Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Recipes and Politics

As someone who tries to contribute financially, in my meager way, to progressive candidates, I receive multiple political e-mails daily. Even from folks I greatly admire the deluge of updates, requests, and screeds is tiresome. But you can count on Al (and Franni) to occasionally surprise you with something good. I thought I'd share this.


Al Franken - U.S. Senator, Minnesota
Dear Terrell,

It’s that time again: time for the best email you’ll get from us all year.

Sharing our Franken Family recipes is one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions. In our family, food is love -- and this is my special way of spreading some love to our extended campaign family.

You all did a lot of hard work for Al’s reelection this year, and we’re all grateful for it. So whip up one of these Franken specialties and know that it’s my way of saying thanks for everything you’ve done.

Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. And enjoy!

Franni Franken


It is impossible to just have one piece. Be sure to make it the night before so you can have some with your Thanksgiving morning coffee.

2 cups cornmeal
2 cups white flour
1 cup sugar
2 tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. On the first speed of a hand or standing mixer, beat together the eggs, oil, pumpkin puree, and milk.
4. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry in three batches with a rubber spatula. The batter will be smooth, and is more fluffy than liquidy.
5. Pour the batter into a 9 by 13 baking pan (or two loaf pans), and place in the middle rack of the oven.
6. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick stuck in the middle of the cornbread comes out dry.
7. Let the cornbread cool for ten minutes, and then cut into pieces and serve.


1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 in. cubed chunks
3 tbs. unsalted butter, cut into small chunks, plus more for greasing the pan
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbs. light brown sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Grease a cookie sheet, and scatter the squash chunks on it.
3. Evenly spread out the chunks of butter among the squash, and sprinkle the cinnamon and brown sugar evenly on the squash.
4. Roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until the squash is tender. You can poke the squash with a cake tester, a fork, or a small knife to test.


12 medium granny smith apples
1 cup sugar
3 heaping tablespoons flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Dash of salt
3 tbs butter, softened
¼ cup lemon yogurt
1 tbs milk
1 10” deep dish pie plate

1. Core and peel apples. Slice in ½ moons about 1/8” thick.
2. Place in extra large bowl, then, using thin slices, evenly distribute the butter within the apples.
3. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl and add to apples, evenly coating all apple slices.
4. Roll out one crust and place in pie dish.
5. Combine milk and yogurt. Add to apples slices in bowl so all slices are evenly coated.
6. Spoon apple slices into pie plate in circular layers, building apples to a center mound.
7. Roll out second crust. Place on top of apples, molding crust to the mound.
8. Trim, crimp edges, and cut out vents using a knife or decorative cutter.
9. Lightly brush crust with milk or left over juice from apples.
10. Pie may boil over so place on a tin foil pizza pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour, occasionally checking crust. Serves 14 to 16.


It's great alone, but Thomasin loves mixing it up with peas, mashed potatoes, and gravy.

1 lb. Wild rice (Mahnomen)
one stick butter
ten cloves of garlic
3 medium sized yellow onions
4 stalks of celery
2 lbs. White button mushrooms
salt to taste

1. In a colander, rinse the wild rice.
2. Put the rice in a pot, and cover with 3 inches of water. Boil in a pot, uncovered, for about 20 to 25 minutes. If you're using Mahnomen wild rice, it will cook more quickly than the paddy variety.
3. While the rice is boiling, slice (do not mince) the mushrooms, onions, garlic, and celery.
4. Melt the butter in a skillet, and sauté the onions, garlic, and celery until they begin to bleed a little liquid into the butter. Then add the mushrooms. The celery and onions should not be totally soft.
5. Once the rice has cooked, drain it and add to the sautéed vegetables.
6. Add salt to taste, and stuff into the turkey before roasting. The rest can be eaten as a side dish at dinner.


This is my favorite use of left over turkey.

2 slices of rye bread
1 tsp unsalted whipped butter
turkey breast
2 iceberg lettuce leaves
salt to taste

1. Spread unsalted whipped butter on the rye bread.
2. Sprinkle on salt.
3. Place turkey and lettuce on top of one piece of bread, and place the other piece of bread on top.
4. Slice in half and enjoy!

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