It’s easy to understand why so many people enjoy the holidays. It’s a time to come together with family and friends, spend quality time with the people who are most important to you, slow down and take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Most importantly, it’s the best time to cook and indulge in your favorite foods, like turkey, mashed potatoes and sweet desserts.
At our senior communities across New Jersey, it’s safe to say that our favorite Thanksgiving dishes are already on our minds! Our culinary-trained chefs pull out all the stops for our Thanksgiving feasts. Here are some of our must-have Thanksgiving foods that we serve every year.
The staple of every thanksgiving meal is a delicious golden brown turkey. Whether you bake your turkey in the oven or deep fry it, the most important thing is to get a turkey large enough to feed everyone. You’ll probably want to have some leftovers too, so keep that in mind when deciding on what size turkey to cook. When beginning your preparations, make sure you leave enough time to defrost your turkey fully. Some people start preparations the day before Thanksgiving to ensure their turkey is ready in time.
Let’s not forget to add a little bit of spice. There’s a huge range of seasonings to choose from, and some of the most popular are lemon pepper, rosemary and balsamic and honey. Whether you like a little or a lot, be sure to season your turkey to give it more flavor.
Stuffing and dressing
While some people use stuffing and dressing interchangeably, stuffing is actually what’s cooked inside of your turkey, while dressing is prepared on its own. No matter what you call them, they are classic Thanksgiving staples and a must-have at your dinner table!
Recipes vary from family to family and region toregion, but dressings traditionally contain chopped nuts, diced raisins, and dried cranberries, while other varieties like cornbread dressing have herbs, chopped vegetables, cornbread, and breadcrumbs.
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Mashed potatoes and gravy is a year-round favorite, but it’s especially popular at Thanksgiving. You may not think of mashed potatoes as a versatile dish, but you can prepare it many ways, including with garlic and chives, with cheese and bacon bits, or you can stick to the classic recipe. As for the gravy, you can never go wrong with a classic Southern turkey gravy, which is full of rich flavors and serves as the perfect topping for your mashed potatoes.
Holiday pumpkin cookies
Last but never least, dessert! No Thanksgiving meal is complete without the perfect dessert. Sure, pumpkin pie is all the rage at Thanksgiving, but why not mix it up and try something new like holiday pumpkin cookies? One of our UMC chefs, Collingswood’s own Chef Eric, has shared his favorite recipe with us:
- 1 Cup Canned Pumpkin
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1 Cup Shortening
- 1 Egg
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
Mix the above ingredients together in a bowl until they’re well-blended.
- 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1⁄2 Tsp Salt
Sift together all remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to the sugar/shortening mixture. Mix on low speed for two minutes, scraping the bowl well throughout. After the dough is thoroughly mixed, drop tablespoon-sized portions onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
- 3 Oz Cream Cheese
- 1 Tbsp Milk
- 1⁄2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 1⁄2 Cups Confectioners’ Sugar
- Dash of Salt
Combine the icing ingredients from the list above and mix well. Once cooled, top cookies with the icing and enjoy.
If you’d like more information about what our UMC chefs will be cooking up for all of our communities this Thanksgiving, or if you have any questions about senior living in general, please contact our team today. We look forward to hearing from you, and perhaps having you join us for the holidays!
To learn more, please visit our website at: https://umcommunities.org/
This blog was originally published at https://umcommunities.org/umc-corp/blog/thanksgiving-food/