Thanksgiving 2013 | 11.29.13


Yesterday was the day of giving thanks. The day we as a country remember our forefathers and their quest to bridge relationships with the Native Americans. Today, we celebrate with food and family, and helping others. This year, I kept things simple with the food and the time with family watching the game was much needed.

IMG_2496My menu consisted of:

Cornish Hens
Mixed Greens with salt pork, garlic, and onion
Macaroni and cheese
Baked beans
Homemade Cranberry sauce
Cornbread Dressing
Dinner Rolls

This is pretty basic for a Thanksgiving meal, but I don’t like fussy meals. The basics allow for me to feed everyone and enjoy them as well. I hate being stuck in the kitchen constantly looking over complicated dishes. The plan was to get started and done in a reasonable time frame so I can watch the game with everyone else. Hey, I like football too! Going to culinary school also helped give me the know-how to effectively planning a menu to ensure time management is achieved. So, the only thing I cooked ahead was the cornbread for the dressing, so it could sit out and harden, and the greens ( I simply didn’t want to have too  many pots on the stove).

This year, I found a recipe by celebrity chef G. Garvin that mirrors mine for greens. He mentions collard greens, but I used a mix of collards, turnips, and mustards. I like the variety. I also did not use the bouillon paste. Not something I prefer. This recipe is simple and easy to follow. I used pretty much the same steps, so I’d like to share this with you for future meals.

IMG_2485Southern Style Greens


  • PREP 15 to 20 minutes
  • COOK 30 to 40 minutes


  • 2 lb. fresh collard greens
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 10 slices turkey bacon
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp. chicken bouillon paste (optional)
  • 1 cup water
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper


  1. Start by removing the spin from all the collard greens and cut them roughly and wash thoroughly – at least three times.
  2. Once then greens are washed, start by putting oil into a large roasting pan – then add the turkey, onions and garlic. Then add then greens and season with the salt and pepper.
  3. Now add the chicken stock and the water – cover and cook on low heat for 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. Note you most likely will need to add more water or stock as needed, and check the seasoning as well when adding more liquids. If you decide to use bullion paste – add right after the liquids.
Cranberry Sauce

Growing up, my mom loved the canned, jellied cranberry sauce, ridges and all. I never indulged, just seemed odd to me that cranberries were shaped and firm with no signs of any cranberries at all. As I got older, I decided to try and make cranberry sauce from scratch. I didn’t like the recipe because it used things to really make the sauce jellied. That kind of defeated the purpose of what I was trying to accomplish. So, yesterday I decided to just cook the cranberries and add a little bit of orange zest with sugar and a hint of water to see what happened. Well it came out great! So good I could eat it on its own. This recipe is pretty simple and doesn’t really require much effort.

Cranberry Sauce

12 oz. bag of fresh or frozen cranberries into a saucepan and transfer 1/2 cup to a small bowl, fewer if you want less whole cranberries. Add 1 cup sugar, 1 strip orange or lemon zest and 2 tablespoons water to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries are soft, about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and cook until the cranberries burst, about 12 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the reserved cranberries. Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste and cool to room temperature before serving.

Whatever you prepared for dinner yesterday or whatever your traditions, I hope you enjoyed your day with friends and family. There are many things I am thankful for, yesterday was a great example of things I am thankful for.

Now it’s officially time to start the holiday season.

Happy Holidays!!




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