Let’s Talk Turkey…and Cranberries…and Stuffing! – Little Farms

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Nov 20, 2018

Let’s Talk Turkey…and Cranberries…and Stuffing!

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First observed by Pilgrims in 1621 to celebrate a successful harvest, traditional American Thanksgiving is a bountiful feast with turkey as its centrepiece. Today, it’s a time when families and friends come together over a festive meal that often includes heaps of autumn “harvest food” and beloved traditions, from guests sharing what they are most thankful for to watching a football game—American-style, not soccer—or parade on television. Celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, this year Thanksgiving falls on the 22nd.

Mini-Oven Means Make Ahead
In Singapore getting a whole turkey, plus side dishes, into a toy-sized oven can be a challenge. We’ve got some tips that can help you put together a feast that might not be wholly traditional, but definitely fits the spirit of Thanksgiving. Making ahead means you can free-up oven and stove-top space the day of your celebration.

Two days ahead of your feast cook up some cranberry sauce. Sure, you can buy cranberry jelly out of a tin, but sauce made from fresh berries is simple and so delicious.

One day before, make your dessert. Pumpkin Pie is traditional, but we love this Pumpkin Crumble for a modern twist.

The Bird (Or Not)
Bigger isn’t always better. Try cooking a turkey breast—it takes way less time and should easily fit into your oven. Or you can roast a chicken or a ham, which according to many historical accounts was part of the very first Thanksgiving feast. All of these meats are delicious at room temperature. Go ahead and cook your meat early in the day. Then, just cover without slicing (this keeps it moist) and set aside on the countertop for later.

Sidelines
It’s really all about the side dishes, and now that your oven is free, you have space for a yummy casserole—or two.
Start with a traditional sweet potato casserole. This warm, sweet nutty version will appeal to both kids and adults. When it’s cooked pull it out of the oven and put it in your Esky...yup!

Pro Tip: For a large meal, your Esky (or cooler) is your new best friend. Yes, we’re talking about the container you normally use to chill beer and wine. It’s insulated, which means it keeps food WARM as well as cold. Line the bottom with newspaper or a tea towel. And, check that your casserole dishes fit inside before you fill them! After your casserole is baked, simply place inside the Esky, close the lid and it will stay warm for a few hours. If you need to stack dishes, place a cutting board or baking sheet between the casseroles to layer them without crushing the contents. A large Esky can hold 2-3 stacked casseroles depending on their depth.
Next up: Stuffing! So called because people literally stuff the cavity of the turkey with this side dish. In the southern US however, stuffing is called dressing and baked separately from the bird in a casserole dish, a method that works really well if you aren’t making a whole bird. This has the added benefit of giving you a nice crispy top and edges.

Every family has their own version, but almost all include some type of carb—bread or wild rice are the most common. After that, add whatever appeals to your family—perhaps a mélange of veggies like sautéed onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms or savoury sausages and apples. Toss in some chopped herbs like fresh parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Then moisten it with some chicken or vegetable stock to hold it all together. Place the mixture in a well-buttered casserole dish and bake until crispy. Looking for some inspiration?  Check out these recipes.

Now, while the stuffing is in your tiny oven, use your three stove-top burners to make some gravy, boil potatoes for a nice mash, and steam some green beans.

Feast Like the Pilgrims (Sort of)
When you’re ready to eat, slice the turkey breast, chicken or ham, and place on a platter. Take the sweet potatoes out of the Esky and the stuffing out of the oven. Place your lovely green beans, mashed potatoes, and gravy into their serving dishes. And, don’t forget the cranberries in the fridge!

You’ve managed a multi-dish Thanksgiving feast with a Barbie Doll-sized oven...well done you!

 

Images:

Sweet Potato Casserole Image

Ham

Mash

Stuffing


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