Some favorite foods at President and Laura Bush's Thanksgiving meals include Turkey with Maple-Butter Glaze, Green Beans and Roast Peppers flavored with anchovies, Sweet Potato Puree with pecans, and Cornbread Dressing with sage -- the way Mrs. Bush's father liked it. I've also included Laura Bush's Sweet Potato Biscuits recipe. Enjoy!

 

  

ROAST TURKEY WITH MAPLE-BUTTER GLAZE

(Ms. Regan Gammon, Mrs. Bush's best friend since grade school)

   
1 fresh turkey, about 14 to 16 lbs. 3 to 4 celery stalks, halved
1/2 lemon salt to taste
1 apple, quartered 1/4 lb. butter (1 stick)
1 onion, halved 1/2 cup maple syrup

  

Bring turkey to room temperature before roasting. Wash and dry turkey. Stuff with lemon, apple, onion and celery. Truss (secure with string, pins or skewers so the food maintains a compact shape during cooking) and season with salt.

Melt butter in maple syrup over medium heat and pour over turkey. Place on a rack in a pan. Roast at 325 degrees F. (preheated) for 10 to 12 minutes for each pound, basting every 20 minutes. Use an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh without touching the bone. Popup thermometers that come with store-bought turkeys are unreliable. Thigh should register at 175 to 180 degrees at the thickest part. Breast meat should register at 170 degrees. Remove turkey from the oven and let sit for at least 20 minutes. Makes 14 to 16 servings. Time: 2-1/2 to 3 hours.

  

 

LAURA BUSH'S SWEET POTATO PUREE

   
about 8 lbs. (6 large or 8 to 10 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  medium) sweet potatoes, baked 1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted salt to taste
1/4 cup heavy cream 3/4 cup pecans, toasted & chopped
2 eggs, beaten

  

Peel and mash sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Add butter, cream, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, salt and 1/2 cup pecans and blend thoroughly. Place mixture in a baking dish and top with remaining pecans. Bake at 350 degrees F. (preheated) for 30 minutes. Note: The puree may be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Return to room temperature and bake as directed. Makes 12 to 14 servings. Time: 45 minutes.

 

 

LAURA BUSH'S GREEN BEANS
WITH ANCHOVY BUTTER

   
6 to 8 anchovy fillets, rinsed, 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  well drained & finely chopped   4 lbs. green beans, trimmed

     

Cook and stir anchovies in melted butter in a small skillet over low heat until they fall apart and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; set aside. Steam green beans for 7 to 10 minutes or just until tender. Drain well, return  the beans to the pan and place over low heat. Add the anchovy butter. Stir for 1 or 2 minutes or until beans are hot and thoroughly coated with butter. Transfer them to a warmed serving dish. Serve immediately. Makes 12 servings. Time 20 minutes.

  

 

LAURA BUSH'S CORN BREAD DRESSING

   
3 cups onion, chopped 1/2 cup fresh sage, chopped
3 cups celery, chopped  salt and black pepper to taste
16 tablespoons unsalted butter  3 cups turkey stock
1 tablespoon olive oil

  

Prepare the Corn Bread (recipe follows). Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Crumble corn bread; set aside. Saute onion and celery in 12 tablespoons butter and the olive oil until soft. Place in a bowl and add the corn bread, sage, salt and pepper. Place mixture in a 9"x12" glass baking dish; set aside.

Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter and drizzle over corn bread. Spoon turkey stock over corn bread. Note: This dish can be prepared a day or two in advance up to this point. Refrigerate, then bring to room temperature before baking. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes longer or until brown. Drizzle with more stock and butter if dressing seems too dry. Makes 12 to 14 servings. Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes.

 
Corn Bread
 
1/2 cup oil  salt to taste
2 cups stone-ground cornmeal   2 eggs, beaten
2 cups flour  2 cups whole milk or
2 tablespoons baking powder    1 cup milk and 1 cup water
4 teaspoons sugar
    

Heat oil in a 9"x13" metal baking pan in the oven until very hot. Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl. Stir in beaten eggs and milk. Pour hot oil from pan into batter and stir. Pour mixture into pan and bake at 450 degrees F. (preheated) for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden.

 

 

LAURA BUSH'S SWEET POTATO BISCUITS

   
1 cup flour 3 tablespoons margarine, chilled
2 teaspoons baking powder 1 cup Texas Sweet Potatoes,
2 teaspoons sugar   cold mashed
1/4 teaspoon salt milk for brushing tops
 

Combine dry ingredients. Cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add sweet potatoes and mix well. Pat to a 3/4” thickness on a lightly floured surface and cut into 2” circles. Place on a greased baking sheet, brush tops with milk and bake at 375 degrees F. (preheated) for 15 minutes or until biscuits begin to brown. Makes 1 dozen. As Laura Bush began her teaching career living away from home, she and friends organized a potluck Thanksgiving meal. “Those were fun times. I’d cook one thing and my friends would cook another. We’d put together a great feast. I liked to make sweet potatoes with pineapple and pecans.”

 

 

"In everything give thanks:
for this is the will of God in
Christ Jesus concerning you."
-- I Thessalonians 5:18