Thanksgiving feast (food ideas, and other activities)

I figured I'd create this thread while the munchkins sleep and I have time to ponder my Thanksgiving plans.

I'm going to attempt to cook a ham this year. My family still has an annual hog butchering where the relatives all gather and process between 10 and 13 hogs. In my early 30's I started curing my own bacon, Canadian bacon, and ham. I've had very good results. However, my ham has always been just smoked and then thinly sliced on a deli slicer. I've never tried the "traditional" baked ham. Then I learn my wife doesn't like salt cured hams. Luckily, the cure I use is more bacon-y. So, I'm going to do a glazed ham for her.

Plan is to do a brown sugar/honey glaze. Right now, the planned mix is brown sugar, honey, Dijon, and some apple cider vinegar. I'll probably use butter and a splash of orange juice. But, I also have some orange infused olive oil (Abingdon olive oil company has some killer options. I use their Persian lime and orange ones a lot. Not affiliated. Just like their product ). So, I'm pondering that.

I'm thinking smoke it on the pellet grill at about 250. Then glaze for the last 30 minutes of the cook.
Anyone doing anything similar?

We normally rabbit hunt on thanksgiving morning. So, I'm hoping to pull all this off while still being able to hunt.

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Dinner out with friends of ours as most of my wife's and my families are no longer with us. Best part is, everyone else can have turkey and I don't have to.

That said, Charcuterie board for the win.

Not happy that we didn't get Thanksgating..... But oh well...
My Thanksgiving Plans:
Watch the parade. Help my mom cook. Watch football with Hubby and my dad.
The Menu:
-Smoked and roasted
-Smoked and plain
Mac and Cheese
Mashed Potatoes
String beans
Butter beans
Homemade cranberry sauce
Cranberry salad
Orange fruit salad
Snickers salad
Deviled eggs
Candied yams?
Apple pie
Pumpkin pie
Apple cake
Pecan pie
Cranberry orange cake

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

snickers salad? i am intrigued. details?

Yes. It's a fluff/dessert salad
1 Jar Marshmallow fluff/cream
1 8oz cream cheese softened
1 8 oz tub Cool Whip
1 bag fun sized Snickers cut into pieces
3 apples diced peel on (I use Granny Smith)

Beat cream cheese and marshmallow. Add Snickers and apples. Fold in Cool Whip. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
**Tip freeze Snickers to help cut. Also use a hot knife.

It is best served immediately

I suppose if you could substitute Milky Way for the Snickers...

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

I think I just got diabetes from reading this list of ingredients.

Add two sticks a butter and a biscuit and you couldn't make it more southern

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I resemble that remark.

It was a random recipe my mom and I found. It tastes like a fancy caramel apple.

If anybody has been to Thanksgating in Lot 18, you may have tried it.

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

Didn't say it didn't sound good, just that it might induce Diabetes by proximity.

Roll it in graham cracker crumbs, then deep fry it.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

When I read this, I started thinking about the Garfield Thanksgiving when Grandma saves the day. "Deep fat fry! Deep Fat Fry!"

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

My neighbors aren't traveling anywhere. They're smoking a duck and making duck tacos. Sounds amazing to me.

Twitter me

I'd kill for some good duck right now. Unfortunately, I'm wary of most people cooking duck. Have too many dried out ones in my life.

Hopefully they do it up right, and share with you.

Yea, it's just a couple and their 2 year old son, so no pressure to make it perfect.

Twitter me

Try your brown sugar/honey glaze with a half can of Dr. Pepper

My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said

Roasted turkey and cranberry sauce... and now for the important stuff:

twice baked potatoes with bacon and cheddar cheese
Sister Shubert's and Pepperidge Farm rolls
Home made stuffing
Green Beans
Roasted Brussel sprouts
My aunt's "stinky" salad
Waldorf salad
Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Pecan Pie
Vanilla ice cream
Family recipe cupcakes

Edit: to clarify the family recipe, I dont know where it came from but I'd stick a Benjamin on "from Southern Living from the 60s"

Stinky salad???

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

Lettuce, tomatoes, and a very potent oil based dressing my aunt makes from scratch.

Here's another thanksgiving take: if you're not frying your turkey, it should be spatchcocked. You'll get a more even cook, crispy skin, be easier to carve, and just in general be better.

Twitter me

If you're frying turkey the more sober you need to be ...

Glad to see another fellow Kenji follower. I picked up "Food Lab" randomly in Costco because I loved the evidence based approach in cooking, and then Kenji continues to surprise every day

Third the food lab.
Changed my game with turkey, French onion soup, salmon, and a whole lot of other food.

As an engineer, I appreciate the evidence based explanations.

Fourth on Kenji.

I am spatchcocking and smoking a turkey. can't wait. My mom is roasting another one.

I love a good maple brined turkey. I'm putting mine in the brine Tuesday afternoon to be ready for roasting Thursday (18-24 hours is the sweet spot). It's simple but effective.

I'd be very interested in your brine recipe if you're willing to share

Happy to spread the holiday joy!

For reference this is for a 14 to 16 pound Turkey, as I'm usually cooking for a party of 7-10 with a couple kids. Adjust accordingly for bigger or smaller birds.

Combine the following ingredients and bring to a boil:

4 qts water
1.5 cups kosher salt (I use course)
1.5 cups brown sugar
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup cider vinegar
2 Tbl ground pepper
6 fresh bay leaves (dried bay leaves give too much flavor, ironically)
24 fresh sage leaves
2 Tbl prepared yellow mustard
1 tsp ground cloves
4 cloves garlic (I use minced)

Boil and dissolve the salt and sugar. I then add another 4 qts ice cold water to bring the heat down.

Put the bird in a turkey roasting bag (I actually double bag it), and then set it in a big pot and set in the fridge. Brine for at least 18, but no more than 24 hours. Remove, rinse, and then season the outside if you want with pepper or other seasonings, don't add season with anymore salt though. Cook in whichever manner you prefer, I always roast mine just because I love the smell in the house.

My kids and friends devour this every year, but when there are leftovers they make some great sandwiches.

I am a big fan of the "cover the turkey in Duke's" method of prep. Usually end up with juicy bird.

I know people love their smoked or fried turkey, but I really enjoy the roasted bird and then turning those drippings into amazing gravy.

Edit: and for any MattBoard holiday, there must be pineapple-y stuff.


  • 3 eggs well beaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cans (12oz) pineapple tidbits drained
  • 6 slices of sandwich bread
  • 2 sticks of butter
  1. Tear up bread into small chunks, combine with eggs, sugar and pineapple tidbits. Pour into greased 9x13 baking pan.
  2. Slice butter over top, liberally. (Alternately butter can be cubed and mixed with everything else).
  3. Let sit for one hour or up to overnight in the fridge.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F and bake for 35-45 min.

My mom makes this too! But we only have it on Easter-- when we have ham.

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

My wife makes this too - calls it 'Pineapple Bread'
She uses crushed pineapple though.

My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said


Oh this isn't the Thanksgiving Sides thread?

Anyway, I'm heading to my aunt's house because she REFUSES to let anyone else host Thanksgiving. Which is cool because she does it so, so good and no one wants to go anywhere else.

I'm responsible for the candied yams this year. My dad and I would always make them the day of, then drive to her place. He passed this year so I'm on my own making them. I know the general recipe. Boil 'em, take the skins off, cut 'em up, then finish cooking them in a frying pan with butter and brown sugar. How much butter? I don't know. How much brown sugar? I don't know. So I'm just going to use ALL OF IT and if it turns out too buttery and/or too sweet, well, then that's just TOO DAMN BAD THEN ISN'T IT

There are few people who love that gross looking gelatin mold of cranberry sauce sliding out of that Ocean Spay can more than me.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

For the first time in 25 years we are going to my parent's house. It may well be the last time they offer to host, as they are looking at retirement communities. We had previously gone to the in-laws, as my wife is an only child, and then hosted them when they were no longer able. Made a tradition of having a guest or two who's family was not in the country over to show them how Thanksgiving is really done. If you are able I highly recommend doing so. My parents host a fairly large affair (10-15) but all I know is I am smoking the turkey (fosters beer butt) and bringing house pickled veg and home pepper jelly for apps.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Know I've posted this before, but will re-post my family's fairly unique Thanksgiving culinary tradition: I make Indian spiced meatballs (kofta in yogurt) and we have it with basmati rice and naan. They make me make a double batch because a single gets eaten too fast. Recipe below is for a single batch, so I just repeat the process when I do the double batch:

2 cups ground beef
1.5 cups plain bread crumbs
1 onion finely chopped - I use a mini food processer to get them real fine
1 teaspoon ginger powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 egg
Salt - I usually just shake a bit in from the shaker, don't measure it and don't put in too much

(1) Mix everything together well and shape into walnut sized balls.
(2) Fry in hot oil with periodic turning until the centers are no longer pink.
(3) Put cooked meatballs on a paper towel covered plate and let the oil drain a bit.
(4) Serve over basmati rice (wife and daughter do it this way) or on top of a warmed naan (how I prefer them).
(5) Top with plain yogurt to taste.

If you do a double batch, I find you need to discard the oil part way through and use 2 things of oil and it starts to give off a burnt taste if you use the same oil over and over.

You can add 1 or 2 finely chopped chilis/jalapenos if desired but the ladies do not like hot spices. I always find it ironic that my 50% Indian wife cannot take any hot spices and the white American likes spicy food. Also get a kick out of how she is Canadian - and from pretty far north/not even close to the border - yet she always complains about how cold it is here in NJ.

Recovering scientist working in business consulting

That sounds delicious.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Oh, and I'm sure we will watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Not going anywhere or having anyone else over. Just quiet times with the family.

Recovering scientist working in business consulting

We're doing a small nuclear family dinner Thursday (extended fam gather Saturday) and nobody in my family loves turkey, so I'm doing a standing rib roast. It's a practice run for Xmas dinner.

My dads birthday is November 26th, so it falls on Thanksgiving obviously from time to time. On those years, it's prime rib and bacon wrapped scallops because he thinks turkey is boring as shit.

a small nuclear family dinner

So you're MICROWAVING it ? /s

From the 2018 VT-uva game-"This is when LEGENDS are made!"

We made a cranberry gravy for a Friendsgiving which is your typically drippings and flour, but add a can of jellied cranberries.... and it was shockingly amazing considering the sight of jellied cranberries makes me want to vomit

Turkey with home made stuffing slow cooked from Midnight on.
Homemade Cranberries with orange zest
Green bean casserole
mashed potatoes
candied yams
cole slaw
home made rolls

haven't made the decision on if I am going to toss in the brussell sprouts cooked in bacon grease.

Adding smoke to the fire

Smoking a Boston Butt.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

This year I am trying a YouTube suggestion - separate the turkey breasts from the leg quarters, cook the breasts to about 150 degrees, continue cooking leg quarters to 185 degrees.

Reality has a mighty pimp hand.

As long as you aren't trying the internet trend of cooking poultry in NyQuill....

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

As BAR suggested above, spatchcocking is the way to go. It's my go to method for cooking poultry these days.

Cuban rum. Coke. Lime.


2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

White rum. Tonic. Lime. Better in the summer.

Made twice smoked ham last year. Apparently good enough to be forced to make 2 this year. I'll bourbon glaze one classic brown sugar glaze on the other.

(add if applicable) /s




This is the way.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Damn, I put the Christmas lights up earlier when it was still daylight and accidentally put one strand of warm white LED and another strand of cool white LED. But I don't feel like fixing it. Thoughts/advice?

So you have neutral white?

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

Well one strand is on a second floor balcony and the other is on the first. So they don't blend super well. This is probably why I should have paid attention more when I was putting them up.


My brother is hosting this year. I'm traveling up to the Baltimore direction.
He asked me to do brussels sprouts. That's it.
I guess I'm ok with that but, I'm gonna miss the leftover prime rib sandwiches for the UVA/VT tailgate.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Ever had the Brussels sprouts at Legend? They're killer.

I have not.
I like to roast them.

This is going to be great for the ACC.