Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Dorcas Annette Walker
Even though America has become the melting pot of diverse cultures, Thanksgiving is one holiday that unites us with the focus on food; the traditional turkey usually as the main centerpiece. Before Thanksgiving Day arrives my daughter and I will be busy each in our own kitchens cooking up storm. When our families get together the main hub will be my kitchen bursting with energy and laughter overlaid by a strong aroma of tantalizing smells that always draws the guys. Soon we will have to dodge bodies and shuffle for space while trying to make order out of all the chaos to reach my goal of another Thanksgiving dinner. Without fail my husband will ask, “Honey isn’t it time for dinner yet?” His question always signals that fact that once again I am running behind schedule. In desperation I will start shoving dishes into any nearby fellow’s hands pointing them to the table in order to give us room to finish up the last minute details. At last a spot will be found for each one to squeeze in around the table, grab hands to pray, and give thanks for another year of bounty, each family member, and the many blessings we daily enjoy.
A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, I get out all my recipes and cookbooks and start browsing to make up a menu choosing the dishes and desserts that have become a family tradition while pulling out and studying new recipes or ideas that I have collected. Holidays are a great time, when one is already spending lots of time in the kitchen, to try out something brand new. This year I decided to try a Greek Yogurt recipe that my sister gave. I always keep a batch of homemade yogurt in my refrigerator year round. Adding yogurt to casseroles with cream soups, cheese and macaroni, mashed/scalloped potatoes, puddings, and fruit desserts always gives the dish a creamier texture with healthful benefits added without changing the taste. The more I uses for yogurt that I find the more endless possibilities I discover. To add pizzazz to your holiday meals this year make up a batch of Greek Yogurt. Preparation time for the Greek Yogurt takes around seventeen hours (I let the yogurt sit overnight) and this recipe makes seven to eight cups.
1 gal regular or 2% milk
2 c plain yogurt
Scald the milk, turn off the heat, and let cool slowly (about an hour). Gradually stir in the yogurt that has come to room temperature. Put the pan in the oven with the light on and let sit for sixteen hours without opening the door. Pour into four layers of cheesecloth covering a colander sitting in a pan. Let the yogurt drain for four hours in the refrigerator. Then ladle into sterilized jars or containers and refrigerate.
Weekly tip: Substitute this spread for your butter this holiday. Mix: 8 oz of softened cream cheese, 3 tb of honey, and ¼ tsp of cinnamon together until well blended, chill, and serve!
Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at: www.dorcasannettewalker.webs.com