Thanksgiving Dinner

Back to Holiday Ideas Page

All recipes from Marilyn L. Alm
author of forthcoming Louisiana SCD Lagniappe


I usually do a twenty pound bird, so you may wish to scale ingredients accordingly.

1 turkey, aka the Bird
3 large bunches of celery
4-5 yellow onions
2 sticks melted butter, cooled enough it won't sear your hand

First scrub out your sink really well. Wash celery stalks. Remove coarse white part at the foot of each stalk, along with leaves and set aside near sink. Small stems at top, and tender center stems can be reserved for a nibbling veggie tray. De-string celery if necessary. Set aside.

Peel onions, remove tops and roots, set aside with celery feet. Quarter one or two onions.

Place a "grabbing bowl" of poultry seasoning by the sink.

Place Bird in sink and remove wrappings. Check for pin feathers, remove giblets from cavity, trim any excess fat if you wish.

Pour half the butter into the cavity, reach in, slosh it around. Now grab a handful of seasoning and rub the cavity. Grab another handful. Be generous. Grab some onion and put it in. Grab some celery feet and put them in. Keep going until cavity is mostly full. Pin it closed - a sanitized kilt pin holds the flap of skin over the opening quite nicely. Turn the bird over and pour about half the remaining butter into the other cavity. Repeat as for main cavity.

Take 3-4 yards of cooking string and tie a loop at the middle. Make a double loop of both strands through that first loop and hook it over the end of one of the drumsticks. Pull snug. Now loop both cords over the over drumstick and tie it to the first one. Separate cords and start wrapping them around the bird, crossing back and forth and ultimately tying the wings close to the body. Tie off with a knot.

You can also use metal pins to pin things together, but they always came loose for me, and I had this half cooked bird flopping obscenely around the roasting pan.

Anyway, however you truss up your bird, get it into the roasting pan, breast down, and put the remaining butter all over, along with a generous rub of poultry seasoning.

Bake bird in oven at 325 F for about half the cooking time. Pull it out, flip it over with a pair of oven mitts reserved for this purpose which will be going in the washer after you're done. Return bird to oven. Finish cooking. See a cookbook for how long to cook.

Remove Bird to carving board with a lip. Pour drippings into a pan to make gravy, or make your gravy right there in the roasting pan.

Poultry Dressing

4 cups coarsely chopped peeled yellow onion
4 cups de-strung, coarse chopped celery
2 cups almond flour
2 jumbo eggs
4-6 tablespoons POULTRY SEASONING
2 teaspoons baking soda

See directions for preparing the Holiday Turkey. Once you have wrestled the Bird into the oven, return to that celery and onion you left by the sink. Chunk celery and onion in half-inch pieces. If veggie chunks are a problem, chop them finely.

Butter and parchment a couple of loaf pans, or, if you want to be decorative, butter a Bundt pan.

Place 4 cups chunked celery and four cups chunked onion in a very large bowl.

In another bowl, mix 2 teaspoons baking soda with 2 cups almond flour, and a generous 4-5 tablespoons of poultry seasoning.

Toss almond flour mix with vegetables. Crack in two eggs and mix by hand. If you try to mix this with a blender, stick mixer, or in a food processor, you will get a nice vegetable flavored bread, but it will not have the chunky texture of real dressing.

Turn mixture into two loaf pans or Bundt pan. Bake in oven the last hour the bird is roasting. Turn out and slice for serving.

If you need your veggies finely chopped, do so, and blend the mixture with an extra egg and the dough hooks on your blender. This will bake up more like a bread than a crumbly stuffing, but it's quite tasty and works well. Since I don't have a problem with veggie chunks, Harry and I like the chunk stuffing better.

Poultry Seasoning I

1/4 cup dry parsley
1/4 cup thyme
1/4 cup marjoram
1/4 cup rosemary
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup dry sage

Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend until well-powdered (the fennel seeds take awhile). Store in a moisture proof container.

Poultry Seasoning II

1/4 cup dry sage
1/4 cup dry parsley
1/4 cup thyme
1/4 cup marjoram
1/4 cup rosemary
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

For those who don't care for as much sage: Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend until well-powdered (the fennel seeds take awhile). Store in a moisture proof container.

Turkey Gravy

There's never enough gravy around our house, so I usually throw a package of turkey necks in the crock pot the night before, along with about a half gallon of water, a bunch of celery, some onion, and poultry seasoning. When the necks are falling apart, I pour the mixture through a colander, usually into the roasting pan.

Scrape up all the little browned bits and add them in. If you like, you can caramelize some onions and add them, or you can roast some onions along with the Bird, purie them, and use them to help thicken the gravy.

I use one egg yolk for each cup gravy I make. The broth should be just warm, so that you can beat some of it into the egg yolks first, then add egg and yolk mixture back to the gravy, and heat gently, stirring constantly, until thickened. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Cranberry Sauce

1 12 oz package whole raw cranberries
1 envelope (1 tablespoon) plain, unflavored gelatin
honey to taste (1/2 - 3/4 cup)
1 cup orange juice

Cook berries with 1/2 cup orange juice in double boiler until soft and split. Let cool slightly. Puree .

Add honey to taste.

Soften gelatin in remaining orange juice, then add to hot cranberry puree and mix well. Pour into mold, and chill, undisturbed, for twelve to twenty-four hours.

To unmold, turn cranberry sauce upside down, with a hand to catch it underneath. Dip under running hot tap water to release the sauce, and remove quickly. Slide the sauce onto serving plate and remove mold. Keep chilled until serving time.

Variation: substitute blueberries or other fruit.

Legal white grape juice or water may be substituted for orange juice if preferred.

If fruit skins are still a problem, i.e., you are still peeling all your other fruit, it may be worthwhile to put the cranberries through a food mill or sieve, rather than simply pureeing them. Likewise for any small seeded fruit, such as raspberries.

Cheesy Mock Potatoes

6 ounces freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, pressed (optional)

If using garlic, sauti in butter in medium sauce pan until translucent, then add bean paste, and cheeses and stir together well.

If not using garlic, simply blend all ingredients in the sauce pan.

Heat over medium heat until cheeses are melted, bean paste is hot, and ingredients are completely blended.

Turn into serving dish, and serve with either additional melted butter, or topped with meat gravy.

Bean Paste

2 (dry weight) pounds white navy pea beans

Sort beans to be sure there are no stones or other undesirable items in them. Place in a large pot, and cover with water to a depth of about 5 inches over the beans. Allow to soak overnight, or 8-10 hours, whichever is longer.

Drain and rinse the beans. Return to pot and fill with water to a depth of around four inches over the beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the beans are completely tender, about two hours. Do not salt the beans before or during cooking, as this will make them tough.

Drain, and rinse the beans. If vegetable skins are still a problem, use a food mill to process the beans into paste and remove the bean skins. If vegetable skins are not a problem, process the beans in a food processor, blender, or through a meat grinder with a fine plate. (I use a Maverick electric grinder.) The bean paste is now ready to use.

For future use: Plop bean paste on a cookie sheet in one-cup glops and freeze solid. Pry glops off the sheet and store in a zip top bag in the freezer. Then when you need a cup of paste, you can reach in, pull out a glop, and set it in a bowl to defrost, and it's pre-measured. Using the "glop" method, you don't have to go through the hassles of soaking, rinsing, cooking, and rinsing the beans every time. Whole cooked beans can also be frozen in pre-measured amounts for other uses.

Ranch Style Green Beans

This recipe originated when my mother, newly on her salt-free diet, was to take a vegetable dish to a salt-free potluck. She suddenly remembered her favorite green bean casserole with condensed cream of mushroom soup was unsuitable for salt free. I dashed into the kitchen and threw this together from ingredients I had in the fridge and freezer. Scale amounts to your needs.

2 pounds frozen French cut green beans
1 pound button or crimini mushrooms, sliced
4 tablespoons butter
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup almond flour
Thinly sliced, blanched almonds

Steam green beans until not quite tender. While green beans are steaming, melt butter in a sauce pan and sauti mushrooms.

Beat ranch dressing with 3 egg yolks. When the mushrooms are tender, cool quickly and then add them and the butter to the yogurt, along with the almond flour. Heat mixture gently until well-thickened.

When the green beans are cooked, turn out on a clean, folded tea towel to be sure of no extra moisture. Return beans to a pan and then blend sauce and green beans. Place in a covered casserole. Top with sliced almonds.

To serve: reheat in a 350 F oven until hot, and vegetables are completely tender.

Ranch Dressing

1 tablespoon dried chives
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon powdered home-dried onion
1/2 teaspoon powdered home-dried garlic
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Blend spices into 1 cup yogurt cheese made with half and half or full cream. Add 1-4 tablespoons of water to reach desired consistency. If yogurt cheese is a little thin, reduce water. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour, better over night if you can stand to wait. A good thick dipping ranch cheese which goes great with vegetables and Sue's crackers. Thin with water or homemade mayo for use on a salad.

I make yogurt in half gallon (two liter) batches, and then drip it. I split it into two 3 cup containers, one for dessert things and one for ranch dressing mix. For the mathematically challenged among us, per three cups of half & half yogurt cheese:

3 tablespoons dried chives
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon powdered onion (home-dried)
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered garlic
3/8 to 3/4 teaspoon white pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt

Brie Beans

1 pound French cut green beans
4 ounces small white pearl onions
1 to 1 1/2 cups BRIE CHEESE SAUCE

Remove "paper" from pearl onions, and trim tops and roots. Steam until tender.

Steam green beans until tender.

Fold together green beans, onions, and brie sauce. Turn into a baking dish and keep warm, stirring to remix sauce if necessary, just before serving.


Saute 1/2 pound slices mushrooms in a small amount of butter, and fold into mixture.

Substitute 2 ten ounce packages chopped spinach for the green beans.

Brie Cheese Sauce

8 ounces peeled weight brie cheese (12 ounces in the rind)
2 sticks (eight ounces) butter
1 cup half & half yogurt cheese

Place peeled brie in top of a double boiler. Place butter on top. Cover, and heat over gently simmering water until brie is very soft and butter is completely melted.

Remove from heat. Whisk brie and butter together. Add yogurt cheese and whisk until smooth. Heat gently until warm, whisking.

This sauce can be made ahead, but it does tend to separate when re-warmed, so be prepared to whisk it back into shape. Mix with vegetables, or serve on top.

Note: this was the very first SCD recipe I posted to the Long Island List.


Lois Lang Bread from BTVC, made into muffins for easy individual servings, like having biscuits or rolls


Pumpkin Pie from BTVC topped with Honey-Vanilla topping

Honey-Vanilla Topping

3 cups half & half or whole cream yogurt cheese
1/2 - 3/4 cup clear honey
2 teaspoons double vanilla extract.

Whisk ingredients together until smooth. Chill well. Serve over pie.

Back to Holiday Ideas Page