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Arts & entertainment

Thanksgiving in America: Come join the fun and feasting!

24 Nov 2022 | Written by By Tracy George

A group of smiling people sit around a table, before a Thanksgiving feast

Today, over in the USA, it’s Thanksgiving! A day for coming together with loved ones and enjoying some delicious food. To honour this holiday, we had Tracy George – our writer from across the pond – write her favourite Thanksgiving recipes, so you can give this tradition a go at home!


Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday that celebrates family, friends, and food. It’s a time when we come together and give thanks for all the abundance in our lives. It’s celebrated on the third week in November every year.

Preparation starts well before the holiday when families drive or fly to gather together and spend time with each other. Food prep starts a few days before the actual day. And, after the feast, when everyone is so stuffed, they can’t breathe, they watch football or go outside to play.

This year, take a pause from your busy life and enjoy the simple pleasures of Thanksgiving. There’s no need to fly across the ocean to celebrate – just gather your loved ones around your dinner table and enjoy some traditional Thanksgiving fare.

From roasted turkey to pumpkin pie, there’s something for everyone! So why not give Thanksgiving a try this year? The recipes below are the classic dishes served for the holiday and have been around a long time, but feel free to add some of your own favourites to the menu.

The Star of the Show…

Is a big beautiful roasted turkey. Plan for 1.5 lbs. per person, so a 10 lb. turkey is a good size if you’re feeding six people. If your turkey is frozen, let it defrost in the refrigerator a day or two before preparation. To make sure the turkey comes out with crispy skin and is moist and delicious, follow these tips: 

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Do not wash the turkey, simply pat it till it’s dry after taking it from the wrapper.
  • Do not brine or baste the turkey.
  • Do not open the oven often. Check halfway through and tent turkey if necessary.
  • Do not stuff the turkey, as stuffing takes longer to cook, and the turkey will dry out.

Roast Turkey Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 12-20 pound turkey
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • .75 ounce container fresh rosemary 
  • .75 ounce container fresh thyme
  • .75 ounce container fresh sage 

For the herb butter:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • fresh chopped rosemary, sage, and thyme

Instructions

  1. Add butter, salt, pepper, garlic, and herbs in a small saucepan.
  2. Stir and cook on low until butter is melted and herbs are infused. 
  3. Pat the turkey dry and remove the neck and giblets.
  4. Chop ½ tablespoon of rosemary, sage, and thyme and save for herb butter.
  5. Place the rest of the unchopped herbs, onion, and lemon inside the cavity of the turkey.
  6. Place turkey in a roasting pan with rack and tie the legs together with string.
  7. Tuck the wings underneath the turkey. 
  8. Rub herb butter over entire turkey and place the turkey on the centre rack of preheated oven.
  9. Cook for 13-15 minutes per pound or until the thermometer inserted reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  10. Halfway through cooking, check the turkey and if the skin is golden, tent the turkey with tin foil to keep the skin from overcooking.
  11. Once done, remove from oven and allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving.
  12. Keep drippings in the roasting pan for gravy.

For the turkey gravy:

  1. Pour turkey drippings into a cup or bowl and let sit for 10 minutes to let the fat separate.
  2. Skim most of the fat from the top.
  3. Add one cup of drippings to a saucepan and heat.
  4. When the drippings are warm whisk in ½ cup of flour and continue to cook and stir to make a roux.
  5. The colour should be a warm brown.
  6. Add one cup chicken broth drippings and simmer to desired thickness.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 12 oz bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  1. Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to boil; add cranberries and return to boil.
  3. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Cover and cool completely at room temperature.
  5. Refrigerate until serving time.

    Makes 2 1/4 cups.

Green Bean Casserole

This recipe comes from the Campbell Soup Company. It is the recipe most used at Thanksgiving in America.

Ingredients

  • 1 can (10 1/2 ounces) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • ½ cup of milk
  • 1 tsp. Soy sauce
  • 4 cups cooked cut green beans (frozen green beans may be substituted)
  • 1 1/3 cups French’s® French Fried Onions 

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. 
  2. Stir the soup, milk, soy sauce, beans, and 2/3 cup onions in a medium casserole dish.
  3. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes or until hot. 
  5. Stir the bean mixture. 
  6. Sprinkle with the remaining 2/3 cup of onions.
  7. Bake for another 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.

    Serves 6.

Classic Turkey Dressing

Ingredients

  • small onions diced
  • 4 ribs celery diced
  • ⅔ cup butter
  • 1 ½ tsp poultry seasoning
  • black pepper and salt to taste
  • 3-4 cups regular chicken broth (not fat-free)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary)
  • 12 cups dried bread cubes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Put the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and melt.
  3. Add onion, celery, poultry seasoning, and herbs.
  4. Cook over medium to low heat for 10 – 12 minutes until tender.
  5. Place bread cubes in a large bowl.
  6. Add onion mixture, parsley, and fresh herbs.
  7. Pour broth over until cubes are moist, not soggy, and toss. 
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Place mixture in a serving dish, dot with additional butter and cover.
  10. Bake 35 minutes, uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Candied Yams

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 medium size sweet potatoes
  • ¼ cup of butter cut into pieces
  • ½ cup of brown sugar or real maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups of miniature marshmallows

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Peel sweet potatoes and cut them into cubes.
  3. Steam or microwave until tender but firm.
  4. Put the sweet potatoes in a medium size casserole dish. 
  5. Place butter and brown sugar evenly over the potatoes. 
  6. Top casserole with marshmallows and bake for 25 minutes.

Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 can (15 oz) Libby’s® brand 100% pure pumpkin (or any brand you choose)
  • 1 can (12 oz) Carnation evaporated milk
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and cloves in a small bowl.
  3. Beat eggs in a large bowl.
  4. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. 
  5. Slowly stir in evaporated milk.
  6. Pour mixture into pie shell.
  7. Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes.
  8. Reduce temperature to 350° F and bake for 40 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.
  9. Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours.
  10. Serve with whipped cream on top.

A Thanksgiving to Remember

Starting a new tradition is fun, and what better tradition than gathering friends and family around to share a delicious dinner and count your blessings? Not to mention the yummy leftovers the next day. Let us know in the comments below if you had your own Thanksgiving or tried the recipes. 


If you have your own recipes you’d like to share with The Joy Club community, please do send them in via submissions@thejoyclub.com – we pay for every post we publish on the blog!

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