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cartoon of Minerva and Spiro at the Thanksgiving dinner table
Cartoon of Spiro and Minerva at a Thanksgiving table

Thanksgiving Day 2020 – just like everything else this year – will certainly be different.

A carefully-planned, light-speed grocery trip for ingredients. An intimate meal with those you live with. An outdoor, masked “hello” to a neighbor. Virtual meals with relatives. Hand sanitizer galore.

A re-imagined holiday presents a perfect opportunity to create new traditions and try new recipes and flavors. Instead of making plans to share meals in-person, consider making a treat for a contact-free drop-off on your friend or family member’s stoop. Then, Zoom-chat them (or make an old-fashioned telephone call) to see how they’re enjoying it.

Below, Spartans share their favorite Thanksgiving recipes – from new spins on classic dishes, to tried-and-true desserts, to a tasty chicken wing recipe for those who may be taking a break from turkey this year.

Chancellor and Mrs. Gilliam

Sweet Potato Pie
Chancellor and Mrs. Gilliam

1 (1 pound) sweet potato
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Boil sweet potato whole in skin for 40 to 50 minutes, or until done.
3. Run cold water over the sweet potato, and remove the skin.
4. Break apart the sweet potato in a bowl. Add butter and mix well with mixer.
5. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla.
6. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.
7. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Pie will puff up like a soufflé, and will sink down as it cools.

Dr. Gwen Hunnicutt with her dogs

Vegan Mushroom Wellington
Dr. Gwen Hunnicutt
Associate professor, Dept. of Sociology

1 box Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry
1/4 cup sunflower oil
2 cups onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
18 oz. white or chestnut mushrooms, left whole
2 tbsp. chopped tarragon
4 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari, (replace 1 tbsp. with marsala or sherry if wanted)
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
15 oz. broken cashew pieces
6 oz. fine breadcrumbs, freshly made, white or wholemeal
12 oz. ground almonds

1. Roll out the puff pastry into two rectangles.
2. Make the filling. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Fry the onion and 2 crushed garlic cloves over a low heat for 20 minutes, stirring now and then. Set the fried onion mixture aside.
3. Add the mushrooms, remaining garlic, and half the tarragon to the frying pan, and cook over medium heat, stirring until the mushrooms have softened, about 10 minutes.
4. After 5 minutes of frying, add in the soy sauce or tamari and marsala or sherry, if using. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Strain the mushrooms and set aside, reserving the mushroom juices.
5. In a food processor, blend the cashews and the reserved liquor to a smooth paste, adding a little water if necessary.
6. Add the fried onions and mushrooms into the food processor and blend until smooth.
7. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cashew paste, onion, and mushroom mixture; breadcrumbs; ground almonds; and remaining tarragon.
8. Preheat the oven to 430 degrees and remove the pastry from the fridge.
9. Place half the filling mixture onto the middle of one of the rectangles and shape into a sausage with your hands.
10. With a sharp knife, cut the pastry on either side of the filling into strips. Start in the left hand corner and work at a 45 degree angle towards the filling. Then repeat on the right hand side. Note that you can also make individual sized buns rather than a loaf.
11. Fold in the pastry ends first, and then cross over the pastry strips from alternate sides. Repeat the process with the remaining pastry and filling.
12. Place the parcels on a floured baking sheet and bake for 35-45 minutes until golden brown. Serve with roasted vegetables and a creamy vegan mushroom and chive sauce.

Ms. Brenda

Ms. Brenda’s Pecan Pie
Cashier, Spartan Dining

2 unbaked pie shells
1 box of light brown sugar
4 eggs
34 stick melted margarine
1 bag of pecans
2 tbsp. plain flour
1 tsp. vanilla
34 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix brown sugar, eggs, flour, vanilla, and margarine until there are no lumps.
3. Pour batter into pie shells and top with pecans.
4. Bake for 30 minutes and set until firm before cutting.

Megan Rivenburg

Maple Balsamic Fall Vegetables
Megan Rivenburg ’20 (@megeatsworld)

Microwavable bags of brussel sprouts and butternut squash
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Maple syrup
Dried cranberries
Walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Microwave each bag of vegetables for 2-3 minutes to soften.
3. Add the vegetables to a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and maple syrup.
4. Bake for 20 minutes.
5. Add vegetables to bowl and toss in dried cranberries and walnuts.

"All About Turkey" recipe book from 1967

Turkey Curry
“All About Turkey” cookbook
University Libraries’ Home Economics and Household Collection

2 cups diced, cooked Butterball Swift’s Premium Turkey
1/2 stick Swift’s Brookfield Butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tbsp. curry powder
2 cups milk
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped unpaired apple
Cooked rice
1/4 cup each toasted slivered almonds, toasted coconut, and crisp crumbled bacon

1. Melt butter in a saucepan.
2. Add onion and saute about 5 minutes.
3. Blend in flour and seasonings.
4. Remove from heat.
5. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.
6. Add turkey, celery, and apple, and cook for about 5 minutes.
7. Serve over rice with toasted almonds, coconut, and bacon sprinkled on top.

Dame Moore and Randy Wadsworth in front of Dame's Chicken & Waffles

Dame’s Spartan Spirit Wings
Dame Moore ’95 and Randy Wadsworth ’95
Owners, Dame’s Chicken and Waffles

1/2 lb. whole chicken wings, washed in cold water, and dried with a paper towel or air dried

Chicken seasoning

1 ½ tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. fresh ground pepper
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. rosemary

Mix together seasonings well. Place wings in a non-reactive bowl. Sprinkle seasoning blend over chicken and toss gently until all chicken is evenly coated. Cover container and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours.

Chicken dredge

1 cup AP flour (sifted)
1/4 cup corn starch or arrow root
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tbsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

1. Place ingredients in a paper bag or container with a tight sealing lid. Shake in the container vigorously for about 10 seconds.
2. Heat frying oil (soybean, canola, or peanut oil) to 325 degrees.
3. Remove chicken from the refrigerator. Add chicken to the bag or container containing your dredge. Close or seal bag. Shake and toss the chicken vigorously for 10 seconds. Repeat the tossing and shaking once more.
4. Remove chicken from the bag. Place the chicken upright on a baking cooling rack. Allow the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes. This technique will help the bread coating to set up and adhere to the chicken.
5. Place chicken in your frying oil. Be careful not to crowd the pan or fryer. Cook the chicken for 9-10 minutes. Then, turn chicken and cook for 5-6 minutes longer.
6. Using a set of tongs, remove a wing and check the internal temperature of the chicken with a calibrated meat thermometer. The internal temperature should be no less than 165 degrees.
7. Once the desired temperature is reached, remove the chicken from the oil. Transfer chicken to a clean baking rack or a platter lined with paper towels. Allow the chicken to rest for 2 minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute in the chicken keeping your chicken tender and juicy. You are now ready to enjoy some crisp, tender, and savory chicken wings! Indulge Spartans!

 
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