Tater-Peelin’ Tuesday’s: Tried and True Turkey Day Recipes

Straight from the vault.

3 GENERATIONS OF CANTANKEROUS SOUTHERN WOMEN AND THEIR THANKSGIVING DAY ARCHIVES

I don’t know about ya’ll, but I just finished up my Thanksgiving dinner shopping this afternoon and all I have to say is GAWSH ALL MIGHTY! We went to a normally slow and peaceful grocery store which today was neither peaceful nor slow. I felt like I was bidding on groceries sight-unseen, a-la “Storage Wars”. Okay people, you have 30 seconds to take a look at what is available. Don’t linger. Don’t dilly dally, and don’t touch until you commit to buy. Heaven forbid we had to stop our shopping cart and consult a list. You would have thought we were trying to Wizard-Of-Oz-Skip down the middle lane of the Brooklyn Bridge during rush hour!

We’re hosting my husband’s extended family this year, which means that traditional ‘Tater’ is expected. This most traditional of Thanksgiving meals is not the time to go all hippy and do crazy stuff like ‘Mexican style dressing’ or ‘Key Lime Peanut Butter Pie.” No, I’m afraid that simply won’t do. Our line up will consist of the most loved of family pass-along recipes not from commercialized glossy full color photo cookbooks but from hand written notes from some pretty amazing women. I keep all of those jewels in a ‘Trapper Keeper” if you can believe it. These all come from a long line of cantankerous but fiercely capable women, so as you read through think of your favorite rogue aunt, or your grandmother that taught you how to short sheet your brother’s bed, and have a toast! TO RAUCOUS TATER PEELIN’ LADIES EVERYWHERE! TOWANDAAAAAAA!

Let’s do this!

And the Angels sing…

  • Broccoli Rice Casseroleproven fact: with enough cheese… children will eat their vegetables.

Cheese makes everything better. Everything.

1 large bag of frozen cut broccoli (don’t use frozen florets only… it will take FOREVER to bake that way

4 cups uncooked minute rice (store brand works find and dandy here.. we’ll gussy it up and you won’t even be able to tell)

4 cans cream of mushroom soup

3 cups of diced yellow onion

2 stalks celery chopped

1 stick of butter

1 – 15 oz jars of cheese whiz. DO NOT USE THE CHEESE DIP FROM THE CHIP AISLE. EWWWWWWWW.

Saute onions and celery in a stick of butter with salt and pepper to taste until tender. Combine in a large mixing bowl with all other ingredients. I find it much easier to warm the cream of mushroom and cheese whiz in a sauce pan BEFORE combining it with frozen broccoli that way it doesn’t make you feel like you are trying to stir cold molasses with a toothpick. Bake on 350 uncovered for 1 hour.

  • Jalapeno Corn Casserole not for the faint of heart… or the dairy intolerant either come to think of it.

Hurts so good.

1 can cream corn

1 can whole kernel corn, drained

1 lb. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

2 eggs beaten

6 Tbsp cooking oil

1 medium onion diced

1/2 cup cornmeal

2 chopped jalapenos

dash of salt

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and give it a go. It will look a whole lot like chicken feed in the mixing bowl, but don’t lose heart. Once you toss it in the oven at 350* for an hour…. it takes on the look of the cheesiest, corniest special occasion side dish EVAH!

  • Bergeron’s Pumpkin Pie Cake- I spent New Year’s Eve weekend with a dear friend of mine and her partner’s mom brought this amazing batch of yummy-ness over for a New Year’s pot luck on Sunday. It was so yummy, I almost had my pass-port stamped for an extended stay in Cajun country.

Come to Mama.

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup evaporated milk

3 eggs beaten

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 can pumpkin puree (not the pumpkin pie filling)

1/2 tsp salt

Mix all above until smooth and pour into a greased 9×12 baking dish.

1 box yellow cake mix

1/2 cup pecans

Sprinkle yellow cake mix and pecans over top of pumpkin mixture

2 sticks of butter melted

Drizzle butter evenly over the top of the cake mix/nut mixture. Bake on 350 for 50 min. Be a precious dearie and serve with whipped cream.

  • Southern Pecan Pie- Out of my great-grandmother Dorsey’s cook book, which was all hand written , 1/2 gibberish, and 100% stained with butter. Those are the very best kind. If you ever come across one: Keep it; Cherish it; Then call me and convey the goodies inside immediately.

Perfection.

3 eggs

2/3 cup sugar

1 cup dark Karo syrup

1/3 cup melted margarine or butter

1 cup pecan halves

9″ pie shell ( I can not stand those freezer pie shells, so I always make my own using the Betty Crocker big-arsed-red-cookbook recipe. It never fails, unlike my Spankx on Thanksgiving Day)

Beat eggs thoroughly with sugar, dash salt, corn syrup, and melted butter. Add pecans. Pour into unbaked pie crust. Bake on 350* for 50 min. or until a knife inserted halfway between outside and center comes out clean. DO NOT try and be the tidy cook and set your pie pan on a cookie sheet to catch the drips. If you do, you will need a straw to enjoy your pie. Heed the Tater on this one.

That my dearies, is a list of the best-loved, hand-written recipes from Tater Land. I hope you enjoy them as much as this family of battle axes has through the years.

Forward to the Brink of the most EPIC Thanksgiving dinner !

-Tater Peelin’ Mama


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