Country Cook News – November 22, 2013

Hi Everyone!

JOHN F. KENNEDY MAY 29, 1917 – NOVEMBER 22, 1963

“President of the United States John F. Kennedy is dead.” I was jumping rope in gym class when these chilling words ring out over the gymnasium loud speaker. An abrupt end came to one friend’s 17th birthday party; another tells me that she was in 5th grade and after the horrible announcement, her school closed and everyone went home on school busses. Many of us sat in front of or black and white television sets for days watching and listening to every part of Kennedy’s funeral.

Do you recall what you were doing on November 22, 1963? Carol Weedman Reed remembers vividly and she has put her experience on paper titled, A Universal Gasp, which I’m posting today in remembrance of the 50th anniversary of this tragic and far-reaching loss. Thank you, Carol, for sharing your experience.



Apple-Onion Dressing served as individual portions is my favorite way to serve dressing because each savory mound tastes as good as it is pretty on the plate. Individual servings are easier to manage when aiming for soft or crispy results, slicing dressing onto turkey sandwiches is less messy and these babies are a snap to reheat. Enjoy!

Here’s a reprint about cooking my first Thanksgiving turkey along with some other chosen dishes that show up on our dinner table year after year: Cranberry Orange Relish, John’s Mashed Potato Casserole, Baked Broccoli and Cheese Side Dish, Linda’s Pumpkin Cookies and Elegant Turkey Crepes. Happy Feasting!


Are you looking for something that’s just a smidgen out of the ordinary to serve your Thanksgiving dinner guests? Spicy Perspective offers what site creator, Sommer Collier, calls 22 Days of Thanksgiving and it’s just the ticket for those of us looking to serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal with a twist. Sommer is a “wife, mom, travel enthusiast, and resident cookery queen of Spicy Perspective.”

Among the many choices on the blog, Sommer offers a Holiday drop-down menu that’s like a personal cooking assistant on steroids. For starters Baked Brie Bites,  then Deep Fried Turkey, Bacon Wrapped Veggie Bundles, Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts and for dessert Pumpkin Cream Pie with Walnuts.  Spicy Perspective will more than satisfy you and your dinner guests with food fit for the Thanksgiving gods.

You can find The Spicy Perspective on Twitter @spicyperspectiv


Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just Us Girls hit bookstores on November 5, 2013. The good news about this Chicken Soup title is that I have a story in the book. Making Lemonade is about finding new friends who helped me cope after my divorce back in 1987. Every woman you know is going to love this book because it has so many relatable stories!

You can purchase the book through me for $15 each, signed and personalized, which includes shipping. Contact me at to arrange for purchasing your copies.



Karen Russell writes a Thanksgiving Day tale about alligators and family traditions.


MAKING DEVILED EGGS? Warm eggs to room temperature before boiling. Eggs cold from the refrigerator are more inclined to crack while cooking.



The First Thanksgiving, The Thanksgiving Dinner that Flew Away, The Nutcracker Dwarf, The Pumpkin Pirates, The Spirit of Corn and more… printable short Thanksgiving stories for children.



After the food is eaten – or before it’s ready – fill their craving for fun with Thanksgiving games, trivia, bingo and conversation starters. Thanksgiving Trivia, Thanksgiving Bingo and many more. Printable games with nominal fees.


ASK CYNTHIA A QUESTION – November 22, 2013

Pegg asked: I have been recently interested in combining spices with each other to add to main dishes. Are there any spices we shouldn’t combine?

My answer: I don’t think there’s any rule about combining spices, however, if I’m not familiar with a spice, I approach it with caution.

I suggest beginning cooks and bakers following recipes until they become accustomed to the different spices and herbs. For those of us who are more experienced, I’d suggest researching the spice before jumping in. You can also combine a small amount of the spices in a dish and then sniff it several times throughout the day. Our nose is the best tester to know if something will be good to eat, or not. I’d also follow the old entertaining rule to not try out a new recipe on company (in this case spice combos).

As an experiment, I asked Google about sprinkling cinnamon on pork chops. I was surprised to find what looks like a scrumptious recipe for Cinnamon-Spiced Pork and Plums which tells me just about anything goes these days when it comes to combining spices, herbs and flavors. I have an Aunt, who is a terrific down-home style cook that has for years put a dash of cinnamon in her spaghetti sauce…and it’s good.

Here are a couple of links that offer suggestions for using spices and herbs that might be helpful: A Guide for Using Spices and the Food Network. Thank you for your question, and good luck, Pegg! Let me know at if you come up with any exotic combinations of spices and herbs that Country Cook readers might like to try.


Happy Thanksgiving!


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