LJWorld.com weblogs Shop Talk with Jenn and Julie

Does your family look forward to the same Thanksgiving menu year after year?


I’m getting getting ready for Thanksgiving. Whether it’s table settings or cooking ideas, I’ve been seeing information everywhere.

How do you cook your turkey? Do you oven roast it? Do you deep fry it? What spices do you use? Do you still stuff your bird or bake stuffing separately?

Since Thanksgiving has been the Anderson holiday since Dennis and I got married, I have rarely deviated from our traditional menu. The family still expects the same dinner. And with Eric coming home from school, I know he is looking for all the home comforts that he’s been missing over the last several months.

And not only does the menu stay the same, but we also pull out grandma’s china and silverware. I set my table with a brown cloth; grandma’s china is white with a pale blue floral motif. A few weeks ago, while at Home Goods, I found great napkins with embroidered cornucopias on them very reasonably priced. A great addition for my holiday table.

I usually just have some votives scattered across the table. The food takes center stage.

In this week’s World Market ad, they are featuring some $9.99 Thanksgiving deals. The large roasting pan with v-rack is a great deal at this price. I am interested in the white oval platter. If you’re looking for napkins, the 6-pack for $9.99 is also worth looking at.

Like I said, I don’t deviate from my roasted turkey, but the World Market turkey brine seasoning pack has me a little curious. I have never brined before, so I’m thinking it may be something I would try. Does brining really help keep your turkey moist? Will my family taste a difference if I brine? If you have used this method before, please let me know how your bird turned out.

Target also has a $10 roaster with rack. The $15 Crock-Pot (4-quart) would also come in handy when making the Thanksgiving dinner. Target also has Butterball turkeys for .88 cents a pound or Market Pantry turkeys for .68 cents a pound.

If you’re still looking for last minute fall touches to decorate your Thanksgiving table, check out Pier 1 Imports. Sunday’s ad includes a $10 off coupon on your purchase of $30 or more.


Bill Lee 7 years, 7 months ago

I always roast a turkey in the oven, but everything else varies. I'm always on the outlook for new receipes to try. While the basic dishes are pretty much the same, the prep isn't. Since I live alone, I get to enjoy a lot of leftovers. I have a couple of weeks to empty my fridge, so I"ll be eating more than usual to get that done. No baking this year, so I'll probably buy a gooseberry pie.

madman 7 years, 7 months ago

Brining is the way to go. It cuts the cooking time down by about 30 minutes and more moist.

Deja Coffin 7 years, 7 months ago

They have brining packets at World Market that I've been interested in trying. Have you ever tried those or do you create your own spice combination for the brine?

Katara 7 years, 7 months ago

I have had good results with the roasting bags but I'd like to try brining.

Mari Aubuchon 7 years, 7 months ago

I have used Alton Brown's recipe for quite a few years with excellent results. I do buy fresh rather than frozen turkey and make sure it has no added ingredients. For sides, I make the dressing my Dad always made, corn pudding, roasted root veggies, and fresh cranberry sauce.

I decorate with candles as well as baskets, including a cornucopia, filled with autumn leaves, dried fruits, nuts, Indian corn, and gourds. All of my decor was purchased at one or another Lawrence store for at least 75% off; )

Katara 7 years, 7 months ago

Do you have a recipe for the corn pudding? That sounds interesting and tasty. I keep seeing different recipes & I can't decide if I want to try the ones that are more like a corn bread or the ones that are more casserole-ish.

Deja Coffin 7 years, 7 months ago

I prefer the ones that are more like a casserole. It's real easy to make, here's my version: Corn Pudding

Ingredients: 1 box corn muffin mix 1 can corn, drained 1 can creamed corn 1 egg 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded 1 stick margarine, melted 1 cup sour cream 1/4 cup or less of dried onion flakes

Mix all the ingredients together and put in greased 9x13 pan. Cook for 1 hour in 350 degree oven. ENJOY!

Mari Aubuchon 7 years, 7 months ago

Mine is of the other casserole variety that is less tangy and a bit denser:

CORN PUDDING Ingredients: 1 stick unsalted butter 1 can creamed corn 1 can corn, drained 1 egg, beaten 1 8 ½ oz. package Jiffy or other corn muffin mix 1 cup shredded cheddar-jack cheese Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350F. 2. Melt butter in an 8x10 casserole dish. 3. Mix in remaining ingredients in the order in which they are listed. 4. Bake for 45 minutes, until firm and golden.

Katara 7 years, 7 months ago

Both of those sound good.

I was looking at this one to possibly try at Thanksgiving but was thinking it would be too much like a dessert than a side dish. http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/grandmas-corn-pudding/Detail.aspx

Mari Aubuchon 7 years, 7 months ago

I've had that type as well and it does have a bit more of that pudding-type sweetness and consistency. I had it with a slice of salty, smoky, Kentucky ham and it worked. With turkey, though. I'd go with something that was more savory.

Deja Coffin 7 years, 7 months ago

Has anyone ever used those turkey roaster that look like over sized crock pots? I was thinking about going that route and freeing up some oven space.

Kelly Johnson 7 years, 7 months ago

I use the Reynolds Turkey bags and have always had great luck with them so far. The turkey stays moist and is always cooked through, but in a shorter time than traditional roasting. I've been thinking of trying some type of rub to add a little more flavor.

Our dinner is pretty traditional - turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes & gravy, green bean casserole, some type of corn dish, pumpkin pies, rolls. I occasionally try a new recipe - depends on time and money. This year I'm keeping it simple.

George_Braziller 7 years, 7 months ago

Sweet potatoes/yams what ever you want to call them ----- gag.

They are one of three food items I can't choke down. The other two are oysters, and liver.

Mari Aubuchon 7 years, 7 months ago

How have you had them prepared?

I am not a fan of canned and candied or the dish with marshmallows.

I love them as fries or chips or roasted with other root veggies or by themselves with some spices.

George_Braziller 7 years, 7 months ago

I've tried them baked, boiled, fried, roasted, mashed . . . I can't stand any of them.

Deja Coffin 7 years, 7 months ago

The way I make sweet potatoes make them taste more like adessert with a candies pecan topping. If you like pumpkin pie you might actually like my version. I'll send you the recipe if you want it.

julieanderson 7 years, 7 months ago

I am not a fan of canned yams either.

I usually make the sweet potatoes with marshmallows and a mashed sweet potato dish with a pecan streusel topping.

emu 7 years, 7 months ago

Turkey stuffed with Hostess Twinkies and Vienna sausages. it doesn't get any better than that, at least not with your clothes on.

Katara 7 years, 7 months ago

If anyone is going to World Market to get brining spices/or packets & any other decorations, don't forget your $10 off/$30 purchase coupon. It is good until 11/24. They had the ads with the coupons in last week's paper. You can also go to their website & print it out.

wmathews 7 years, 7 months ago

We've tried different turkey recipes over the years (and by "we" I mean "Mom Mathews"), but the one thing we HAVE TO HAVE is mom's corn pudding, which is our family's version of stuffing. She even makes each of us kids our own pan to take home so we don't fight over leftovers. I don't even know what's in it other than corn and breadcrumbs. I think it magically appears in the oven and is sent directly from heaven.

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