As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches every year, most of us look forward to a day of enjoying family, food and fun. Of course it is a day for giving thanks, and appreciating what we have, and what we have been blessed with. This is about our family traditions for the beginning of the day, and the breakfast food for which we are also thankful!
Starting off right...with breakfast.
The day of feasting begins!
For my family, our tradition wasn't far from many. We stuff ourselves throughout the day, maybe catch a little football, and take the obligatory nap before dessert or snacking on leftovers. While always being a family that enjoyed it's food, Thanksgiving like many holidays always got off to a great start with breakfast. Not always a sit down affair with everyone due to the fact that arrivals were scattered throughout the morning, but Mom always made sure goodies were present and ready for the taking.
More like finger foods, there were a few standouts that always seem to make the menu. Since they could all be prepared in advance, it left more time in the morning to prep Mr. Gobbler and the plethora of culinary delights that were to follow later in the day. The following old family recipes cover 3 of my favorites. I hope you'll try them and enjoy them as much as we always have.
Not for diets or watching cholesterol...but good!
While most of our family's cuisine was derived from the Key West Conchs on my mother's side of the family, this is one of the gems attributed to my father's side from across the pond. It's been a long time family favorite that always made it's appearance on holidays. Basically, it's a hard-boiled egg, smothered in sausage and then fried for an absolutely gastronomic delight!
As an interesting side note, these eggs are not from Scotland at all, but rather were invented in 1738 by a department store in London called Fortnum and Mason. In fact, they still sell them to this day.
Though originally intended to be a picnic food and eaten cold, the American tradition has been to eat them warm. Although we only seemed to have them on very special occasions they are also great for Sunday brunches, parties and tailgating! If you like eggs and sausage, this one's for you!
6 Hard-boiled eggs - well chilled
1 lb. of bulk sausage meat
2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
1/2-teaspoon of ground sage
1/4-teaspoon of pepper
1/4-cup of flour
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 to 3/4 cup of packaged bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Peel hard-boiled eggs.
Combine sausage, parsley, sage and pepper in a large mixing bowl, mixing well.
Divide meat mixture into six equal portions.
Press meat mixture around eggs with hands, keeping the oval shape.
Sprinkle eggs with flour, coating lightly on all sides. dip into beaten egg and then roll in bread crumbs.
Heat oil in deep fryer or heavy saucepan to 350 f. on deep-fat thermometer.
Cook one egg at a time for about 4 to 5 minutes or until well browned.
Drain on paper towelis, cool, refrigerate.
Note: Coat the egg with a little flour before applying sausage to help it stick. The prepared sausage is spicy enough for us as bought, so I do not add extra spices, but I do use seasoned bread crumbs.
Apple Coffee Cake
One of my grandmother's specialties from Key West.
This is an easy recipe to prepare in advance and travel with so it always made the family gatherings wherever they were. Simple but tasty, this moist and delicious cake is one that is enjoyed by all whether accompanied by coffee or not!
Apple Coffee Cake
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
In a large bowl, mix together:
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
Add oil mixture to flour mixture and mix well
(it will be stiff)
Add 3 cups (about 3 large) apple slices
1 cup chopped pecans
Bake in a 9" x 13" pan at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour.
After all, 'Tis the season!
These delights were not only around for breakfast, but usually showed up for dinner along with the other rolls and baked goods. Although they were a staple during the fall and winter holidays, there's no reason these muffins can't be enjoyed year round.
Sift together and set aside:
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Cream 1/4 cup margarine
Add 1/2 cup of mashed pumpkin and mix.
Add 1 egg and beat well
Add 1/2 cup milk, stir into pumpkin mix
Add flour mixture and stir til blended.
Stir in 1/2 cup raisins.
Fill greased muffin tins or paper cups about 2/3 full.
Bake at 400 f. for 18 to 20 minutes.
After removing from oven sprinkle each muffin with 1/4 teaspoon sugar.
Now that the feeding frenzy has begun, it's on to the rest of the day and looking forward to a table full of food for the holiday feast. Every family has their own favorites there as well, and these pages are filled with traditional family recipes by many lensmasters. While the meal will most definitely be enjoyed by all, the moment is made more special by simply being together with family and loved ones where possible, and having the opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks for all of the wonders and blessings in our lives.
I hope you enjoy your breakfast and have a happy, healthy and most wondrous Thanksgiving. Savor the bounty that has been put before you, and remember the main reason for this gathering. When you do give your thanks, please remember the folks overseas that make this possible. For that, I'll say to you... thanks!
Some helpful breakfast ideas - Available now from Amazon
Looking for more ideas and options? This book of morning food will give you plenty of recipes to choose from covering muffins, coffee cakes and other breakfast staples. You're sure to be able to find your own tastes in comfort food for starting out your day!
This book of morning food features ideas and recipes for the best part of the day!
Some more breakfast ideas - Get the day off on a good start!
After all, it's the most important meal of the day, enjoy!
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