The staff of The Winona Times and The Conservative wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! In the spirit of the holiday, we are sharing some of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes. From our table to yours, have a wonderful holiday.
From the table of Amanda Sexton Ferguson
I was taught to cook by two of the best home cooks in Mississippi, my grandmother, Thelma Shelton Sexton, and my mother, Dorothy Sexton.
I can only remember a handful of “mess ups” by Mother (as the entire community knew my grandmother) and Momma, and 90 percent of the time, they never looked at a recipe.
Growing up, I watched these women in the kitchen for days prior to Thanksgiving and Christmas – basting and chopping and baking skillets upon skillets of cornbread for the best dressing you’ve ever had. They pulled out all the stops to make every holiday memorable for their families, and they were left exhausted after the final dishes were washed and stowed away.
As a kid, you take that hard work for granted. Now all grown up, and missing both of those amazing women something fierce, I hope they realize how those holidays shaped my life and how I view the importance of family.
Asparagus casserole is a tradition in the Sexton family, with so many trying to mimic Mother’s iconic dish on Thanksgiving and Christmas and just as many failing terribly. My sister, Deana, has come the closest to perfecting it, but even she will tell you that everything was better when Mother made it.
Mother’s Asparagus Casserole
2 (10.5 ounce) cans of asparagus tips, drained with ¾ cup liquid reserved (use Green Giant or specialty, not store brand)
1 can cheddar cheese soup
6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 ½ cups of Ritz cracker crumbs
2 boiled eggs, sliced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine asparagus, liquid, soup, butter, cheese, and Worcestershire in a saucepan. Heat until well blended. Set aside.
Combine melted butter and cracker crumbs.
Alternate asparagus tips sauce, crumbs, and sliced eggs in buttered 11x7x2 inch baking dish. Repeat layers.
Bake 30 minutes.
My Momma loved sweet potatoes. She would often bake one and eat it with a little butter.
I’ve never been a fan of sweet potatoes. However, I loved Momma’s sweet potato casserole with the candy-coated crust. Personally, I feel that you could mask the taste of liver with a nice candy-coated crust.
Sweet potato casserole was always a staple on our table for Thanksgiving and Christmas, with Momma making multiple pans and freezing them.
Sweet Potato Casserole
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, well beaten
½ cup Pet Milk
1 stick butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
Mix and beat until mixture is smooth.
½ cup brown sugar
½ stick butter
1 cup pecans, chopped
½ cup self-rising flour
Mix until the mixture is grainy and sprinkle over the top of the casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
From the table of LaKeadra Coffey
For my family, no Thanksgiving is complete without a pot of greens. Whether its collards, mustards, turnips or a mixture of the three, they are a staple at my family gatherings and have been since I was little. I remember my Grandma would wash and prep her greens before she cooked them and I still do mine the same way.
Smith Family Greens
8 bunches of mustards and turnip greens, four of each, remove turnips (Some of you are gasping, but I don’t like the actual turnip. But, for your family, you can peel it and cut it up.)
2 Basins (something that’s only used for washing vegetables)
½ cup of Vinegar
Your meat of choice (I like ham hocks)
½ cup of chicken stock
A few jarred Jalapeno Peppers or fresh Sweet Peppers (optional)
1 Onion (roughly chopped)
Seasonings of your choice (I like salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.)
Place ham hocks in a boiler with water only enough to cover the ham hocks and onions, on medium until tender.
To prep: Fill basin with warm water (not too hot or you’ll cook your greens) and half of your vinegar. Remove leaves from the stem, but keep some of them, if you don’t mind the texture. Otherwise, discard them all. Place the greens into the water and vinegar mixture, dunking them repeatedly from the vinegar and water mixture to the clean water basin. Clean thoroughly.
Once cleaned, shred leaves by hand (I don’t like when they’re cut and it’s how my Grandma did it, but again, if it works for your family, by all means.)
Place greens, chicken stock and peppers in pot with ham hock and let them go until they’re tender.
From the Kitchen of Shonda Milton
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 cups Mini Marshmallows
3 cups Rice Krispies Cereal
½ cups Chocolate Frosting
56 Candy Corn Pieces
Over low heat, melt butter in a small saucepan. Add marshmallows. Stir until melted.
In a bowl, add rice krispie cereal. Pour melted marshmallow mixture over the cereal. Stir to combine. With buttered hands (or I use plastic gloves), form the cereal mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls. You should have 14 total.
Gently twist apart Oreos. On one half of the cookie, spread a small amount of frosting on the inside. Then place a rice krispie ball on top of the frosting and gently press down.
Onto the second half of the Oreo, spread another small amount of frosting on the inside. Place 3 candy corn pieces across the top in a fan pattern. Press the second half onto the “back” side of the rice krispie ball.
Attach another candy corn piece with a small amount of frosting to form the turkey’s head on the “front” side of the rice krispie ball.
Note: These are best when made the same day you plan to serve them. The frosting sometimes makes the Oreo cookie a little soft.
From the kitchen of Neely Prudhomme
Fried Turkey Cutlet
Boneless, skinless turkey breast sliced 1 inch think
3 eggs beaten
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoon flour
2 cup flour
Salt and pepper
Slice turkey one inch thick, cover with plastic wrap and pound to flatten to ½ inch thick. Sprinkle salt on both sides of the turkey, cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Add buttermilk and 3 tablespoons of flour to eggs. Mix well. Coat turkey in egg wash. Add salt, pepper and any other seasonings you like to the 2 cups of flour. Thoroughly coat egg washed turkey in seasoned flour. Once coated, dip again in egg wash and again in seasoned flour mixture. Pan fry in hot oil about 3-4 minutes each side.
From the kitchen of Adrienne Vance
For as long as I can remember my Granny and my Aunt Cindy have been making this dip for Thanksgiving and there are never any leftovers. It adds a twist to the traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
Vance/Young Mexican Cheesecake
2 chicken breasts cooked in water to create a broth-boil and shred
Reserve ½ cup of the broth for later
3 8-ounce cream cheese
¼ teaspoon chili powder
Few shakes of tabasco
¼ cup of green chili peppers
Combine all ingredients together, cook for one hour at 350 degrees in a spring pan and let cool for one hour. Top with salsa, green onions and shredded cheese.