Friday Links – Turkey Cake and Other Thanksgiving Fun

I didn’t come across any health or lung news this week that looked interesting, so here: have a random assortment of links for the upcoming American Thanksgiving holiday instead.

Probably the Grossest Thanksgiving Recipe Ever
It’s a turkey cake, but maybe not the kind you’re picturing.

Want a Good Cranberry Sauce?
Make this one. The first year we tried this cherry/cranberry/clove version, the girls loved it so much they begged me to make another batch for Christmas. After both holidays, they used the leftovers on toast and bagels, like jelly. Even people who don’t like plain cranberry sauce like this recipe. (And yes, you can substitute cherry juice if you can’t find the cider. Been there.)

Popular Mechanic’s Weird Thanksgiving Turkeys
One of these is a “turkey” in name and approximate shape only. I can appreciate all these alternative versions, though, since turkey is my least favorite protein and when it comes to Thanksgiving traditions, I believe firmly in the pick-and-choose method. Including side dishes simply because they’re customary doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me if they’re just going to sit in the refrigerator uneaten afterwards.

At my house this year, for example, we’re having the roast pork (lechon asado) that Latin American celebrations feature. I’m half Puerto Rican and plus, pork’s just way better than the bird. I’ve only truly enjoyed and eaten second helpings of turkey one time, and that was the year we brined it overnight and then smoked it all day. And also, I was heavily pregnant with the Sidekick that Thanksgiving, which may have been a contributing factor to the second helpings. Point being, I can commit to a complicated brine/smoke process over several days just to make boring old turkey palatable, or I can make pork roast.

Halloween + Thanksgiving = ?
Answer: Thanksgiving Maskers, apparently.

19 responses to “Friday Links – Turkey Cake and Other Thanksgiving Fun”

  1. Sara C. says:

    I really can’t decide if I think the turkey cake is ultra clever or ultra repulsive. I KNOW I wouldn’t spend that much time making it.

    I couldn’t get popular mechanics to open any pictures on my machine…and I have a feeling the captions didn’t do the pictures justice.

    I wish I loved whole berry cranberry sauce…but I’m a “can”berry kind of girl. Maybe I’ll try this recipe, though.

  2. Elisheva says:

    Haha! That turkey cake is like my meatcake that I make!

  3. Amy says:

    Sara–Oh, it’s repulsive.

  4. MC says:

    Hmm, not sure what to make of the turkey cake. On the one hand, the idea is kind of ingenious, on the other hand, my brain bawlks at the stuffing in there (gluten!) and I’m really not fond of (read: dislike) cranberry sauce. And I’m not quite sure what to make of it all… not sure it’s nasty, but not sure it’s that great either. I do know I love turkey though (and my family eats way more chicken and ground turkey the rest of the year than we do any other meat), I’m just not sure I’d like it in a cake with marshmallows. The only part that didn’t appeal to me was the crazy list of ingredients… I mean putting ketchup with the turkey???

    However, the Masking on Thanksgiving is an odd sounding tradition to me now, though come to think of it, it was probably a much healthier alternative to Halloween as we know it now. :P

    Amy- you seemed to say you don’t like all the traditional side dishes… have you ever tried pineapple casserole? It’s traditional only to my family as far as I know, and it’s the dish that’s eaten the fastest. I know of no one who doesn’t like it, and best yet, it’s super easy to make. LMK if you want the recipe. :) For my family, thanksgiving dinner without pineapple casserole wouldn’t be thanksgiving dinner. ;)

  5. Amy says:

    No, my thing is–if I’m cooking, I don’t make the traditional dishes just for the sake of tradition, if I don’t really like them. Hence the Puerto Rican pork instead of turkey. We are having stuffing, which I do love, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, tiramisu because that’s what one of my guests wanted to bring, kalbi, which are Korean short ribs, and a few other foods. Basically, my Thanksgiving has turned into a bring-your-favorite-dish kind of holiday. Which is as it should be – too many dry turkey dinners in my childhood. :)

  6. Michelle says:

    Oh, I remember the lechon asado. That was goooooood.

    My grandmother’s recipe for cranberry relish is mandatory for our Thanksgiving table. It is uncoooked and quite drunk. I never liked the canned stuff, but I understand many people do.

  7. Sarah says:

    I’m lucky – my mom knows how to make a really good turkey. I’m certain that, even if you don’t necessarily like turkey after you’ve had my mom’s, you at least wouldn’t dislike it on principle anymore. :P

    For Thanksgiving… I typically volunteer for cleanup, partly because I’ll end up cleaning up anyway (easier to get the kid who will whine about having to chores, but do them to do it than to get the kid who you have to hound for days and days to get anything out of, from my parents’ POV), and partly because compared to the culinary genius of my mother and sister, I’m a disaster in the kitchen. I’m usually competent, but I have no love of cooking like they do, and boy does it show. My mom and sister can turn out dishes that wouldn’t be out of place in a four-star restaurant. Compare that to me: I’m typically satisfied if I turn out something hot, edible, and unburned. XD

    Have you ever been an amateur in the company of professionals? That kind of “I’m totally out of my depth” feeling is the one I get when I’m in the kitchen with my mom and sister. XD

    Baking, though: I am the undisputed Dessert Queen of the family. Keep me away from the stove, but you’d be amazed what I can pull off with eggs, flour, oatmeal, cocoa and other baking staples. I think it’s because baking is more sciency (follow the recipe the same way every time, and it’ll turn out the same way every time), and stovetop cooking is more of an art (and one thing I’m definitely not is artsy). My desserts might not look pretty, but they taste damn good (…assuming I don’t forget a tray of cookies in the oven for an hour XD).

  8. Amy says:

    Michelle–That sounds awesome. I’m thinking about trying hot buttered rum this year, because what’s not to love about warm adult beverages on a cold day? Send me a recipe if you have one!

    Sarah–Yeah, it’s not that I hate turkey so much as I just prefer any other kind of meat, so you may be right about your mom’s. This is actually the first year I’m not cooking one.

    I’m exactly the opposite re: cooking and baking. While I do bake because I try to avoid processed foods, I like cooking better because it’s not as exact.

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