Last Minute Thanksgiving Recipes for Us Working Folk

It’s that time of the year again, where everyone gets out the footballs, stuffing, casseroles, pies and start basting the turkeys. Hopefully you don’t start basting the footballs because although you might have one made out of pigskin, it sure won’t taste like ham. But I digress, as it is this most hallowed of American holidays where we celebrate the mutual friendship between the colonising Pilgrims and Native Americans, I feel it is only right to share a few thanksgiving recipes, especially if you are one of the many working professionals with little time to create a holiday feast. Even if you are not American why not try a few of these tasty treats out. It never hurts to celebrate a holiday, especially if you get to eat some tasty food at the same time. 

Sweet Potato Casserole


  •          6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick)
  •          1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  •          1/2 cup water
  •          1 tablespoon kosher salt
  •          1 teaspoon ground ginger or 1/4 cup finely chopped candied or crystallized ginger
  •          4 pounds Garnet sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  •          4 cups mini marshmallows
  1.      Heat the oven to broil and arrange a rack in the lower third/
  2.      Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven with a tightfitting lid over medium-high heat until     foaming. Add the brown sugar, water, salt, and ground ginger (if you’re using candied or crystallized ginger, it will be added later). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil.
  3.      Add the sweet potatoes, stir to combine, and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer, stirring every few minutes, until the sweet potatoes are knife tender and starting to fall apart at the edges, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  4.      Add the candied or crystallized ginger, if using, and stir until evenly combined. Transfer the sweet potatoes and any liquid to a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and spread into an even layer.
  5.      Sprinkle the marshmallows evenly over the sweet potatoes. Broil until the marshmallows are puffed and golden brown, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Place the dish on a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before serving. 

Turkey Brine



  •          1 (12 fluid ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  •          1 orange, sliced
  •          1 lemon, sliced
  •          1 lime, sliced
  •          1 tablespoon dried thyme
  •          1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  •          3 cloves garlic
  •          2 bay leaves
  •          1 cup kosher salt
  •          1 1/2 gallons water

Combine the orange juice concentrate, orange slices, lemon slices, lime slices, thyme, pepper, garlic, bay leaves, salt, and water in a large stockpot; bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Wash and dry your turkey. Make sure you have removed the innards. Place the turkey, breast down, into the brine. Make sure that the cavity gets filled. Place the bucket in the refrigerator. Allow turkey to marinate 1 to 2 days before cooking. Remove the turkey carefully. Drain and discard the excess brine and pat dry.

Cook the turkey as desired reserving the drippings for gravy. Keep in mind that brined turkeys cook 20 to 30 minutes faster. 

Cranberry Sauce


  •          1, 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries (about 3 cups)
  •          1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  •          1 cup granulated white sugar


 In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, orange juice and sugar. Bring to a boil. Continue to boil until the cranberries begin to pop and break down. Simmer until slightly thickened. It will thicken more when left at room temperature or refrigerated. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Pumpkin Pie


  •          1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  •          2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed
  •          1 cup sugar
  •          1/4 teaspoon salt
  •          1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  •          1 cup half-and-half
  •          1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
  •          1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •          1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •          1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, optional
  •          1 piece pre-made pie dough
  •          Whipped cream, for topping
  •          Directions
  •          Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.


Place 1 piece of pre-made pie dough down into a (9-inch) pie pan and press down along the bottom and all sides. Pinch and crimp the edges together to make a pretty pattern. Put the pie shell back into the freezer for 1 hour to firm up. Fit a piece of aluminum foil to cover the inside of the shell completely. Fill the shell up to the edges with pie weights or dried beans (about 2 pounds) and place it in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is dried out and beginning to color.

For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, if using, and beat until incorporated.

Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cut into slices and top each piece with a generous amount of whipped cream.

Lastly - A little secret for when you're done eating and feel satisfied and disgusting. A couple ounces of Averna Amaro Italian liqueur will ease your overly full belly and cleanse your palate for the rest of the evening, ensuring you are still thankful for the food you have just destroyed and not hating your life.

Cheers, and Happy Thanksgiving readers!