Throwback: Put your Thanksgiving leftovers to use

November 22, 2018


Editor’s note: This throwback comes from 50 years ago — Nov. 28, 1968 — where it ran under the headline “Cool Cook Never Shaken by a Crowd.” The “Journal Kitchenette” featured regularly published local recipes, and these two Thanksgiving leftover tricks are just as necessary for cooks today as they were back then.

Our editorial that Thanksgiving read, “Half a century ago, the only holiday entertainment was what a family could provide for itself in the form of conversation and games and looking at pictures through the stereopticon. Today, television mass feeds our minds just as the modern food processing industry feeds our stomachs.

“Yet it really isn’t Thanksgiving Day that has changed. America has changed and is changing, but the reasons each American generation continues to celebrate this festival are timeless and enduring.

“Nov. 28, 1968, is the day to give thanks for many blessings — for big blessings such as a country that is free and prosperous and still pursues that great experiment called democracy; for smaller blessings, such as a home, a full table, healthy children and the wherewithal to maintain them.”

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. If you try any of these recipes, be sure to snap a photo and send it to us on Facebook or at editors@daily-journal.com.

“Cool Cook Never Shaken by a Crowd”

Mrs. Neil Johansen, 396 S. Grand Ave., Bradley, never knows just how many people she will be feeding for supper. It may be more than a dozen girls from the junior girls group she directs, or it may be half a dozen hungry boys her son, David, invites. At any rate, it is seldom that the Johansens sit down to an evening meal with just the three of them around the table.

“David just sort of rounds up his friends whenever I fix tacos,” Mrs. Johansen laughs. “I always make enough to feed the whole neighborhood, because I know they will all be here.”

Mrs. Johansen, warm and easy-going, is used to having children of all ages about her, although she and her husband have only one child of their own. A few years after they were married, they took an entire family of children into their home.

“There were five brothers and sister in that family, and we really had a house full. We moved to a large house way out in the country. We kept a cow and tried to raise chickens. We had better luck with the children — the chickens all died,” she says, laughing at the those early trials of country living.

There has been a veritable parade of foster children through the Johansen home throughout the year, a total of nine in all, and still the parade continues. Now, however, it is the Junior Girls organization, sponsored by the patriotic auxiliary Mrs. Johansen is active in, and, of course, her son’s hungry friends.

But cooking for a crowd seems to come naturally for this homemaker. For a number of years, she operated a small family restaurant near one of the hospitals, doing all of the work herself, with an assist from her husband after his normal working hours were over.

“I’ll never forget that night just before we opened for the first time,” Mrs. Johansen says. “I cooked that food a hundred times over in my mind, and every time I did, I would think of something else that could go wrong. By morning, I was a complete wreck. I guess I needn’t have worried though, everything came off just fine, and none of those awful things happened that I imagined.”

In anticipation of the plight many homemakers find themselves in after a holiday feast, Mrs. Johansen has given Kitchenette her favorite recipe for utilizing the leftovers from the turkey or other fowl.

Her recipe is called Chicken Loaf, but any cooked poultry would be equally as flavorful. The casserole-type dish is very light and fluffy because of the four eggs added to the meat, rice and other ingredients.

Cranberry Squares is a pleasantly tart salad which will not only add to the taste of the other foods, but also will lend bright color to the table setting. Made with cherry flavored gelatin, raw cranberries, lemon and pineapple juices and crushed citrus fruits, it provides the needed complement to the rather bland casserole.

Chicken Loaf

2 or 3 cups cooked chicken or leftover turkey, cubed

2 cups bread crumbs

1 cup cooked rice

¼ cup pimiento

1 cup medium can mushrooms

½ teaspoon paprika

Salt to taste

4 eggs, well beaten

¼ cup fat stock

½ cup milk

Mix together in order given. Place in loaf pan and bake one hour in 350 degree oven.

Cranberry Squares

1 package cherry flavored gelatin

1 cup hot water

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 cup pineapple juice

1 cup ground raw cranberries

1 orange, ground

1 cup drained crushed pineapple

1 cup chopped celery

½ cup chopped walnuts

Dissolve gelatin in hot water. Add sugar, lemon juice, and pineapple juice. Stir to dissolve. Chill until partially set. Add remaining ingredients. Chill in oiled individual molds or in shallow pan. Serve in squares or on lettuce leaves.

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