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Voice of Experience

Voice of Experience: November 2023 | Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Recipes

Senior Lawyers Division

Thanksgiving Recipes GMVozd

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Fill My Heart with Fruit

Christine Dauchez

When I first started cooking, I preferred baking because I’ve never been very creative, so it seemed like there was less room for error if I stuck to the four corners of the recipe. It also felt somehow more magical transforming simple ingredients into a delectable dessert.

Over the years, I’ve become less focused on the end product and more curious, turning to recipes as guideposts rather than gospel, and experimenting and annotating as I go. During our recent move, despite my otherwise relentless efforts to declutter, I held onto my favorite cookbooks, now splattered and tattered, mementos of bygone meals.

This recipe is for clafoutis, a simple fruit custard originally from the Limousin region in southwest-central France. The word clafoutis comes from the provincial dialect word clafir, which means to fill. It is traditionally made with cherries but can be used to showcase any seasonal fruit. For many years, I made chocolate cake and pear clafoutis for the holidays, because you can never have too much dessert, and both also keep well.

I adapted this recipe from Simply French. From my heart to yours, bon appétit!

All-season Fruit Clafoutis

  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Butter and sugar a round baking dish (I use a 9.5 inch Pyrex scalloped pie dish).
  2. For the custard: Blend three eggs at room temperature until frothy (I use my KitchenAid mixer). Add seeds from one moist vanilla bean, ¾ cup of crème fraîche (I use Trader Joe’s), ¾ cup of whole milk, ¾ cup of sugar, 6 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, a pinch of salt, and ¼ cup of Poire Williams. Mix until well blended, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside batter to rest while you prepare the fruit.
  3. For the fruit: Peel, quarter, and core 3-4 medium-sized pears (about 1.5 pounds, medium ripe). Slice lengthwise and arrange slices in a spiral in the baking dish.
  4. Pour batter gently over pears. Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool. Serve warm or at warm temperature.

Pumpkin  Pie

Cathy Stricklin Krendl

Combine the following ingredients. (I minimize the sugar and maximize the spices):

  • 1 ½ cups canned pumpkin
  • ¼ to ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground cloves

Blend in the following.

  • 3 slightly beaten eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk

Fill 9-inch unbaked pastry shell. Use pre-mixed crust that rolls out enough to make the edges high to hold the filling. Buy the crust in the refrigerated section of the grocery or make your own.

Bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes or longer until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Refrigerate until cool and serve with whipped cream.

Thanksgiving Turkey

Rod Kubat

  • I prepare it on my 24” Weber kettle grill using diffused heat by placing 20-25 charcoal briquettes on each side held in place by briquette brackets that fit the grill.
  • I usually prepare a 20-22lb. turkey without the stuffing in it and allow approximately 6 hours for it to cook.  You can adjust cooking time for the size of your turkey.  If you cook stuffing in the cavity of the turkey, you will likely need to add cooking time and monitor the turkey’s temperature with a meat thermometer.
  • Thaw the turkey so it is completely thawed at least 24 hours before cooking it, and remove the “package of innards.”
  • Soak the turkey in your favorite brine for 24 hours prior to cooking, being sure to “slosh it around” so that the brine soaks and seasons the entire turkey.
  • The morning of Thanksgiving (or the day that you intend to serve the turkey), rinse the turkey thoroughly to remove the brine and then coat the turkey with peanut oil or another cooking oil, such as Canola oil.  I add pepper to the exterior and throw some sea salt into the chest cavity for flavoring.  Then, tie or use large toothpicks to pin the wings to the side of the turkey if they are not otherwise held together.
  • When the coals are burning pretty well, place the turkey on the grill and cover it.  Adjust the vents to your desired level of air flow.  I usually place them about half open.
  • Every hour, add to the coals to maintain the heat and coat the exterior with the oil you use.  The oil makes the skin turn a very nice brown and crispy by the time it is ready.
  • If the turkey does not have a built in pop-out when it is ready, I add a meat thermometer at about 4-4.5 hours to monitor how it is cooking.
  • When the turkey is finished, let it set for about 30-45 minutes.
  • Then, carve and enjoy!

Turkey Stuffing Vs. Turkey Dressing

Jeff Allen

Several factors distinguish turkey stuffing from turkey dressing.  Most significantly, you make turkey stuffing by mixing the ingredients together and then stuffing them into the about to get roasted turkey.  To make dressing, you mix the ingredients together and then put them inside the oven to cook. Cooking inside the bird or outside of it represents the salient difference between the two concoctions.

In my opinion, stuffing has a better texture and moisture content than dressing.  It also tastes significantly better than dressing.

During my childhood, my mother always prepared her stuffing and filled the bird with it.  The stuffing proved tasty and one of my personal favorite pieces of the traditional Thanksgiving meal.  It could not really be Thanksgiving without stuffing. Back then, dressing was either what you did in the morning or something to pour over a salad. It had nothing to do with stuffing.

When I got married, my wife did the same thing for several years.  Then someone told her it was healthier to prepare and cook the concoction outside of the turkey.  Things have never been the same.  Now Thanksgiving comes with turkey and dressing, not turkey and stuffing.  Now, stuffing does not exist, and I am forced to deal with the inferior tasting dressing.  The dressing may have replaced stuffing on the dinner plate; but serves poorly as a replacement. Where stuffing was at the top of my list of Thanksgiving dishes, dressing floats at or near the bottom.  I am trying to decide whether I prefer cranberry sauce to pumpkin pie or pumpkin pie to cranberry sauce as my favorite food in the Thanksgiving feast.  In truth, I, for one, would just as soon kick dressing out of the dinner and have some more yams instead.

I honestly do not know if dressing is healthier than stuffing.  I honestly do not care.  While I try to eat much healthier now than in the past; I believe that some things should not get sacrificed on the altar of health.  I cannot believe stuffing will hurt your health if eaten in moderation.  I see no reason to believe that dressing provides health benefits over stuffing as both have the same content and turkey juice often gets poured into the dressing to help try to pass it off as stuffing. So, the only real difference is that stuffing cooks in the bird and dressing never touches the bird and cooks in a pan.

To tell you the truth, even if someone proved convincingly that stuffing was less healthy than dressing, I would still pick the stuffing; just as I do with hot dogs and processed meats, which they say are not good for you anyway.  My only concessions might be to have less stuffing on Thanksgiving.

Let me end by butchering a line from Hamlet:  I encourage you to raise up arms against a sea of dressing and by opposing end it.

My Daughter’s “It Tastes Too Good to Worry About A1C” Cranberry Sauce

Stanley P. Jaskiewicz

Our adult daughter has been bringing this dish to Thanksgiving dinner for several years. The title I gave it reveals my opinion of it, and we don’t have to worry about leftovers of this dish.


  • 12 ounces cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar (half white, half brown)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  1. Rinse the cranberries.
  2. Add the juice and sugar to a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and there is a light simmer.
  3. Add the cranberries until they start popping, about 10 mins. Use a potato smasher to pop cranberries in pot.
  4. Transfer to a bowl. Serve hot or cold.