Illustrations by John Burgoyne
In Lady Bird, our heroine breaks her mother's heart when she chooses to spend Thanksgiving with Danny's family at 'The Dream House,' a mini-mansion that belongs to his Reaganite grandmother.
Next week, families across America will gather for their own version of this annual tradition of feasting, football, and passive-aggressive small talk. Whether you're spending the holiday with another family or your own, one should never come to the table empty handed. For some last-minute inspiration, Greta Gerwig and the cast shared some of their favorite Turkey Day recipes. And though these dishes may not heal your family's psychic wounds, they'll at least put you in a food coma long enough to forget about any dysfunction.
Mr. Gerwig's Stuffing
My Dad makes this stuffing every single year and it is literally my favorite food on earth. I would sneak bites of it all day before the dinner and pray that we had enough leftovers that I could eat it throughout the week. Last year my Mom and Dad came to New York for Thanksgiving and he made the stuffing for my community of friends here. They all felt like I did and there was nothing left the next day. — Greta Gerwig
Recipe adapted from Julia Child
5 cups cornbread, crumbled
1 pound sausage meat
2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cups celery ribs, chopped
2 cups breadcrumbs, unseasoned, lightly pressed down
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons dried sage (more if you like)
4 ounces melted butter
Prepare cornbread according to mix directions. Break up sausage meat. Sauté in a pan or several minutes until gray. Scrape into a large mixing bowl, leaving fat in pan. In pan, sauté onions for 5-6 minutes. Add celery, sauté for 2 minutes. Add sautéed vegetables to the sausage, along with the cornbread and bread crumbs. Combine sage and eggs and pour into mixture. Fold in the melted butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place mixture in baking pan, cover with foil and bake at 350ºF for 20-30 minutes, maybe even less. Do no overbake otherwise the stuffing will dry out.
Saoirse's Soda Bread with Raisins
Non-stick vegetable oil spray
2 cups all purpose flour
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons butter, chilled, cut into cubes
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Spray 8-inch diameter cake pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, 4 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in large bowl to blend. Add butter. Using fingertips, rub in until coarse meal forms. Make well in center of flour mixture. Add butter-milk. Gradually stir dry ingredients into milk to blend. Mix in raisins. Using floured hands, shape dough into ball. Transfer to prepared pan and flatten slightly (dough will not come to edges of pan). Sprinkle dough with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
Bake bread until brown and tester inserted into center coms out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool bread in pan 10 minutes. Transfer to rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Laurie's Brussels Sprouts & Chestnuts in Brown Butter Sauce
2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup very thinly sliced shallots
3 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups hot chicken stock
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup roasted, peeled chestnuts, halved if large
Bring 4 cups salted water to boil, add brussels sprouts and cook 10 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water. Drain again.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a 3-quart saucepan. Add shallots and cook over medium heat, stirring, until light brown. Pour contents of pan through a fine strainer into a dish, pressing to remove as much butter as possible from shallots. Place shallots on paper towel to drain. Return butter to saucepan.
If serving immediately, preheat oven to 400ºF. Place saucepan over medium heat and cook until butter has a nutty aroma and is turning brown. Whisk in flour and cook until mixture is light brown. Whisk in stock and cook until sauce has thickened. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, and nutmeg. Add chestnuts and brussels sprouts, folding ingredients together. Transfer to an 8-cup baking dish. Scatter shallots on top.
Bake for about 15 minutes.
Tracy's Garlic Rosemary Mashed Potatoes
4lb. Yukon Gold potatoes (approx 8), peeled
2 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups half-and-half
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 head garlic
2 small sprigs fresh rosemary
6 black peppercorns
Freshly grated or ground nutmeg, for serving
Place the potatoes in a large pot, add enough cold water to cover and bring to boil. Add 2 teaspoons salt, reduce heat and simmer until just tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Meanwhile, place the half-and-half, butter, garlic, rosemary and peppercorns in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes; remove from heat and let sit until the potatoes are finished. Strain the half-and-half mixture into the pot with the potatoes. Add 3/4 teaspoons of salt and mash.
Lucas's Freeze-Ahead Dinner Rolls
5 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast (2 envelopes)
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
2 eggs, at room temperature
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. In a small saucepan or microwave, heat the milk, water and butter together until warm, but not hot. It is okay if the butter doesn't melt entirely. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Mix on medium speed with the dough hook for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of flour and the eggs and beat for another 2 minutes. Add enough flour to make an elastic dough - the dough will be sticky but shouldn't be wet. You may not use all the flour called for, or you might need a little more. Just add the flour a little at a time until the consistency is right. Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rinse for about 20 minutes. Punch down the dough using lightly floured hands, shape into whatever shape you want.
Once you've shaped your dough, place the rolls into the freezer (for the muffin tin and round pan rolls, just put the entire pan into the freezer) and freeze until very firm. Transfer the frozen shaped rolls into a plastic bag (the round pan rolls should stay in one big round) and freeze for up to 4 weeks. When you're ready to bake, remove the rolls from the freezer. If baking freeform shapes like twist rolls, just place them on a greased baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rise until puffy, about 1 1/2 hours. Just before baking, sprinkle with flaky sea salt (if desired). Preheat the oven to 350ºF and bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Note: If you want to skip freezing step, you can. Just preheat the oven after shaping your rolls, let them rise for 15 minutes and then bake.
Timothée's Spatchcocked Turkey with Anise & Orange
5 teaspoons aniseed
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup finely grated orange zest, plus 4 wide strips orange zest
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary, sprig reserved
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, sprigs reserved
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 12-14lb. turkey
(neck, giblets, and backbone removed and reserved)
2 medium onions, quartered
4 large carrots, peeled, halved
4 celery talks
3 heads garlic, halved
1/2 cup olive oil
Toast aniseed in a dry small skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until fragrance (about 3 minutes). Let cool; finely grind in a spice mill or a mortar and pestle. (Alternatively, chop with a knife.)
Finely chop salt, grated zest, sugar, chopped rosemary, thyme leaves, pepper, and 4 teaspoons aniseed in a food processor. Place turkey, skin side down, on a cutting board. Use a knife to score down long oblong bone in the center of breast. Turn skin side up and press down on breastbone to flatten. You should hear a crack and feel the bones give way. Rub all over with salt mixture; place turkey, skin side up, on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet and chill, uncovered, 6-18 hours.
Preheat oven to 450ºF. Arrange onions, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme and rosemary sprigs in a roasting pan. Rinse turkey, pat dry and place, skin side up, on top of vegetables; let sit at room temperature 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oil, orange zest strips and remaining aniseed in a small saucepan until oil is sizzling, about 2 minutes; let cool slightly.
Brush turkey with oil, add 1/2 cup of water to pan and roast turkey for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF and continue to roast, brushing with oil every 20 minutes, until skin is deep golden brown and crisp. When an insta-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers at 165ºF, bake about 1 hour longer. Transfer to a platter; tent with foil and let rest at least 30 minutes before carving.
Beanie and Shay's Simple Pumpkin Bread
My mom, Shay, and I are obsessed with this recipe. Thanksgiving morning always starts with her screaming to me, "Bean, come down! It's time to make the pumpkin bread!" We watch the parade, listen to Carole King and bake two different batches. We make one with chocolate chips for one of my brothers and one with raisins for my other brother. As the little sister, no one has ever really cared which one I prefer...but if anyone was wondering, I'm team chocolate chips. Enjoy! — Beanie Feldstein
1/3 cup of canola oil
1 cup of organic canned pumpkin
1 1/4 cup of sugar
2 1/3 cup of bisquick
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 cup of raisins or chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease the pan. Mix all the ingredients together and bake for 45 - 55 minutes.
Stephen's Cornbread & Oyster Dressing/Stuffing
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cups all-pupose flour
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Lightly spray vegetable oil on wrappers or loaf pan to prevent sticking. Mix all ingredients and pour batter in muffin wrappers or a loaf pan. Bake at 425ºF for 20-25 minutes. Serve warm from the oven.
6 tablespoons of butter or margarine
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
10 cups of cooked and coarsely crumbled cornbread
2 (8 ounce) cans of chopped cooked oysters (or use fresh oysters cooked)
1 (14 ounce) can of chicken broth or juice form cooked turkey
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, bell pepper and cook 5-6 minutes. Stir in poultry season, sage and garlic powder. Combine corn bread with vegetables and seasoning and oysters in a large bowl. Add chicken broth, toss all ingredients in a bowl gently.
Put in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Bake, uncovered in an oven at 350ºF for 35 minutes or until top is crispy and golden brown. Serve with Chicken or Turkey gravy on the side.
Lois Smith's Cranberry Sauce
When I was growing up my family always made this cranberry dish for Thanksgiving. We would grind raw cranberries, apples and oranges, and add canned pineapple and sugar.
I loved it, and also loved the process. My mother or sisters attached the metal grinder to the edge of the table, and we fed in the ingredients, and turned the big handle to grind them. I guess now it would be a food processor of some kind, but I remember the grinder with pleasure. — Lois Smith
Jordan's Tater Tot Casserole
2 pounds ground beef, browned and drained
1/2 cup diced celery
1 large vidalia onion, chopped
2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of celery soup
1 (32 ounce) bag frozen tater tots
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Mix celery soup and mushroom soup together, set aside. Put browned ground beef in a 9x13 dish/ Sprinkle with celery, Worcestershire sauce, onion and cheese. Cover with soup mixture and arrange tater tots on top to cover.
Bake at 350ºF for 1 hour.
Grandma Bunny's Famous Deviled Eggs
My Grandma Bunny knows that's she's an amazing cook. Everyone at home tells her, all of her friends tell her and she even announces it, but she always makes this dace when she is preparing the deviled eggs. As I wait eagerly for them to cool and she smacks my hand away from the egg closest next to me, she gives me this look as if to say "THIS. IS. GOING. TO. KILL." — Marielle Scott
A dozen eggs
3-4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon sweet relish
Boil eggs for about 12 minutes. Cool them but peel when warm. Cut eggs in half length wise and remove yolk. Put yolk in a bowl and mash them with gusto. Set aside egg whites until later. Mix yolks with 3 or 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise + 1 teaspoon of mustard + 1 teaspoon sweet pickle relish. Mix really well then spoon into each egg white halves. Sprinkle paprika on top.