Recipes from my files, that I plan to make this year. And one that I don’t quite have time to do, but may prove entertaining anyway.

Cranberry Orange Sauce for Thanksgivukkah

Well, the calendars do not quite line up with the first night of Hanukkah on Thanksgiving like it did in 2013, but this is a nice Cranberry sauce with a twist, for Jewish holidays or any days.

1 sack of cranberries

1 jar Polander sugar-free orange marmalade

Manischewitz Concord Grape Wine

Cranberries in a crock pot. Add wine to cover. Set to High and let it come to a boil until the berries soften. Add the marmalade, bring to boil again. This will take a long time in a crock pot but at least nothing will burn on the bottom. My batch was gently gelled when cool.

Corn Puddin

I forget where this came from. Quirky spelling retained anyway, because it is fun.

 16 oz can whole kernal corn, drained

 16 oz can creamed corn

 1 cup milk

 3 beaten eggs

 1 tsp salt

 2 tsp sugar

 lots of pepper

 1/2 cup saltine cracker crumbs

 butter – the size of an egg

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 Grease a casserole dish.  Mix all ingredients except the butter in

 the casserole dish. Cut butter into pieces and dab around the top

 of the casserole.  Bake for 1 to 1-1/4 hours until puddin is set.

 Cool 10 minutes and then serve.

Thompson’s Turkey

Real story or author’s jape? Who knows. Who cares. It is devilishly complicated but nobody can deny that this is incredibly delicious. Published in 1963 by Robert E. Benchley [whose notes appear below as REB].

Black Turkey

 For about a dozen years, at the approach of turkey-eating season, I have

 been trumpeting to all who would listen, and to a good many who would

 rather not, that there is only one way to cook a turkey. This turkey is

 not my turkey. It is the creation of the late Morton Thompson, who wrote

 “Not as a Stranger” and other books.

 This recipe was first contained in the manuscript of a book called “The

 Naked Countess” which was given to the late Robert Benchley, who had eaten

 the turkey and was so moved as to write an introduction to the book.

 Benchley then lost the manuscript. He kept hoping it would turn up–

 although not as much, perhaps, as Thompson did, but somehow it vanished,

 irretrievably. Thompson did not have the heart to write it over. He did,

 however, later put his turkey rule in another book. Not a cookbook, but a

 collection of very funny pieces called “Joe, the Wounded Tennis Player”.


 This turkey is work… it requires more attention than an average

 six-month-old baby. There are no shortcuts, as you will see.

 Get a HUGE turkey– I don’t mean just a big, big bird, but one that looks

 as though it gave the farmer a hard time when he did it in. It ought to

 weigh between 16 and 30 pounds. Have the poultryman, or butcher, cut its

 head off at the end of the neck, peel back the skin, and remove the neck

 close to the body, leaving the tube. You will want this for stuffing.

 Also , he should leave all the fat on the bird.

 When you are ready to cook your bird, rub it inside and out with salt and

 pepper. Give it a friendly pat and set it aside. Chop the heart, gizzard,

 and liver and put them, with the neck, into a stewpan with a clove of

 garlic, a large bay leaf, 1/2 tsp coriander, and some salt. I don’t know

 how much salt– whatever you think. Cover this with about 5 cups of water

 and put on the stove to simmer. This will be the basting fluid a little


 About this time I generally have my first drink of the day, usually a

 RAMOS FIZZ. I concoct it by taking the whites of four eggs, an equal

 amount of whipping cream, juice of half a lemon (less 1 tsp.), 1/2 tsp.

 confectioner’s sugar, an appropriate amount of gin, and blending with a

 few ice cubes. Pour about two tablespoons of club soda in a chimney glass,

 add the mix, with ice cubes if you prefer. Save your egg yolks, plus

 1 tsp. of lemon — you’ll need them later. Have a good sip! (Add 1 dash

 of Orange Flower Water to the drink, not the egg yolks)

 Get a huge bowl. Throw into it one diced apple, one diced orange, a

 large can of crushed pineapple, the grated rind of a lemon, and three

 tablespoons of chopped preserved ginger (If you like ginger, double

 this -REB). Add 2 cans of drained Chinese water chestnuts.

 Mix this altogether, and have another sip of your drink. Get a second,

 somewhat smaller, bowl. Into this, measuring by teaspoons, put:

 2 hot dry mustard

 2 caraway seed

 2 celery seed

 2 poppy seed

 1 black pepper

 2 1/2 oregano

 1/2 mace

 1/2 turmeric

 1/2 marjoram

 1/2 savory

 3/4 sage

 3/4 thyme 1/4 basil

 1/2 chili powder

 In the same bowl, add:

 1 Tbl. poultry seasoning

 4 Tbl parsley

 1 Tbl salt

 4 headless crushed cloves

 1 well crushed bay leaf

 4 large chopped onions

 6 good dashes Tabasco

 5 crushed garlic cloves

 6 large chopped celery

 Wipe your brow, refocus your eyes, get yet another drink–and a third

 bowl. Put in three packages of unseasoned bread crumbs (or two loaves of

 toast or bread crumbs), 3/4 lb. ground veal, 1/2 lb. ground fresh pork,

 1/4 lb. butter, and all the fat you have been able to pull out of the


 About now it seems advisable to switch drinks. Martinis or stingers are

 recommended (Do this at your own risk – we always did! -REB). Get a

 fourth bowl, an enormous one. Take a sip for a few minutes, wash your

 hands, and mix the contents of all the other bowls. Mix it well. Stuff

 the bird and skewer it. Put the leftover stuffing into the neck tube.

 Turn your oven to 500 degrees F and get out a fifth small bowl. Make a

 paste consisting of those four egg yolks and lemon juice left from the

 Ramos Fizz. Add 1 tsp hot dry mustard, a crushed clove of garlic, 1 Tbl

 onion juice, and enough flour to make a stiff paste. When the oven is

 red hot, put the bird in, breast down on the rack. Sip on your drink

 until the bird has begin to brown all over, then take it out and paint

 the bird all over with paste. Put it back in and turn the oven down to

 350 degrees F. Let the paste set, then pull the bird out and paint again.

 Keep doing this until the paste is used up.

 Add a quart of cider or white wine to the stuff that’s been simmering on

 the stove, This is your basting fluid. The turkey must be basted every

 15 minutes. Don’t argue. Set your timer and keep it up. (When confronted

 with the choice “do I baste from the juice under the bird or do I baste

 with the juice from the pot on the stove?” make certain that the juice

 under the bird neither dries out and burns, nor becomes so thin that

 gravy is weak. When you run out of baste, use cheap red wine. This

 critter makes incredible gravy! -REB)The bird should cook about 12

 minutes per pound, basting every 15 minutes. Enlist the aid of your

 friends and family.

 As the bird cooks, it will first get a light brown, then a dark brown,

 then darker and darker. After about 2 hours you will think I’m crazy. The

 bird will be turning black. (Newcomers to black turkey will think you are

 demented and drunk on your butt, which, if you’ve followed instructions,

 you are -REB) In fact, by the time it is finished, it will look as though

 we have ruined it. Take a fork and poke at the black cindery crust.

 Beneath, the bird will be a gorgeous mahogany, reminding one of those

 golden-browns found in precious Rembrandts. Stick the fork too deep, and

 the juice will gush to the ceiling. When you take it out, ready to carve

 it, you will find that you do not need a knife. A load sound will cause

 the bird to fall apart like the walls of that famed biblical city. The

 moist flesh will drive you crazy, and the stuffing–well, there is

 nothing like it on this earth. You will make the gravy just like it as

 always done, adding the giblets and what is left of the basting fluid.

 Sometime during the meal, use a moment to give thanks to Morton Thompson.

 There is seldom, if ever, leftover turkey when this recipe is used. If

 there is, you’ll find that the fowl retains its moisture for a few days.

 That’s all there is to it. It’s work, hard work— but it’s worth it.

 (What follows is not part of the recipe, but is an ingredients list to

 aid in shopping for this monster, or for checking your spice cabinet -REB)

 1 turkey



 4 eggs

 1 apple

 1 orange

 1 large can crushed pineapple

 1 lemon

 4 large onions

 6 celery stalks

 buncha preserved ginger

 2 cans water chestnuts

 3 packages unseasoned bread crumbs

 3/4 pounds ground veal

 1/2 pounds ground pork

 1/4 pounds butter 

onion juice

 1 quart apple cider

 Spice List:


 bay leaf

 caraway seed

 celery seed

 chili powder


 ground coriander



 dry mustard



 pepper, black

 poultry seasoning

 poppy seed






Susan Fox
Susan Fox
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