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November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving traditions

Readers share their holiday recipes

The Daily Star

---- — Staff Report

Thanksgiving is a time of family, giving thanks and, of course, food.  Most years, we ask our readers to share their traditional Thanksgiving recipes.

Nancy Murphy, who owns Murphy House Bed and Breakfast in Oneonta, shared a recipe from which she has gotten many compliments from her guests, she said. 

”Since I prepare the pumpkin bread a day or two before, it is an easy breakfast to prepare for a crowd,” she said. “I usually offer real maple syrup with it, but most times the spiced whipped cream is all that my guests need to top it off. As different cooks make this recipe with their favorite pumpkin bread, individual touches (like nuts and dried fruit) will specialize it.”




1 large loaf of your favorite pumpkin bread

4 large eggs

1 cup whole milk (or half-and-half)

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons butter, melted for griddle

For the topping:

1½ cups whipping cream

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg


Cut the pumpkin bread into ½-inch slices. Leave out overnight to dry a bit.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla extract.

Dip the slices of pumpkin bread into the egg mixture. Cook each side about 2 minutes on a hot, buttered griddle.

To make the spiced whipped cream, whip all the remaining ingredients together with an electric mixer until stiff.

Serve the pumpkin bread french toast with spiced whipped cream on top.


Gelatin salads have been appearing on holiday tables for generations. 

Nancy Rasmussen of Oneonta shared her recipe.



2 cups crushed pineapple

1 large container cream cheese (softened)

1½ tablespoon plain gelatin

¼ cup cold water

½ cup sugar

12 maraschino cherries (chopped)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons cherry juice

½ pint heavy cream


Add sugar to pineapple and beat. Add softened cream cheese to this and stir. Mix gelatin in water and add to mixture, add remaining ingredients except cream. Whip heavy cream and fold pineapple mixture into cream. Pour into greased molds.


You can’t really separate Thanksgiving and pumpkin, and there is no need to with Springfield resident Susan Manely’s dessert bar recipe that will serve 15 and take a couple hours to make.



1 box plain yellow cake mix

4 eggs

1 cup brown sugar

1 30-ounce can pure pumpkin

1 cup softened butter or margarine

1 large can evaporated milk

1 tablespoon cinnamon

½ cup brown sugar 

½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)


Reserve 1 cup of the cake mix. Melt half the margarine and mix with the remaining cake mix and 1 beaten egg. Spread in bottom of a 9-by-13-inch greased pan. Mix together the first measure of brown sugar, milk, cinnamon, remaining beaten eggs and pumpkin. Pour over cake mix layer. Combine the reserved cake mix, remaining brown sugar, remaining softened margarine, and walnuts, if using. Crumble over pumpkin layer and bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Chill in refrigerator. Cut in squares and served with whipped cream or whipped topping.


Elizabeth J. Eckert of Oneonta offered  several recipes from her Thanksgiving table.

Here are some of them.



2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

½ cup fresh orange juice

½ cup real maple syrup

¼ cup raisins

¼ cup chopped walnuts


Place all in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer 5 minutes or until berries begin to pop. Serve warm or cold.

“This truly is one our favorite cranberry dish. We have also put this over vanilla ice cream. Delicious, festive and colorful,” she wrote.


“For those of you who still have zucchini to use up, here is one of my family’s favorites,” Eckert offered:


4 cups grated zucchini, unpeeled

6 eggs

1/3  cup oil

¾ cup grated cheddar cheese

½ onion, chopped

2 tablespoons parsley

2 tablespoons oregano

1½ cups Bisquick

Sprinkle of cayenne pepper

1 or 2 teaspoons minced garlic


Mix all ingredients. Pour into greased pie dish. Bake at 350 degrees one hour until brown. The recipe creates its own crust.



This she called “surely one of our favorites, and healthy cookies, too.”


½ cup shortening

1 cup maple syrup

1 beaten egg

1½ cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

¼ cup milk

1½ cup oatmeal

½ cup raisins

½ cup chopped nuts


Beat shortening, maple syrup and egg until fluffy. Add salt and baking soda. Add milk and oatmeal. Mix well. Stir in raisins and nuts. Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheets. Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees or until done.  Add glaze of confectioner’s sugar and maple syrup once cool, if desired.



1½ cups mashed sweet potatoes

1 cup milk

1 egg

¾ cup picked brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon allspice


Mix thoroughly. Pour into a pie shell. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes then at 375 for another 30 to 45 minutes until done.’

“This is our family’s favorite sweet potato pie,” Eckert said. “It’s nice served with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  



1½ cup canned or fresh pumpkin

1 cup brown or white sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1½ teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon allspice

3 tablespoons molasses

3 eggs slightly beaten

1 cup evaporated milk


Bake at 450 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.

”This a very old recipe,” Eckert said, “one my mother always made. Nice flavor.” 


”Very special” is what Eckert called this recipe.


1½ cup fresh or whole canned cranberries

1½ cup raisins

1½ cup sugar 

¾ cup water, divided

1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in ¼ cup water

1 tablespoon butter

1½ teaspoon vanilla

1 recipe for double piecrust


Cook cranberries, raisins, sugar and ¾ cup water, until cranberries crack open. Add water and cornstarch mixture and continue to cook until thickened. Cool and flavor with butter and vanilla. Make piecrust. Pour fruit into prepared crust. Top with a lattice pie crust. Bake in 450 degree oven 10 minutes, then lower heat to 350 degrees and bake another 35 minutes or until crust is done.



¾ cup shortening

1 cup sugar

¼ cup molasses

1 egg

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 cups flour

½ teaspoon ginger

½ teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt


Melt shortening in saucepan on low heat. Remove and let cool. Add  sugar and molasses, egg and beat well. Add flour, baking soda and spices. Mix well. Chill. Form into balls and place on cookie sheet. Bake 350 degrees fof 8 to 10 minutes. Makes about 4 dozen.

“My family grew up with these cookies,” Eckert said. “Children love to help make them, too.”