Two great recipes to tuck into your Thanksgiving feast

If we had some majorly important football event later this afternoon or evening, we could probably think of today as a lengthy, seemingly neverending pregame show.

But that’s today, and Thursday is the kickoff, and no fooling.

Unlike most other sports, the promotion and prep doesn’t last for weeks and weeks. No, it’s a one-off, and a very important one at that. Because, as we all know, Thanksgiving only comes around once a year.

Like most sports, though, we draw up a game plan, schedule and then prep, prep, prep for just this one very special day.

No matter how much we seem to have everything nailed down, it’s still a scramble, hustle and hurry, hurry, hurry kind of day. Then, in the thick of things, while we’re busy scratching off the hadda-do things, and the got-it-done stuff on our lists …

Gasp — horror — we suddenly notice we somehow forgot the so and so or this and that. If one of those is a salad, we have one that’s so good it could even double as a dessert. If the other might be a veggie casserole, we can cover that one, too, with a humdinger of a new, easier-than-ever, twist on an old, old classic.

Both great recipes are taken from my treasured, aging local cookbook, “Providence Hospitality.”

Diane Cruikshank shared the salad, which she calls Aunt Helen’s salad, while the “Committee” compiling the cookbook evidently all agreed on this one deliciously different how-to for a who-knows-how-old classic, creamed onions.

If we get to it right quickish, we’ll have plenty of time to plug these into Thursday’s feast:

Aunt Helen’s salad

1large (20 ounces) can crushed pineapple, undrained

1small package instant pistachio pudding mix

1cup miniature marshmallows

1/2cup chopped nuts

1/2cup chopped pecans

1carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Maraschino cherries, drained thoroughly

In a serving bowl, combine the pineapple, pudding mix, marshmallows, nuts and pecans, mixing well. Blend in the whipped topping, gently but thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or until needed.

To serve, garnish with maraschino cherries.

Scalloped onions

3tablespoons butter

8cups sliced onions (about 4 onions)

1/2teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/8teaspoon nutmeg

11/2cups whipping cream

1/2cup grated Parmesan cheese

2tablespoons seasoned dry bread crumbs

In a large saucepan, melt butter and stir in the onions. Cover and cook on medium-high heat, stirring for 5 to 10 minutes. Season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Spoon mixture into a buttered 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Pour whipping cream over the onion mixture. Combine the cheese and bread crumbs and evenly sprinkle over the top of the dish. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and light brown.

Makes 6 servings.

The next Forum will appear in Friday’s comics pages. Meanwhile, have the best, most wonderful ever Thanksgiving!

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