Preparing for Thanksgiving

I ordered some Amaryllis bulbs early in the Fall in the hopes that they would be in bloom for Thanksgiving. Somehow, I timed it just right. It’s always so nice when things work out that way.

One of the side dishes that I will be preparing on Thursday is Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes. Β The recipe was sent to me by one of our guests. It’s delicious. I tested it out this summer while I was visiting my mother.

Tim’s Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes

4 – 5 large sweet potatoes, washed

8 T. unsalted butter

1/2 c. good Bourbon, or to taste*

1/4 t. vanilla extract

1/2 c. honey, or to taste

1/4 c. brown sugar, or to taste

1/4 t. ground cinnamon, or to taste

milk or cream, just enough to achieve desired consistency

(1) Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork. Cook in microwave until tender or wrap Β in buttered aluminum foil and bake at 425 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes or until tender.

(2) Remove sweet potatoes from their skins. Mash together with the remaining ingredients, making adjustments as needed to achieve desired flavor and consistency.

* Note: the alcohol is not “cooked out” in this recipe.

Another one of the side dishes that I’ll be serving is my Cranberry Compote, which I make every year. I prepared the base this morning (photo below) and will add fresh apple just before serving on Thursday.

Cranberry Compote

1 c. granulated white sugar

1/2 c. cold water

6 whole cloves

3 whole allspice

2 cinnamon sticks

1/2 c. dried cranberries

1/2 c. dried apricots, diced

1/2 c. raisins, currants or chopped dried dates

3 c. whole fresh cranberries, washed and picked over

1/2 c. pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped

zest of 1 fragrant orange, finely minced or grated

1 1/2 c. chopped fresh apple or pear, or orange slices, optional

(1) In a medium pot, stir together granulated sugar, water, cloves, allspice and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low so that they syrup is barely at a simmer. Cook 10 minutes. Carefully remove spices.

(2) Add dried cranberries, apricots and raisins, currants or dates to sugar syrup. Bring dried fruits to a simmer Β and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in cranberries, pecans and orange zest. Cover. Remove from heat. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes. The cranberries should just begin to pop. If they do not, you may need to return the pot to a low heat for a few minutes.

(3) Serve warm or chill before serving. If desired, stir in apple, pear or orange right before serving.

Note: Cranberry Compote is very versatile. It can be served on its own, mixed into yogurt, or mixed with maple syrup, warmed and served over French Toast. For Thanksgiving, I will be serving it as a chilled side dish.

Now, I’m off to do some more cooking! I’ll try to do a Thanksgiving Preparation, Part II tomorrow or Thursday morn. Just in case I don’t manage to get another post in before the holiday, Happy Thanksgiving!!!

14 responses to “Preparing for Thanksgiving

      • You welcome! πŸ™‚ In Romania we don’t have Thanksgiving holiday but some people celebrate this day… Even though we don’t usually celebrate this holiday I like to spend that time with my family and have a great dinner together :), I love Thanksgiving because it’s so full of meaning and is the perfect moment when all the family could be in the same place and share beautiful moments :). In Romania we have autumn festivals with plenty of fairs, good food, music… we have The Harvest festival ,The Autumn Festival, Art Festivals, Music Festivals, The Wine Festival, The Farmer Festival… autumn is full of beautiful holidays and special events, πŸ™‚ great time! Have a lovely day! πŸ™‚

  1. Love that compote recipe!
    Once a week I cook a complete meal for an 88 year old woman and I KNOW she’d go crazy for it…This is def going into her menu rotation!
    Have a wonderful holiday!

  2. Your recipes look really great — as posted, I’ve already done my sweet potato and cranberry recipes but might have to put these on the list for next year’s Thanksgiving! πŸ™‚
    Kenley

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