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Thanksgiving in the Great Outdoors  
By Dian Thomas

It is time to make those final plans for Thanksgiving. Most people will roast their turkey in the oven but if you have a little adventure, good weather, and a little time you could consider some outside alternatives.

A few years ago when I was in Las Vegas, a friend cooked a turkey using peanut oil. Yes, it did take some extra equipment but I was truly amazed at the speed the turkey cooked and how little oil penetrated into the turkey. How moist it was!

It was done on a gas burner outside in a very deep pan that held enough oil that it covered the turkey. When the peanut oil reached cooking temperature, that turkey was carefully lowered into the hot oil. Because the high heat of the oil, the turkey cooked in a relatively short time. If you decide to try this check out this link for photo and a description of the process. http://www.fabulousfoods.com/school/cstech/fryturkey.html

Another delicious way to cook a turkey is to grill it. It will produce another great product. Check out this link for grilling directions. http://www.fabulousfoods.com/school/cstech/grillturkey.html

I you are going to try cooking the turkey outdoors, how about some great side dished in the Dutch oven.

Baked Yams
These taste almost like candy when prepared with melted butter or margarine, brown sugar and cinnamon.

4 medium yams, pierced
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
Cinnamon
Dutch oven

Heat a 12-inch Dutch oven over 9 hot coals. Arrange four jar rings evenly spaced on the bottom. Place each whole, pierced yam on top of a canning jar ring. Cover with Dutch oven lid and place 15 hot coals on top. Cook, covered, 30 minutes, turning yams over once.

Cut yams in half lengthwise, fluff the center with a fork and add butter or margarine, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cook, covered, 10 to 15 minutes more, if needed. Serves 4 to 8.

At Home

On the rack in the oven, bake whole, pierced yams at 350ºF. until tender, about 30 minutes. Cut in half lengthwise and add butter or margarine, brown sugar and cinnamon. Serves 4 to 8.

Other toppings might include maple syrup, honey or apricot jam.
Serve one half or whole to each person, depending on the yam’s size and how hungry they are.


Baked Butternut Squash

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 large butternut squash, cut in half and seeded (see •)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
Cinnamon sugar

Camp Stove and At Home

In a large skillet, melt butter or margarine; arrange squash, cut side down. Cook, covered, on low heat 35 to 45 minutes, until squash is tender. Turn over, salt and pepper and drizzle maple syrup or sprinkle cinnamon sugar into the cut side of squash. Serves 4.

Dutch Oven

Line a 12-inch Dutch oven with aluminum foil. Heat over nine hot coals. Add butter or margarine and place squash, cut side down, on the foil. Cover with a Dutch oven lid and place 15 hot coals on top. Cook, covered, 35 to 45 minutes, or until squash is tender. Turn over, salt and pepper and drizzle maple syrup or sprinkle cinnamon sugar into the cut side of squash. Serves 4.

Foil

In a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil, wrap squash, cut side down. Add butter or margarine and wrap using the drugstore wrap (http://www.meridianmagazine.com/enjoying/070927foil.html). Place package onto a bed of hot
coals and cook 30 to 40 minutes, turning over halfway. Let it rest 10 minutes before unwrapping. Turn over, salt and pepper and drizzle maple syrup or sprinkle cinnamon sugar into the cut side of squash. Serves 4.

At Home

In a baking dish, melt butter or margarine; arrange squash, cut side down. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350ºF. for 35 to 45 minutes, until squash is tender. Turn over, salt and pepper
and drizzle maple syrup or sprinkle cinnamon sugar into the cut side of squash. Serves 4.

Any variety of winter squash (for example — acorn, blue hubbard or banana) may be substituted.
Seeds from squash, pumpkin, sunflowers, etc., can be saved and roasted in a hot Dutch oven or in a baking pan. To make roasted seeds, clean seeds and dry on a paper towel.
Season with melted butter or margarine, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Bake at 325ºF., stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until cooked to desired doneness.
If you are looking for something else besides pumpkin pie, you cannot go wrong with one of my favorites.

Mixed Berry Crisp


Berries in season are always best. That probably is not an option at this time of year, so just use frozen berries.

1 (10-ounce) bag frozen raspberries, thawed
1 (10-ounce) bag frozen blueberries, thawed
1 (10-ounce) bag frozen boysenberries or blackberries, thawed
3/4 cup sugar

In a bowl combine berries and sugar; set aside. Prepare Crisp Topping (below).

Dutch Oven

Heat a 12-inch Dutch oven over 9 hot coals. Cover with Dutch oven lid and place 15 hot coals on the top. Preheat 10 minutes. Pour the berry mixture into the Dutch oven. Sprinkle Crisp Topping (below) evenly onto berries. Bake, covered, for 30 to 35 minutes. Serve warm or cold. Serves 6 to 8.

At Home

Follow the above Dutch oven directions. Cook in a baking dish at 350ºF. for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm or cold. Serves 6 to 8.

Crisp Topping

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted

In a medium bowl or in a 1-quart plastic self-sealing bag, add flour, walnuts, brown sugar, oatmeal and butter or margarine, and mix. This can be prepared at home and added to the Berry
Crisp (above) outdoors. Excellent on cooked fruit or added to coffee cake before baking.

 

   
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