My big fat American Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving around the corner, here are some recipes to consider trying out.

There’s a football game on TV, my uncle passed out on the floor and all the women (plus a few men) in the kitchen eagerly catching up while applying the final touches to the Thanksgiving meal. A table is already littered with chips and dips, vegetables and other appetizers that have been picked on all afternoon. As the minutes tick by, more and more people bearing food pile in through the front door.

Around 3 p.m., order prevails, the appetizers are taken away and tables are set. By 4 p.m., every counter in the kitchen is laden with the prepared delicacies such as green bean casserole, smoked turkey, honey baked ham, fresh, homemade rolls and a fruit filled, cranberry gelatin.

After the meal, there is a two-hour grace period before food is brought out once again. This time the fare includes sweets: pumpkin pie, cherry pie, apple pie (all homemade), cake, ice cream and cookies.

With a family of about 30 showing up every year to my grandparents’ house, the options when it comes to food are endless. Everyone contributes, and there is usually food covering every counter, table and stove top. There is so much, in fact, that food is still being brought out halfway through the meal and there is plenty left over for the traditional turkey sandwiches later on that night.

I love the food my family makes and wanted to share with you some of our favorites but I know I’m not the only one with those. So, I’ve assembled different recipes from the NW body as well as a few of mine. Hopefully you’ll have a chance to try them out this Thanksgiving break because when it comes to this holiday, I’m a firm believer in the idea that you can never have too much food.

Junior Adam Lo

“We have my mom’s side of the family over to our house for Thanksgiving. My favorite thing is my aunt’s honey roasted ham.”

Honey Roasted Ham

5 pound ham
1/4 cup of whole cloves
1/4 cup of dark corn syrup
2 cups honey
2/3 cup butter
Oven—325 degrees
Score ham and stud with the whole cloves. Place ham in foil-lined pan.
In the top half of a double boiler, heat the corn syrup, honey and butter. Keep glaze warm while baking ham.

Brush glaze over ham and bake for one hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Baste ham every 10 to 15 minutes with the honey glaze.

During the last four to five minutes of baking, turn on broiler to caramelize the glaze. Remove from oven and let sit a few minutes before serving.

English teacher Janine Deines

“This really isn’t a special ‘Thanksgiving Dinner’ recipe, but it’s my favorite fancy dessert. I usually make it for Christmas and when having guests for dinner. It’s really easy but tastes decadent and makes a lovely presentation. Because, let’s face it, food must not only taste good but be visually appealing as well!”

European Chocolate Truffle Cake

8 ounces good quality semisweet chocolate
1 cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
4 large eggs, well beaten

Chocolate Ganache Icing

1 cup heavy whipping cream
10 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line an 8-inch spring-form pan with foil.

Melt butter in a medium-sized Pyrex glass bowl in the microwave (about one to two minutes). Add the chocolate and microwave for 30 seconds more. Let sit for about three or four minutes, then add the sugar and stir. When cool, stir in the beaten eggs. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until a crust forms on top. Cool to room tempature. Then refrigerate overnight in pan.

Remove cake from pan, and place cake on a wire rack over a baking sheet.

Make ganache by placing the whipping cream in a large saucepan. Heat to almost boiling, and then remove from burner and add chocolate chips. Let sit for about four to five minutes. Then stir to blend.

Pour ganache over the cake and spread the icing over the sides. It will be a glossy icing. Carefully remove iced cake to a serving plate.

Serve each slice with additional fresh whip cream and fresh raspberries.

Junior Jake Rogers

“My dad makes these every single year for Thanksgiving. He’s amazing at cooking and this is probably my favorite thing he makes. We call them “piggies” because they are like pigs in a blanket, but not.”

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

1 beaten egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
1/2 pound ground pork and 1/2 pound ground beef or 1 pound ground beef
3/4 cup cooked rice
6 large or 12 medium cabbage leaves
1 10 3/4-ounce can condensed tomato soup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Oven—350 degrees.

In a bowl, combine egg, milk, onion, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper; mix well. Add meat and cooked rice; mix well.

Remove center vein of cabbage leaves, keeping each leaf in one piece. Immerse leaves in boiling water about three minutes or until limp; drain. Place 1/2 cup meat mixture on each large leaf or 1/4 cup mixture on each medium leaf; fold in sides. Starting at unfolded edge, roll up each leaf, making sure folded sides are included in roll. Arrange in a 12×7 inch baking dish. Stir together condensed tomato soup, brown sugar and lemon juice; pour sauce mixture over cabbage rolls.

Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for 1 1/4 hours, basting once or twice with sauce. Makes six servings.


Here are some of my favorite family recipes.

Dad’s Homemade Apple Pie

5-6 Apples (recommended: 2 Granny Smith; 3 Gala)
1/2 cup sugar
about 1 tsp cinnamon
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Premade pie crust


3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
Oven—400 degrees

Peal and cube the apples and place in a large bowl. Mix with sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch. Place premade pie bottom in a greased pie pan then pour in apple mixture.

For the topping, blend all ingredients together with a fork until it is at a thin, crumbled texture. Sprinkle on top of pie and bake for forty minutes.

Mom’s Rolls

1 package yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup milk
1/2 cup Crisco
1/2 cup sugar (+ yield 1 teaspoon)
2 eggs
1-2 cups of water (+ yield 5 cups)
1 tsp salt
Oven—375 degrees

Dissolve one package of yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water then add one teaspoon of sugar; whisk well. Meanwhile, scald milk and add Crisco shortening and sugar; mix and add eggs. Then mix this with the yeast and about 1 to 2 cups of flour; beat well then let set until bubble form around the edges. Add salt along with about five more cups of flour until you can work with it and it is not sticky. Let rise and punch down; let it rise again and then make cinnamon rolls or plain rolls from that. Bake at 375 degrees until done (about 15-20 minutes).

Morgan Jones