Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is bearing down on us like a runaway freight train. But don’t fret, because we’ve talked to a few folks in the Cliff to give us all some ideas for this year’s big turkey dinner. And if you don’t do turkey, then send us a letter ( and tell us what your tradition is!

Darren’s Rosemary Garlic Wine Turkey
16-18-pound turkey
Small squeeze bottle with olive oil,
fresh rosemary and garlic
3 pounds butter
4 bottles white wine
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Squeeze and slather rosemary garlic olive oil between the skin and meat prior to roasting. In a saucepan melt three pounds of butter and set aside to coat the bird during roasting.
Pour the first bottle of wine directly into the bottom of the roasting pan. After one hour of roasting, pour the second bottle of wine directly over the bird and into the cavity. After the second hour, pour the third bottle of wine and half of the melted butter directly onto the bird and into the cavity. After the third hour, pour the fourth bottle of wine directly onto the bird and into the cavity.
At three and a half hours, pour the remaining melted butter onto the top of the bird and into cavity. Roasting is complete at four hours.

Gus Treveno from the Nodding Dog submits this tasty cornbread dressing. Paired with Darren Humphrey’s turkey recipe (Darren is also co-proprietor of the Nodding Dog), it sounds like they’ve got Thanksgiving pretty well under control.

Gus’ Mexi-Can Cornbread dressing
 4     (16-ounce) package of dry corn bread mix
6     cups dry bread crumbs
6     peeled, cored and chopped Macintosh apples
½     cup butter
2      cups chopped onions
4      cloves of garlic
1/3   cup chopped green bell pepper
3      cups chopped celery
2/3   cup fresh parsley
2      tablespoons poultry seasoning
1      teaspoon sage
1      teaspoon salt
8      cups chicken broth
2      eggs beaten 
1. Prepare the cornbread according to package instructions. Once cornbread is cooled, crumble it into a large bowl. Stir in the bread  crumbs.
2. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
3. In a large pot, sauté butter with the onion, garlic, green bell pepper and celery until tender. Stir parsley and poultry seasoning, sage and salt in the mixture. Pour broth, eggs, apples, and cornbread bread crumbs into mixture, mix until the ingredients stick together easily. Transfer to 9×13 inch pan.
4. Bake covered in a preheated oven, 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Now to cut the savory…
We introduce a sweet cranberry-based recipe from Luis Sacedo and Sylvia Camarillo. Sylvia and Luis own The Sacedo Group, an engineering firm based in the Oak Cliff Tower, and Luis will be Chairman of the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce in 2008. This cranberry ring salad has been a family favorite for years.

Cranberry Ring Salad
 2 quarts or 2 packages whole cranberries
4 cups sugar
1 cup pecans
2 large cans of crushed pineapple, drained
2 6-ounce packages of strawberry gelatin
2 cups miniature marshmallows

Prepare gelatin according to package. Grind cranberries and cover with sugar; let stand while gelatin is beginning to thicken. When the gelatin begins to set, combine with ingredients and place in refrigerator. Make a day before serving. Serves 10 to 12 people.

Finally, we move to dessert.
Longtime CliffDweller and piano teacher to three generations of Oak Cliff children, Paralee Curry centers her holiday dessert table around her family’s beloved recipe for panna cotta, a traditional Italian pudding she serves with hot fudge and raspberry sauces. “It wouldn’t be the holiday without it,” says Curry, who has taught piano and music theory from her Kessler Park home for 30 years. “My children just love it!”

Holiday Panna Cotta
3 tablespoons water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Put water in a small bowl, then sprinkle gelatin over the water and let it sit for five minutes.

In a saucepan, combine cream, milk and sugar, then bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Add the gelatin mixture and stir for one minute to dissolve. Pour into a single dish or individual molds, then let set until firm – preferably overnight.

Top panna cotta with chocolate sauce, berries (Mrs. Curry’s family loves raspberries), or a puree of fresh raspberries sweetened to taste.

The Curry Family’s World-Famous Hot Fudge Sauce

2 cups sugar
Dash salt
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla

Put all ingredients except vanilla in a microwave-safe bowl, then heat on low for five minutes. Remove mixture from microwave and whip. Cook another five minutes on low, then set the bowl in cold water until just warm. Add vanilla and beat until smooth. Yields three cups. (Mrs. Curry points out that this also makes a good chocolate fondue sauce.