Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Election Day Giveaway and a Little Time Travel By Catherine Lanigan and Rula Sinara

It’s Election Day here in America! I hope everyone takes the time to get out there and vote. November makes for a special month, given that we get to exercise our democratic rights AND feast until we go comatose…all within a few weeks time :). Here’s to our Founding Fathers! They've given us a lot to be thankful for. 

Catherine Lanigan's Thanksgiving Table

So Catherine and I figured what better way to honor our Founding Fathers, celebrate Election Day and help everyone make the most of the just over 3 weeks left to plan for Thanksgiving…than to time travel? You heard right. And trust me, our super cool time travel ship is stocked well with Heartwarming books, so hop on!

Note: Time Travel Waiver – This trip is not guaranteed to provide enough extra time to beat traffic to the election polls or clean house and grocery shop by the time Thanksgiving guests arrive (yes, some of us take 3 weeks to plan this stuff ;). However, it does guarantee a mouth watering cheesecake recipe and some fun trivia.

Here we go! 
First stop—1776.

CATHERINE: Need a post-feast dessert idea other than pumpkin pie? This 1776 best Cheesecake recipe which is one of the FIRST things I ever made for my newlywed husband back in 1976. I usually make this cheesecake for Thanksgiving or Christmas---depending on the demand.

I found this recipe in 1976 during the Bi-Centennial and have been making it ever since. At the time, (1976) it was stated in the Woman’s Day Magazine where I found this, that this was a recipe used by Martha Washington. Though, it has been modernized for our usage of packaged cream cheese. I have served this for Thanksgiving and Christmas for nearly forty years. It is very different, and if you can find extract of rose, it is a very, very unique taste and one which I prefer. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

1776 CHEESECAKE

Crust:

Cut together: 1 ½ cups sifted flour

½ cup butter

Sprinkle with a mixture of: 1 beaten egg and 1 Tablespoon of ICE water

Roll the pastry and press into a 10” deep spring form pan which has been buttered. Trim the dough edges. Fit a piece of wax paper weighted with dried beans on the bottom. Bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Cool. Remove the wax paper and beans.

Reduce heat to 350 degrees.

Filling:

BEAT Together: 3 8 oz. packages of cream cheese (room temperature) till fluffy

Add: ½ cup butter (room temperature) beat till fluffy

¾ cup sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon ( or more) fresh grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon rose extract or lemon extract

Pour the filling into the pastry shell. Bake 30 minutes and cool. Refrigerate. Top with sweetened sour cream. (Some folks prefer whipped cream).

RULA: Oh, man, Catherine. That sounds sooo good! Thank you and Martha Washington! George was a lucky man.

Next stop—1621 , The Plymouth Plantation

Okay, so none of this is going to tempt your taste buds the way the recipe Catherine provided did, but I thought some fun food facts about the first Thanksgiving might inspire some creative grocery shopping lists this year.

At the first Thanksgiving…

1) Turkey wasn’t the centerpiece. The bird wasn’t domesticated yet, so although they may have eaten wild turkey, the feast was most likely to include seafood such as lobster, mussels or fish…in addition to some rabbit, duck or venison.

2) There was no cornbread or crouton stuffing. If any stuffing was present, it would have consisted of nuts and herbs.

3) There were no mashed or sweet potatoes or all the delectable recipes we love them in.

4) There wasn’t any pumpkin or pecan pie…although they did have pumpkins/squash.

5) There was no cranberry jelly or relish. Cranberries were used by Native Americans for dye. They didn’t become a common food for another fifty years.

6) Corn wasn’t eaten on the cob. Instead, it was made into cornmeal or boiled into porridge.

7) They likely did have onions, carrots, cabbage and beans. Yum!

8) I guarantee they didn’t have cheesecake!!! ;)

AND speaking of Election Day…it reminds me of how far women have come in our society. The first Thanksgiving feast consisted mostly of men (about 50 Pilgrims and 10 Wampanoag Indians). The women did the cooking. The men did the feasting…for three days.

Back to 2014!

Did you know that the heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds? That would have fed a lot of pilgrims!! Also, turkeys can have heart attacks. Who knew? And in 2005, the Guiness Book of World Records recorded the largest pumpkin pie at 2020 pounds and over 12 feet. It took 900 pounds of pumpkin to make!

Okay, so I’m definitely adding the 1776 cheesecake recipe to my menu planning for November 27th. Oh, and guess what? This year I’ll be using sweet potatoes that I grew organically in my garden…a fact that’s making me feel very 17th century, LOL.

Feel free to share your feast must haves! Leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for a $25 dollar Amazon Gift Card! The winner will be announced here, in the comments of this post, tomorrow. And in the heartwarming spirit of Harlequin Heartwarming, please consider donating food to your local food bank or shelter...not only this month...but all year long.

Have a Happy and Healthy Heartwarming November!!

32 comments:

  1. I'm always instructed to bring the "Red Stuff" - fresh cranberry relish made in the blender. Cranberries, pineapple, oranges, sugar.

    But, frankly, I'm happy with the simple things - turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and corn.

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    1. Hi Jaxine! I'm a fresh cranberry relish gal too. I make mine with cranberries, a green apple and an orange all shredded in a food processor...then mixed with brown sugar to the right sweet/tartness and a dash of cinnamon. I love the idea of using pineapple!

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  2. I never forget the pumpkin pie! It wouldn't be Thanksgiving dinner without it.
    Catherine- I just started reading Love Shadow last night, really enjoying it so far!!

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    1. I agree about pumpkin pie!! I have one son who begs for it year round ;).

      And I loved Catherine's book :).

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  3. I've never cared for turkey but I enjoy all the trimmings. My mother always included several varieties of squash with the meal. Back when I was first married, I introduced my in-laws to butternut and acorn squash, and it became a staple at all our Thanksgiving feasts..

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    1. Marion, I love butternut squash. I actually managed to grow some this year, but we enjoyed them all already :). I'll eat it roasted or as a soup.

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  4. Catherine, your cheesecake sounds a-maz-ing! Yummy! And, Rula, you're my hero. Organic sweet potatoes. That's the way to go! What will you be making with them?

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    1. Oooh, Anna...I always make a sweet potato casserole. Just mashed up sweet potatoes blended with brown sugar, a little butter, cinnamon and nutmeg...then baked to blend the flavors. I don't do the marshmallows on top. Now, I'll also eat them just like a baked potato but with the same seasonings as above...or plain. When I lived in Texas, sweet potato pie was a biggie :)

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    2. And after reading other comments, I'll add that I make sweet potato fries year round!!

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  5. Catherine, your dinner table is beautiful. You and Rula are so organized. 3 weeks away---are you kidding me??? Darn!
    But do VOTE. Everyone, it's our privilege.

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    1. LOL, Roz. Planning keeps my stress levels in check ;)

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  6. I haven't baked a turkey in almost 18 years. At my sister's we do roast chickens and have all the trimmings, but this year I'll be staying home. Eating out with friends, I think. And that's the most important part--being with loved ones. I will try out that delish recipe! Great post.

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    1. Being with loved ones, whether friends or family, is what it's all about. I hope you have a great one...and I'm going to try that recipe too!

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  7. For me it's just not Thanksgiving without my sister's broccoli casserole, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy and pumpkin pie. We always have potato salad and deviled eggs too. I know they are more summer foods but it's a family tradition.

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    1. Linda, I love hearing about the different traditions folks have! I haven't heard of broccoli casserole at Thanksgiving, but what a great idea!

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  8. I love turkey, but must put ketchup on it :) I hate sweet potatoes and yams. Thanksgiving is hard because every time I go to someone's house, they insist I'll like "their" sweet potatoes. Nope, not gonna happen.

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    1. Pam - have you tried sweet potato fries? You might like that. I believe it's the current snob-appeal food, but I think it's yummy. Around here, it's offered as an alternative to plain old fries.

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    2. Muriel is right. I love sweet potato fries and you can season them any way you like (even with ketchup lol). I toss mine in olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin and then roast them until they start browning. They tend to be softer than regular fries, but better for you!

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  9. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! Love the food and especially love getting together with my family. Food is big in my family. Although I'm not a big turkey, stuffing lover, I do love all the other stuff. My favorite is layered salad we call 24-hour salad because you make it a day ahead--it's lettuce, hard boiled eggs, bacon, cheese, peas etc. And sweet potatoes. For dessert it's pumpkin pie and cheesecake. Going to have to try this one of yours Catherine!

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    1. Carol, it's my favorite holiday too! It's like Christmas without the shopping pressures lol. Just family, fun and fall in the air. I'm going to try your salad. I love eggs, cheese and peas on salad!

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  10. I'm so impressed. Your table is beautiful, Catherine. And Rula - love all that interesting infomation, and you win a medal for growing your own sweet potatoes! Cheesecake is one of my favorite things - have to try the recipe. My favorite Thanksgiving Day treat is turkey dressing made with Portuguese sausage, and a sort of New England thing of carrots mashed together with rutabagas. Very yum! Thanks, ladies. You've put me in the mood to plan.

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    1. Muriel, I haven't heard of carrots mashed with rutabagas...and actually, I've never had rutabagas. I'm curious now and will have to try this out!

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  11. I do the sweet potato puffs for my family and the macaroni and cheese. I just found out I'll be cooking for Thanksgiving. I plan to do a wonderful Thanksgiving table.

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    1. Shirley, I haven't had sweet potato puffs. That sounds so, so good. I'll have to look up a recipe!

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  12. It all sounds wonderful! Sitting here in the rain feeling very un-holiday-like, so I liked this post!

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    1. Aw, Liz, glad the post cheered up your day! I hope it chased the rain away!

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  13. What a fun post! Catherine's table looks so warm and welcoming, I hope my invitation to dinner is in the mail.

    Happy Election Day!

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    1. Isn't that a great pic of her table setting? It puts me in the mood to set mine up! Something tells me Catherine makes an awesome Thanksgiving meal!

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  14. Catherine, your table is so lovely! I LOVE Thanksgiving, not just because of the food, but because it's a wonderful time for being with the ones you love. My family always gobbles up the corn casserole, but I confess, the pie is my favorite part of the meal. :)

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    1. Hi Noelle! I would be happy just eating corn and mashed potatoes as my main meal for Thanksgiving. The desserts are what I keep my eyes on LOL!

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  15. AND THE WINNER OF THE $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD IS....

    Linda Henderson!!!

    Please email cathlanigan (at) aol (dot) com to claim your prize! Congrats, Linda!

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