Monday, November 23, 2015

Frugal, Traditional Ideas for Thanksgiving Dinner

As you plan Thanksgiving dinner, it might save money and make a more memorable Thanksgiving, too, if you look back at the first Thankgivings. The Pilgrims had what was available and that was fish, poultry, squash, corn and other fall harvest garden crops, as well as wild food.

How can you plan your dinner around that? Poultry is easy; that's the turkey. If you don't have or can't find a turkey due to the shortage,  a large chicken (or two) will do nicely. Ducks are expensive in most places.

Squash, yes! That included pumpkin. If you have been following this blog, you'll remember that I said to buy fresh pumpkin while it was cheap and available. If you did that, you have plenty in the freezer.

Winter squash of all kinds can be a part of your meal.
This soup is made with butternut squash but winter squash of any kind can be used, even pumpkin:

1 medium whole squash, baked, with the seeds and rind removed.
1/2 pound bacon, either pork or turkey, minced
1 medium onion
1 can or two cups of chicken stock
Garlic, salt and pepper to taste.

Put stock and squash into a pot and heat thoroughly, the remove from heat. Meantime, cook bacon and onion together until onion is translucent and bacon is done. Divide in two portions.

Add one portion of bacon/onion to the squash and process it in a blender or food processor until it's smooth. Return to heat and add the remaining bacon/onion, the garlic, salt and pepper.

Homemade bread is a good, inexpensive accompaniment, but if you don't want to, or don't have time to make yeast bread, make yeast biscuits instead. Just use the recipe for biscuits and substitute yeast for about half of the baking powder. This dough can stand a little more handling than plain biscuit dough, so it's all right to knead it to get it smooth. Turn out, cut and bake the same as baking powder biscuits.

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