Thanksgiving 1954: Saltines and Navy Blended Coffee Aboard the USS Yorktown

Ever in the holiday spirit, Patriots Point, which sent us a USS Yorktown cookie recipe for Veterans Day, shared the below menu from the aircraft carrier’s 1954 Thanksgiving dinner.

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The menu is stamped with a few oldfangled touches, such as the hot mincemeat pie and after-dinner cigars. But it’s also testament to how little the standard holiday menu has changed in more than half a century: Turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, two kinds of potatoes, pumpkin pie and Parker House rolls are immediately recognizable as a Thanksgiving meal. Continue reading

South Carolinians Try To Avoid Burning Down Their Homes This Thanksgiving

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nukeit1

No matter what you decide to serve for the holidays this year, make sure you prepare it very, very carefully: According to State Farm data, South Carolina from 2005-2012 had a greater incidence of Thanksgiving Day cooking mishaps than any other state in the continental U.S.

Although five states produced more cooking-related claims than South Carolina, those numbers can be attributed to much larger populations. In New York, for example, over the seven years covered by the survey, one out of every 889,545 residents reported an injury or fire caused by cooking. By contrast, one out of every 295,250 South Carolinians had a bad run-in with a turkey fryer or kitchen grease.

Only Alaskans were more likely to have their holiday end with an insurance claim: With five claims filed over the survey’s span, one out of every 146,289 Alaskans saw a holiday meal go dangerously awry. Continue reading

Chef Bill Smith Demystifies Gravy at Southern Season This Monday

bill_photoPumpkin pie may polarize, and oyster dressing may excite, but there’s no Thanksgiving food which terrorizes so reliably as gravy.

“People are always calling me up at this time of the year, sounding as if they are standing at the stove with whisk in hand, and asking for instructions on making it,” reports chef Bill Smith of Chapel Hill’s Crook’s Corner.

Smith (whose status as the son of a renowned Jerusalem artichoke pickle maker earned him a spot in my seasonal pickle story this week) is now bringing his gravy expertise to Southern Season ‘s cooking school. He’s teaching a course this Monday at 6 p.m. For $50, participants receive instruction in three different gravy-making methods. Continue reading

Restaurants Overwhelmingly Opt to Open on Thanksgiving

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timstackton

Thanksgiving is increasingly becoming just another day in the restaurant business, as the list of Greater Charleston Restaurant Association members keeping holiday hours makes clear.

Although many of them are adjusting menus and hours for Thanksgiving, 41 restaurants are planning to open. By contrast, the group’s spokeswoman was only aware of five member restaurants shutting down for the day.

“It’s just been a tradition for us to let employees have a family day,” says Steven Jones, manager of the West Ashley Crab Shack, one of the five closed restaurants. Continue reading

Where to Eat Out on Thanksgiving

steveajohnson

Steve A Johnson

As your thoughts turn from candy corn to cranberry sauce, you may very well decide you don’t want to fuss with fixing Thanksgiving dinner this year. Fortunately, Charleston restaurants are happy to help.

Here, a list of restaurants staying open for the holiday. Remember, reservations are essential; prix fixe prices don’t include drinks, tax or gratuity; and servers deserve to be tipped handsomely for giving up the day with their families. Happy Thanksgiving!

82 Queen

82 Queen, 723-7591

Hours: 12 noon-8 p.m.

Price: Entrees, $31-$39

Service style: A la carte

Sample menu items: Crispy parmesan oysters; sweet tea-grilled pork chop

Turkey description: Roast turkey paired with Southern potatoes, haricot verts, giblet gravy, cranberry chutney

Complete holiday menu: http://www.82queen.com/thanksgiving/

Blossom

171 E. Bay St., 722-9200

Hours: 11 .am.-9 p.m.

Price: Entrees, $24-$32

Service style: A la carte

Sample menu items: Pickled shrimp; pan-roasted grouper; pumpkin cheesecake

Turkey description: Slow-roasted turkey with cornbead and housemade sausage stuffing, slow-cooked green beans, whipped potatoes, cranberry relish, giblet gravy

Complete holiday menu: http://www.magnolias-blossom-cypress.com/blossom.asp?id=118213&action=detail&catID=20407&parentID=20406 Continue reading

Kitchen Store Hosts Knife-Sharpening Fundraiser for Thanksgiving Charity

knifesharpWhat’s harder than preparing Thanksgiving dinner for a dozen guests? Preparing Thanksgiving dinner with a dull-edged knife.

Fortunately for home cooks who want to effortlessly chop cranberries, dice potatoes and slice onions, The Coastal Cupboard this weekend is hosting its annual $1 knife sharpening fundraiser. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Charleston Basket Brigade, which supplies holiday meal ingredients to local families in need. The organization this year is striving to feed 20,000 people, a $100,000 effort.

The event runs from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 12-4 p.m. on Sunday. The store is located at 644-J Long Point Road.