The Odessa Record -

Holiday prep, seasonings & pumpkin pie. Oh my!

Series: Recipe Column | Story 65

Last updated 11/10/2018 at 12:13am

Early November is a good time to get a head start on holiday meal preparation. Roasting a turkey hindquarter and using the drippings to make gravy to freeze for use at Thanksgiving or Christmas, will assure ample gravy for a crowd. Seasoning the hindquarter as you would the holiday bird will insure a flavorful gravy.

Shops and markets boast a vast array of seasoning mixes, rubs and salts, and usually carry a hefty price tag as well. Make your own allows you to adjusting to your families tastes. Seasoning mixes may be made with or without salt. Deluxe Poultry Seasoning is my favorite blend for turkey or chicken.

Deluxe Poultry Seasoning

3 Tbsp sea salt

1 tsp celery salt

2 tsp poultry seasoning

1 tsp ground sage

1/2 tsp ground rosemary

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp ground thyme

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground savory

3/4 tsp ground sweet paprika

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small jar, screw lid on tightly and shake vigorously to mix thoroughly. Yield: About 1/3 cup seasoning. Enough for three, 10-12 pound turkeys.

Note: If you can't find the ground form of herbs and spices, use a coffee grinder to grind whole spices. Also, this mixture is delicious on fresh popped, buttered popcorn.

Another seasoning I like to use on just about any meat, main or side dish I call Basic Seasoning. A blog I follow suggested adding 1 tsp each of the herbs and spices you use most often to 3 Tbsp salt. After a month or so of observation, the following recipe is what I came up with. A ready seasoning takes the guess work and thinking out of producing flavorful meals.

Basic Seasoning

3 Tbsp salt

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp finely crushed parsley flakes

1 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Thoroughly combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container. Season roasts, steaks, chicken and pork with this mixture for full flavor meals. Yield: About 1/4 cup seasoning mix.

Note: This seasoning mix is wonderful on fried potatoes, hash or stirred into mashed potatoes.

Double or triple either of these seasoning recipes and package in small jars to share as hostess and Christmas gifts.

Fall and winter is a time for pumpkin pie, and right after Halloween, you might have fresh cooked pumpkin or squash available for making pies and other pumpkin based recipes. Many recipes work fine with either, fresh, canned or frozen pumpkin or squash. Others are more affected by the moisture content differences.

The trick to preparing your own pumpkin or squash is to drain well before mashing. You want a thick, almost dry consistency. Any sugar pie pumpkin or hard winter squash will work.

Pumpkin Pie as found in the 1960 edition of Ann Pillsbury's Baking Book, turns out well made with canned, fresh or frozen pumpkin or squash. Directions are for mixing ingredients in a large mixing bowl, but I combine all ingredients in a blender and blend for about one minute.

Pumpkin Pie

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground allspice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 cups or 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin or squash

1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk, heated to 110 degrees.

Pastry for single crust 10 inch pie.

Line pie dish with pastry and set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until frothy.

Blend in sugars, flour, salt and spices.

Stir in pumpkin until mixture is smooth and thoroughly combined.

Blend in heated milk, then pour mixture into prepared pie dish.

Place in oven and bake 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking 40 to 50 minutes more until filling is set and a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Alternate method of preparation: Add all ingredients, except milk, in the order given, to blender container. Cover and blend until just combined, then with blender running, carefully pour in heated milk and blend 30 seconds more, stopping once to scrape sides. Pour into prepared pie dish and bake as directed. Yield: One 10 inch pie.

Note: If you don't have a 10 inch pie dish, pour extra filling into a small baking dish and bake alongside for about 30 minutes to make a little pumpkin custard. Also, if you prefer to use pumpkin pie spice mix, substitute 2 tsp in this recipe.

Pizza Party Buns is a recipe I found on the King Arthur Flour website. Make as directed for family meals, or smaller versions for appetizers. If your mixer has a dough hook, you won't have to do any hand kneading with this recipe.

Pizza Party Buns

1 1/4 cups lukewarm (110 degrees) milk

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 tsp salt

3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour

2 1/2 tsp regular or instant yeast


1/2 cup pizza sauce

2 cups shredded mozzarella, Monterey Jack or your favorite pizza cheese blend

4 ounces (about 1 cup) chopped pepperoni

Place all of the dough ingredients in mixer bowl. Mix and knead the ingredients by hand, using a stand mixer, or in a bread machine to form a smooth soft dough.

Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise until double in bulk, 60 to 90 minutes. Gently deflate dough.

Place on a lightly greased surface and roll into a 12 inch by 18 inch rectangle (8 inch by 24 inch for appetizer size).

Spread evenly with sauce, cheese, then pepperoni. Starting on a long edge, roll the dough into a log like for cinnamon rolls.

Cut log into 12 to 18 slices (24 slices for appetizers) Place buns on parchment lines pans. Cover and let rise 60 to 90 minutes. Towards end of rising time, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake buns 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm, with additional pizza sauce for dipping. Cooled and refrigerated buns may be reheated for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Yield: 12 to 24 buns, depending on size.

Share your favorite recipes by sending them to: Welcome to My Kitchen, c/o The Odessa Record, P.O. Box 458, Odessa WA 99159, or email or drop them in the Welcome to My Kitchen mail tin in The Odessa Record office. Still time to plant daffodils for spring blooms the deer won't eat.


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