Last year I posted three days of the journey that was our Thanksgiving feast. This year, we had an actual journey on Thanksgiving day. We traveled the roughly 150 miles to Daughter Number One’s apartment to share Thanksgiving dinner with her and her boyfriend.
The Hubs and I told her that she would only have to be in charge of roasting the turkey and making pumpkin pie. We would bring the rest. I know this sounds like an extreme offering, but under the circumstances it was all for the best.
This would be her first turkey, and she was really nervous about it. She kept having visions of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, where the turkey literally dissolves in a puff of dryness. Having raised her, we also knew some previous cooking and baking episodes of hers, and wanted to be able to enjoy some of the Thanksgiving dinner. She will read this post, so I’m not talking behind her back. I am quite sure she remembers burning Velveeta in the microwave (I didn’t know it could turn black) and starting a small fire in the microwave because she didn’t know not to put aluminum foil in it. There are more, but we’ll save those for another day! (Love you)
Another thing we decided is that since I have been doing so much slow cooker creating that I would do a slow cooker Thanksgiving with the side dishes. I asked my girls what they thought were absolutes when it came to Thanksgiving sides. The answers were fairly similar: Green Bean Supreme, Stuffing (or Dressing since I don’t put it in the bird), Mashed Potatoes, and Sweet Potatoes (even though most of the girls don’t like them). They also put in their requests for the bread…cornmeal rolls; my dad’s recipe.
With the menu set, I spent all day Wednesday baking bread and pies. Since D1 was making the pumpkin that meant I only had to make pecan and Raisin Sour Cream, in memoriam to my father-in-law. I also had to bake cornmeal rolls, and I chose to make a second dinner roll, just in case. For those I chose a great recipe for a light wheat roll. On Thursday morning I got up and put the stuffing together first thing. I was pretty sure it would take the longest. Then I put together the Green Bean Supreme (not just another green bean casserole), the sweet potatoes, corn casserole, and finally came the mashed potatoes.
It was decided that I would use the slow cooker to keep the cooked mashed potatoes warm, rather than cook them in it. I used a liner for the mashed potatoes, green beans, and corn. For the mashed potatoes, I chose to put water in the slow cooker before adding the liner. This kept the potatoes from getting dry on the edges. I have my boss to thank for that great idea!
Although I used my own Green Bean Supreme recipe, and just made it in the slow cooker on low, I did come up with some new recipes for the stuffing, corn, and sweet potatoes using the slow cooker.
In all we used 5 slow cookers to take our cooked side dishes to our daughter’s place for Thanksgiving. I asked all of the attendees for their feedback on the dishes. and did not get any negative feedback. The two changes I will make or read up on are the way the Green Beans and Corn both seemed to separate. I’m not sure if it was a travel related issue (slow cookers off and traveling for 1 and a half hours) or a cooking issue. Hopefully I will get it figured out before the next time I take an entire meal on a journey!
Now, to give credit where credit is due: The turkey turned out absolutely perfect! Daughter Number One did a great job! Her fears (and ours) were all for naught.
A huge apology for a big GOOF on my part, though: pictures. I was so busy cooking and trying to make everything work in slow cookers, cook at the right speed, make room for everything in my car, and the overall excitement, I did not get one single picture of my slow cooker Thanksgiving. However I did get picture of my pies and wheat rolls, though.
I hope your Thanksgiving feast was as amazing as ours!
Candied Sweet Potatoes
- 5 sweet potatoes (peeled and diced into 1” pieces)
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup miniature marshmallows
Spray the slow cooker crock insert with nonstick cooking spray.
Melt butter in a glass bowl or measuring cup. Add sugar and stir until smooth. Stir in vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Add sweet potatoes to slow cooker and pour sugar mixture over the top. Cook on low for 3-5 hours, until potatoes are soft.
Remove lid and add marshmallows to the top of the sweet potatoes. Cook for about 10 minutes with the top off, until marshmallows are melty and crisp.
- 2 cans whole kernel corn
- 1 can cream corn
- 1 – 8 ounce cream cheese
- ½ cup butter
- Place all ingredients in the slow cooker crock insert. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. You may need to stir once the cream cheese and butter have melted.
Slow Cooker Stuffing
- 12 cups toasted bread (cut into 1/2” to 1” pieces (I used white, wheat, and sourdough))
- ¼ cup butter (melted)
- ½ onion (chopped)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sage (crumbled)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 4 cups chicken broth (I used 2 cups vegetable broth, 2 cups chicken broth)
- 1/3 cup roasted pecans or walnuts
In the bottom of slow cooker insert, make a ring with aluminum foil, in the crease and about two inches up the side. Spray the insert and foil with nonstick spray.
Melt butter in a small glass bowl or measuring cup. Add spices to the butter and mix.
Pour the bread into the buttered slow cooker. Add onions. Pour the melted butter mixture over the bread and onions and toss to coat. Pour the broth over the bread mixture and toss so that all of the bread is coated.
Cook on low for 4 – 5 hours.
Toss in nuts and turn lid to crisp top for 15-30 minutes.