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Delicious Thanksgiving Alternatives

While a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, and gravy can be quite delicious, sometimes I have a hankering for something a little different, not to mention a little less pricey. Both of these ideas are great alternatives if you are looking for a delicious meal to feed your family during the holiday season.

First up is an apple pork roast. Even I can afford a pork loin roast when they go on sale buy-one-get-one-free. Pair the roast with chopped vegetables, spiced seasonal apples, and the last of the fresh herbs from the garden for a wonderfully warming autumn dinner.

Apple Pork Roast

  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 apple spice tea bag
  • 3/4 cup dehydrated apple slices
  • 2 tablespoons of oil or lard
  • Pork loin roast (whatever size needed to feed your family)
  • 2 stalks of celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • Sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Bring the water to a boil and place the tea bag in it to steep. After the tea is made, place the dehydrated apples in it to soak. In a large ovenproof skillet (a deep cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven with lid works well), heat the oil or lard and place the pork loin in the skillet. Brown both sides of the pork loin, then remove and place it on a plate. Place the chopped vegetables in the skillet and cook until they are crisp tender.  Make a well in the center of the vegetables and place the pork roast back into skillet. Pour the apples and tea around the sides of the roast and place herbs across the top of vegetables and roast. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 1 1/2 hours or until the roast is done.

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Second is a recipe that was given to my mother by a neighbor many years ago. Both ladies are gone now, but whenever I make this, it always reminds me of their friendship—a perfect way to celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a meal that will lend itself to a formal meal or a light luncheon. It is a satisfying hot entrée, but also just as good cold and spread on crackers.

Salmon Loaf with Parsley Sauce

  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • 1 can salmon
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 egg
  • 3 slices of bread
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • Paprika

Mix the milk, liquid from the canned salmon, mayonnaise, and beaten egg in a bowl. Soak the bread in it. Add salmon, celery, onion, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pour into a casserole or loaf pan. Top with parsley sauce and sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

Parsley Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Whisk in the flour until thick. Slowly add the milk until smooth. Simmer until thickened, then mix in parsley.

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