Redneck Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving Cranberry Salad and Barbecued Green Beans

For those pressed for time, looking to do some ironic cooking or just plain angry at their arteries, we present the second in a series of recipes to help you enjoy a Redneck Thanksgiving. For previous posts in this series -- mined from my family's eastern Ohio church cookbook -- click here.

Last week, we suggested some appetizers featuring plenty of cream cheese and mayonnaise, some Wonder Bread and even a bit of deviled ham. This week, we best get our side dishes in order before the feast.

Here's a classic with a classic title:

Thanksgiving Cranberry Salad

• 1 package cranberries, washed and ground • 1/2 cup sugar • 6 oz and 3 oz packages, raspberry or orange Jell-O • 1/2 cup chopped nuts • 1/2 cup celery, diced • 1/2 cup apples, diced • 1 medium can crushed pineapple • 2 ½ cups hot water • 1 cup cold water

Dissolve both boxes of Jell-O in the hot water. Add the cold water and stir until Jell-O is dissolved. Drain pineapple; add juice to the Jell-O and chill Jell-O until slightly jelled. Then combine all ingredients with the Jell-O and mix. Chill.

This is a bit of a departure, of course, in that it clearly will be the healthiest dish on the table. For those interested in actually making it, my grandmother always added shredded carrots.

No self-respecting yokel serves salad on Thanksgiving (or, perhaps, ever?), but we need some green on the table for looks at least. How about some of thse?

Barbecued Green Beans

• 4 slices bacon, finely chopped • 1/4 cup chopped onion • 1/2 cup catsup • 1/4 cup brown sugar • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce • 1 quart canned green beans, drained

Brown bacon and onion in a skillet. Add catsup, sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer for 2 minutes. Place green beans in a casserole dish and pour bacon mixture over the top. Do not stir. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

It was the ketchup that caught my eye on that one. And the fact that church cookbook submitter Kathleen had the gumption to spell it "catsup" in her recipe.

And don't forget that starch.

Creamy Scalloped Potatoes

• 2 lb. potatoes • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar • 1 small onion, thinly sliced • 1/4 cup of flour, divided • 1 tsp. salt • 1/4 tsp. pepper • 2 Tbs. butter • One 10 oz. can, cream of mushroom soup • 4 slices American cheese

Pare and thinly slice potatoes. Toss slices in water and cream of tartar, drain. Put half of sliced potatoes in greased Crock Pot. Top with half onion slices, half flour, salt and pepper. Add remaining sliced potatoes and onions. Sprinkle with remaining flour. Add butter and undiluted soup. Cover and cook on low 7 to 9 hours (high, 3 to 4 hours). Add cheese 30 minutes before serving.

Other recipes similar to this one suggested bacon grease rather than butter. You've got some left over after the green beans, right?

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