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Thanksgiving ‘ a nice time with family’

By Staff | Nov 22, 2013

ELAINE GREEN dips cherries that she uses as gifts for family and friends during the holiday season. She said her husband prefers these hand-made dipped cherries over store-bought.



MILFORD-Elaine Green looked out the window from her kitchen table and watched a truck drive down a slope and past the silage bunker in their farm yard, and watched the cows that were in the yards nearby.

“People ask me why we don’t move to town, but why would I give up this view?” she asked. “We’ve been out here for 48 years now.

Feeding a husband and three boys required a lot of cooking, she said. But since she didn’t cook much when she was growing up, she turned to her sisters after she was married.

ELAINE GREEN said her orange-glazed yams are a family holiday favorite.

“I was taught by professionals,” she said of her sisters. “They’re great cooks and taught me a lot.

“My mom always thought I made a mess in the kitchen, so she always had me clean the house.

“Now I make a turkey dressing recipe that brings everyone home for Thanksgiving each year. I’ve used the same one every year, and there’s nothing secret about it.”

Green said she also enjoys making orange glazed yams over the holidays, which is another family favorite.

“For people who don’t care for turkey gravy, the glaze on the yams makes a nice kind of gravy to put on potatoes,” she said.

ELAINE GREEN said her popcorn cake recipe was handed down from her mother and is a family treat during Christmas.

“Our boys used the river for year-round entertainment, and our granddaughters do, too,” she said. “You can fish all year, and ice skate in the winter.”

Green has learned to cook in large quantity, raising three boys.

“They all had hollow legs,” she said with a laugh. “I love having leftovers because it means there’s always something around for them to eat.

“My family has always liked food that is pretty basic and simple.”

Her son, Dave, cooks the prime rib for the Christmas holiday. She said all three of their sons don’t mind cooking meat.

Her popcorn cake is a recipe she got from her mother, who always made it for Christmas night.

“We always loved it, and it was always gone before the night was over,” she said. “Gary likes to take it on long cattle buying trips, and I like it because it’s quick and easy.”

Her husband, Gary Green, had always wanted a place where he could have cattle and a pasture, she said. “We got the opportunity to buy this place, and we’ve been here since.”

Green, her husband and their son, Dave Green, run a grain and cattle operation west of Milford.

The Greens have three grown sons who enjoyed horses, hunting and canoeing on the river as they were growing up.

“We used to have cattle round-ups, and we would use horses,” she said her sons’ youthful days. “They got a good work ethic out here.”

Green said that, though she grew up on the edge of town near Boyden, she helped her father on his acreage, staying busy outside while her sisters worked in the house.

“I had a horse and I rode to my friend’s house a lot, and I used to love raking hay for Dad.”

Green said she helped around the farm quite a bit over the years after she was married.

“Gary was busy, so I was the one who taught the boys how to drive a tractor,” she said.

Green said Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday.

“It’s getting together to share a meal, and there’s none of that other stuff – gifts to (worry about),” she said. “It’s just a nice time together with family.”

She usually hosts about 20 people at the Green family Thanksgiving, which she said is large, but manageable.

“One of the special parts of the holiday is having it at home,” she said.

Green said raising their three sons on the farm was a true gift, allowing them to work with and be close to nature.

She now enjoys watching two granddaughters grow up on the farm near them.

Green said her husband’s family has a farm near Boyden where six generations of Greens have lived and worked.

Turkey dressing

Turkey giblets

Giblet juice

2 pounds hamburger

1 stick margarine

Half of one onion, chopped

Celery heart, chopped fine

4 cups water

1/2 box rubbed sage

2 bay leaves (stems removed and crumpled)

3 bags cubed bread

Cook turkey giblets until tender. Brown hamburger. Pour in giblet juice.

Add margarine, onion, celery heart, ground giblets, water, sage and bay leaves.

Moisten the cubed bread (equals three loaves). Add turkey giblet mixture to bread.

Place in 9-by-13-inch pan and keep warm until serving.

Orange-glazed yams

3 or 4 good-sized yams (cooked)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon cornstarch

4 tablespoons butter

Combine glaze ingredients except for butter.

Cook for five minutes, stirring constantly.

Add butter and stir until butter is melted.

Pour over cooked yams arranged in buttered casserole dish.

Bake 30 minutes.

Sauteed apples

1/4 cup butter

4 large apples, sliced and peeled

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/2 cup cold water

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add apples.

Cook, stirring often, until apples are tender. Dissolve cornstarch in water.

Add brown sugar and cinnamon. Pour over apples.

Boil for 2 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Spaghetti bake

1 1/2 pounds hamburger

1 chopped onion

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 can cream style corn

1 can tomato soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 small package spaghetti, cooked and drained

Brown meat and onion.

Mix all ingredients together and place in 9-by-13-inch casserole dish.

Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Cover with sliced American cheese and bake an additional 20 minutes.

Popcorn cake

Melt together:

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 pound mini marshmallows

1/2 cup salad oil

Pour over following ingredients, mixed

4 quarts popcorn, popped

1 small package gumdrops

1/2 pounds salted peanuts

Press in greased angel food cake pan.

At Christmas, Green said she presses the mixture into the form of a Christmas tree for an even more festive look.

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