My family is full of cooks. We all love to bake and cook and try new recipes, get together and share our discoveries. On the holidays though, we trot out the family recipes. The ones that have been passed down for generations. No one would think–horrors upon horrors–of doing anything but the recipes we all know and love.
In our family, that means “Tess’s rolls” (my mom’s recipe that she’s made forever), that cranberry relish we all love, and a few years ago, in what was dubbed Anarchy Thanksgiving, I snuck in a new dish, Spicy Pearl Onions. It was truly rebellious of me, but it has since been given a place of honor in the pantheon of holiday meals. So I thought I would share these, just in case you are feeling rebellious and want to try out something new or you are starting your own traditions and looking for some inspiration.
These rolls make the holidays. Prepare for the roll battle over who gets the first one out of the oven and who gets the last. The only thing about making these, is that you have to get up early to get them rising so they can be baked and done before the turkey needs to go into the oven. I’ve done these in my sleep and gone back to bed! This recipe can easily be doubled, or tripled, or . . .
1 package of yeast
1/2 cup warm milk
Mix the yeast and milk together in a large bowl. Meanwhile combine:
1/4 cup melted butter
2 well beaten eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Add to the milk/yeast mix and stir well. Turn into a large greased bowl. Cover loosely and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, divide the dough into two sections and roll out on a floured surface into a circle. Brush with more melted butter. Cut into 8 pie wedges and roll them up, starting at the larger end. Place on a greased baking sheet and cover loosely and place in a warm spot to rise for 3-4 hours. Once they’ve risen, bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Watch to see that they brown evenly and adjust oven temp and time accordingly.
You will need one kitchen tool for this that isn’t everyone’s essential appliance: some type of grinder. I have a grinder attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer. If you don’t have a grinder, ask around and see if you can borrow one. You really do need one to get this right. Yet it is so worth the effort, because this relish kicks cranberries over that jellied mess you slop out of a can.
4 cups of cranberries
1 large orange
2 cups of sugar
Rinse and sort the cranberries, discarding any mushy ones. Then run the cranberries through the grinder. Quarter the orange and remove any seeds, then run the quarters, peel and all, through the grinder. Add the sugar to the cranberry/orange mix and stir. Let it sit for a bit then check to see if it needs more sugar. Then put in a sealed container and keep in the fridge until Thanksgiving.
Spicy Pearl Onions
This recipe can be found here on the Good Housekeeping site. These can be made the day ahead and then just reheated.
I use the recipe on the can of pumpkin–simple and straightforward.
For the crust, you can never go wrong with Martha Stewart’s recipe for Pate Brisee. My favorite pie crust recipe. Ever! Make the crust ahead of time–if well wrapped in plastic wrap, it can sit there for several days in the fridge. Then pull it out ahead of time to warm a little. I made mine a few weeks ago, and it is waiting in the freezer.
Orange Spice Pumpkin Bars
If you are not a fan of pumpkin pie, these are a great pumpkin sub. I bake it in a 9X13 pan and it comes out more cake-like. And the brown butter frosting must not be skipped. Unbelievable! Try them and see that they don’t make it onto your dessert table. Recipe.