacon until cooked but soft. Left in the pan for DH to use for his brussel sprouts.

DH cleaned the brussel sprouts.  I think he baked on a tray in the toaster oven at a high temperature with the bacon and some balsamic vinegar.

DH found a casserole for the turkey breast.  He put a few small round potatoes in the pan first so the turkey would not be in the fat.  He used rosemary for seasoning. (I'm not sure why he didn't use the bay leaves we purchased for $1.50 in El Cajon Spice store.) Although he was in charge of the turkey, I thought of Liz and Ian showing me how to roast a chicken in that pan. Once we have all the meat, I will boil the bones to make the wonderful gel to use in soup.

Once the turkey was in the oven, I broke an egg into a cup and added some water and chicken broth paste - then whipped that together.  I cleaned the fry pan and put a cube of butter to melt, then cooked the onions and celery until they were clear, then added the sausage to heat it up too.  Put all the warmed items in the bowl with a packet of dried, cubed cornbread, S&P and Seasoning,  Added a few tablespoons of heated water, mixed and then all the egg with broth and water.  Put in oiled 9 x 13 pan with the turkey.

Scrubbed and washed three sweet potatoes and put in the oven with the turkey - on the rack - made a mess of the oven so next time bake them on a piece of foil or a pie tin.

That evening DH and I had a dinner of all the sides.  Cornbread and sausage dressing, mashed potatoes with cream cheese, cranberry sauce, sweet potato, brussel sprouts.  We did not cut into the turkey, to save it for Friday's meal with DS.

After the kitchen was clean again, I made pumpkin/chocolate chip cookies from a Costco mix.  We each had two while we watched TV.  (The last episode of Japan is Sinking, and one episode of Manifest.)  DS went to office then for his zoom Peace Corp teaching gig and I walked Buffy.  I intended to go around the block but as we approached the corner a rather large coyote came trotting by heading the direction I was planning on going so instead we went back to our driveway and Buffy was happy jogging in a circle for her exercise. 

Friday I made pumpkin pie.  I had made the crust a few months ago and put in the freezer.  It defrosted but was not malleable, so I used a grater to put the crust in the pie plate.  (Still have 2/3 crust left.)  I covered the bottom completely, then added a few candied pecans before adding the pumpkin.  So the sides did not have any crust.  Let it cook on the counter, then placed in the frig. Next time make sure to involve DS with the pie making - or something to do together beyond just eating the meal.

Right before eating with DS, we put the food on the counter to take the chill off.  I made crescent rolls and heated gravy in the pourable gravy bowl, made a salad, set table with the gravy and cranberry sauce, rolls and softened butter.  Put the salad on the salad plate, and dished up my plate and put in the microwave. I had DH and DS spoon up what they wanted for dinner. They heated to the temperature they wanted - and we ate.

Later we had the pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and eggnog with banana rum.  The pie did not come cleanly out of the pan, but was very good. Next time okay to grate the crust to make it thin, but build it up so there is crust on the sides so the pie has a better chance of coming out cleanly.

It was a very simple, but very nice Thanksgiving.  I didn't pull out the nice dishes, instead we ate on everyday white.  Was a bit different for us to have Thanksgiving on Friday - but DS had something to do on Thursday so we moved things back. Next time, pull out the fancy blue and white dishes?, and use spring form for the pie so it can be put on a display pie plate?

I miss the large family meals my folks used to host when I was a kid.  And every year I'm a little sad that our son never got to experience that.  My Mom had so many more side dishes.  Sort of like a Chinese meal where you get more and more dishes the more people there are.  Waldorf Salad, Corn Casserole, more vegetables, more pies and desserts, fancier salads. Heat and serve rolls.

I miss the Friendsgivings we hosted here before I found out about the Great LA Walk and people moved away...  I want to write those friends to find out what they are doing!

But so glad the three of us could share the meal tonight.  I'll try to get a photo of the three - four  with Buffy - of us and put it on the blog posting soon.

Nov 22, 2022 VONS Receipt

33 items

* Brown Sugar, Coconut, Marzipan, 3 Philly Cream Cheese, 3 Jimmy Dean Sausage, Clementines, 1/2 Brussel Sprouts, 2 lite cherry yogurt, Jello, and X?  Not sure what that even is! (Either overbought or not for Thanksgiving)

Stopped another day at another store for 3 sweet potatoes and crescent rolls.

Updating this 11-27 after one 'left over' meal. Only needed to get one gravy jar, 1 cranberry bag, 1.5 - 2 lb brussel sprouts, 1 JD sausage, 1 cream cheese for the meal.

Updated 12-4 We ended up having 6 servings leftover meals, five turkey sandwiches, and then I froze turkey, made nice turkey soup with hatch chilies, white beans, turkey broth, onions, garlic with some of it - still have about a cup frozen to use for something else.  DH said several times he prefers mashed potatoes with only butter and milk. Never got the family photo. Took these at Balboa Park's December Nights...

The first year we just got a breast it did not include the bones and turned out very dry. A few years I had to go to actual butcher or Whole Foods for the bone-in breast only. So nice to be able to get at regular grocery store this year!

A B J for the meal.

And here is photo of DH helping little Buffy get her harness and leash before for a night walk. She is a wonderful model of adapting to change.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Grapefruit Cornmeal Cake: Thanksgiving 2015

Way back in 2015, Bernie made this cake as part of a large selection of desserts we made for Thanksgiving 2015. We were chatting about the cake this week, and I was sure I had put it on this blog - but alas not only was it not in the blog, but it wasn't even on my computer!  I only had the shopping list saved there.

We didn't make it this year, 2022, but I'm pasting it here so we can enjoy it another time.

During the pandemic I made another cornmeal based cake that was not enjoyed - it had cherries as I recall.  Watched a guy on TB (Simon?) and his wife cheerily cook in their backyard.  It was a nice show, and the cake looked like it would be delicious - oh well.  This one was delicious in 2015!

Grapefruit Cornmeal Cake

Downloaded 11 25 2022 from:

Food & Wine (November 2015), recipe by Kay Chun

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Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 12



  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup medium-grind cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated grapefruit zest plus 1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  • 1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice



Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 9-inch cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the cornmeal, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk the melted butter with the eggs, grapefruit zest and grapefruit juice. While whisking constantly, add the butter mixture to the flour mixture in a slow, steady stream. Whisk until well blended. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes, until golden and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Transfer the cake to a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a sharp paring knife around the edge of the cake, then invert it onto the rack. Peel off the parchment paper. Carefully flip the cake right side up and set 
the rack over a baking sheet. Let cool until warm, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a medium bowl, mix the confectioners’ sugar and poppy seeds. While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the grapefruit juice until a smooth, thick glaze forms. Pour the glaze all over the top of the warm cake and spread evenly over the top and side. Let stand until set, about 30 minutes.

MAKE AHEAD: The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.