I always try to eat delicious food. Unfortunately I don't have that much money, so I have to cook a lot of it at home. But thats OK because I love cooking and I love eating at home with my wife. This is a website with my favorite recipes and a little bit of commentary.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Thanksgiving Dinner

We had a great thanksgiving. The food was excellent and it was just an incredible day. I made up a pot of spiced cider early on in the morning and it cooked all day. We just relaxed, played cards, drank cider and cooked. I also watched a whole ton of TV which is very unusual. My wife is massively pregnant and can't travel too far so we stayed home.

Koko's Spiced Cider

½ gallon apple cider
¼ cup real maple syrup or more to taste
1 t whole allspice berries
1 t whole cloves
1 t ground nutmeg
4 or 5 cinnamon sticks
a few drops of red food coloring
extra sugar if desired

Dump everything into a crock pot and heat up on high until hot. Then reduce temperature to low and let it simmer in the spices until you are ready to drink it. I like to get up early in the morning and put a pot together to drink throughout the day.

It snowed the night before and it was too cold for me to fire up the smoker and I didn't feel like messing with it. I decided to make an old time recipe. I made a rye whiskey turkey. The classic recipe is for bourbon turkey but at the time of the original thanksgiving there probably wasn't any bourbon whiskey. Everything was rye whiskey back then so I decided to alter the classic recipe a bit.

Koko's Rye Whiskey Turkey


1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup rye wiskey
1/2 cup cooking sherry
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 t anise seed
1 t ground ginger
1 sprig fresh rosemary
3 to 4 fresh sage leaves
freshly ground black pepper, to taste


½ cup rye whiskey
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup (packed) brown sugar

Marinate turkey in the marinade for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325° F.

Put turkey in a roasting pan and roast until the internal temperature is 180. It may brown too much so if it gets too brown for your liking then cover it with a piece of tin foil. Baste it often with the marinade. After the turkey has soaked in the marinade you might want to boil it for a minute or two.

Increase the oven temperature to 450° F.

Stir the glaze ingredients together in a bowl. Brush the turkey well with the glaze, and bake 30 minutes, brushing every 5 minutes or so.

We also had cranberry sauce. You can find my recipe elsewhere on this blog. Look in the archives. We had deviled eggs and that recipe is also on the site. The last main dish I made was candied yams. I based my recipe on a recipe from Sylvia's restaraunt in Harlem. She has a cookbook.
Her recipe calls for raisins and pineapple but I don't like my candied yams that way. Also she doesn't call for marshmallows, and that is the way I like it best.

Koko's Candied Yams

5 yams, peeled and sliced to ½ inch thick slices
1 ½ cups water
1 t vanilla
½ stick butter
½ c sugar
½ c brown sugar
1 t cinnamon
1 t ground allspice

Put hams and water and vanilla into a baking dish. Melt butter, sugars, and spices and stir together. Pour the mixture over the yams. Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour. If the liquid doesn’t thicken up to your liking then cook it uncovered for a while until it thickens up a bit. A few minutes before serving put a layer of marshmallows over the top and return to oven. Bake until melted.

Here is how everything looked on the plate.

Notice how the turkey is next to the yams and the cranberries. That makes it nice and easy to add a little extra flavor to your turkey bites. After all this wasn't a smoked turkey. Also notice that there is a slice of my sourdough multigrain bread to assist in mopping up any extra juices. There is a glob of Muriel's Escalloped Corn at the 6 o'clock position.