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Be sure to visit SomeKindaGood.org for help planning your holiday menu. Are you a traditionalist or do you like to introduce new dishes and put your spin on old classics? Drop me a line on Some Kinda Good’s Facebook page. Share your Thanksgiving photos with me on social media using #SKGThanksgiving.
When it comes to Thanksgiving, I’m a traditionalist at heart. So when I hear modern day chefs and food personalities begin to talk about “turning up the volume on old classics” and “reinventing grandma’s recipes,” the first thought that comes to mind is the old philosophy, "If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it." On the other hand, I’m always open to trying new dishes and getting creative in the kitchen, but Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a few classic staples like pumpkin pie, roasted turkey and cranberry sauce from the can (and football and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade too!).
I happen to love macaroni and cheese made with mounds of sharp cheddar. The dish needn’t feature gouda, asiago and romano for me to be excited to eat it. I’ve made homemade cranberry sauce with fresh orange peel before, and the truth is I like canned cranberry sauce best. There’s something about those little indentions from the can that seem to say, “Hey, it’s Thanksgiving. Good to see you this year.”
I’ve never hosted Thanksgiving at my home. Both my parents' sides of the family are large, so each year we alternate which side of the family we’ll spend the holiday with and one of my aunts or uncles hosts the event. We all gather together, each bringing something to the table, to celebrate a day for family, reflection and good eating.
I typically conjure up two dishes to make on Turkey Day: a dessert and a side dish. My contributions to last year’s Thanksgiving table included a cranberry, pear and granny smith apple rustic tart, and roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and fresh shavings of parmesan cheese. If you’ve never tried roasted Brussels sprouts this way, it’s a must!
In 2012, I made Southern Living’s Cranberry Apple Pumpkin Bundt Cake along with a Cherry Ribbon Salad. Though the jury is still out on what I’ll cook up this year, I’d like to think my offerings are always festive and Some Kinda Good.
In my family, Thanksgiving Day begins with pumpkin spice coffee and a light breakfast, while the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade provides background noise. Preparation for the afternoon meal is well underway in the morning.
The breakfast table doubles as a work space. It’s usually covered with cooking supplies and ingredients: a cutting board with grated cheese on top, potato peelings, 5-pound bags of flour and sugar, mixing bowls and pie fixings. The stove top is bustling with sweet potatoes boiling, while green bean or squash casserole and potatoes au gratin bake away in the oven. I’m helping Mom stir this and that, while Dad plays the guitar around the house. Many of my cousins sit patiently in a deer stand waiting on that perfect shot at Bambi.
One of the reasons Thanksgiving is such an anticipated holiday is because we look forward to eating and sharing the food we know and love. It’s also a wonderful time of year to consider all the blessings for which we’re thankful. Thank you for reading my column.
Whether you’re a traditionalist like me, or a renegade (just kidding!), I hope your holiday is time well spent around a table filled with your Thanksgiving favorites. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!
Glazed Double-Chocolate Pumpkin Bundt Cake
My recipe for Double-Chocolate Pumpkin Bundt Cake is a great balance between a traditional and modern dessert. The recipe starts with a boxed cake mix and is filled with classic fall spices. Black coffee adds depth of flavor and canned pumpkin makes it a wonderful addition to your holiday celebrations. Visit SomeKindaGood.org for step-by-step photos and instructions.
• Devil's Food Cake mix
• 1 can of pumpkin
• 2 eggs
• 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice
• 1 teaspoon of ground cloves
• 1 tablespoon of good vanilla
• 2 tablespoons of brewed black coffee
• 12 oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
• 3 tablespoons of flour
• 1/2 cup of confectioner's sugar
• 1-2 tablespoons of half & half
• 1 tablespoon of good vanilla
Grease and flour a standard bundt pan. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients, except chocolate chips and flour, together using a mixer until well blended. In a separate bowl, mix flour and chocolate chips. The flour will prevent the chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of the cake. Add chocolate chips to the Devil’s Food Cake mixture. Pour ingredients into the bundt pan and smooth the top. Bake cake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool 15 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. For the glaze, combine confectioners’ sugar, half & half and vanilla. The consistency should coat the back of a spoon and not be too runny. Using a spoon, drizzle glaze over the top of the cake, allowing it to run down and around the sides. You may not use the entire glaze; just add it until you're satisfied with the presentation. Serve with coffee any time of day and enjoy!
Rebekah Faulk is a Georgia food writer and Statesboro-based TV personality. A Season 2 contestant on ABC's “The Taste,” she blogs at somekindagood.org, a Southern, coastal food blog highlighting East Coast restaurant reviews and Lowcountry-inspired recipes. Follow her on Twitter at @SKGFoodBlog or search Facebook for Some Kinda Good.