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Happy Thanksgiving

In our family, cooking is all about love. And I bet it’s the same in your family, too. So I love sending you these recipes each Thanksgiving season — I think it connects our families together.

You may have already tried these recipes — perhaps one is already among your family favorites. And if you haven’t, I hope you’ll try one this year.

Thanks for all the good wishes and hard work this year!

Franni Franken

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AUNT CARLA’S PUMPKIN CORNBREAD

It is impossible to just have one piece. Be sure to make it the night before so you can have some with your Thanksgiving morning coffee.

Ingredients
2 cups cornmeal
2 cups white flour
1 cup sugar
2 tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup milk

Procedure
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. On the first speed of a hand or standing mixer, beat together the eggs, oil, pumpkin puree, and milk.
4. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry in three batches with a rubber spatula. The batter will be smooth, and is more fluffy than liquidy.
5. Pour the batter into a 9 by 13 baking pan (or two loaf pans), and place in the middle rack of the oven.
6. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick stuck in the middle of the cornbread comes out dry.
7. Let the cornbread cool for ten minutes, and then cut into pieces and serve.

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THOMASIN’S ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Ingredients
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 in. cubed chunks
3 tbs. unsalted butter, cut into small chunks, plus more for greasing the pan
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbs. light brown sugar

Preparation
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Grease a cookie sheet, and scatter the squash chunks on it.
3. Evenly spread out the chunks of butter among the squash, and sprinkle the cinnamon and brown sugar evenly on the squash.
4. Roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until the squash is tender. You can poke the squash with a cake tester, a fork, or a small knife to test.

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FRANNI’S PUREED BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Ingredients
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 in. cubed chunks.
3 tbs. unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation
1. Bring the butternut squash chunks to boil in a saucepan.
2. Turn the heat down to medium, and let cook until the squash is tender, approximately ten to fifteen minutes.
3. Drain the squash, and mash with a masher or a hand mixer.
4. Add the butter and salt and pepper to taste.

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AL’S WILD RICE STUFFING

It’s great alone, but Thomasin loves mixing it up with peas, mashed potatoes, and gravy.

Ingredients
1 lb. Wild rice (Mahnomen)
one stick butter
ten cloves of garlic
3 medium sized yellow onions
4 stalks of celery
2 lbs. White button mushrooms
salt to taste

Preparation
1. In a colander, rinse the wild rice.
2. Put the rice in a pot, and cover with 3 inches of water. Boil in a pot, uncovered, for about 20 to 25 minutes. If you’re using Mahnomen wild rice, it will cook more quickly than the paddy variety.
3. While the rice is boiling, slice (do not mince) the mushrooms, onions, garlic, and celery.
4. Melt the butter in a skillet, and sauté the onions, garlic, and celery until they begin to bleed a little liquid into the butter. Then add the mushrooms. The celery and onions should not be totally soft.
5. Once the rice has cooked, drain it and add to the sautéed vegetables.
6. Add salt to taste, and stuff into the turkey before roasting. The rest can be eaten as a side dish at dinner.