Tahoe recipe: It starts with … a box of Libby’s Pumpkin Bread mix
To my readers,
Last week I featured a recipe/method for cooking a turkey on high heat. Boy oh boy did this scare some folks!
I know it is a departure from your norm and the flood of emails I received was certainly an indication of your need for further reassurance.
I am going to address some of your concerns here:
• The salt brine will not make your gravy drippings salty.
• The salt brine is a dry brine and the salt should be rubbed in the cavity and then on the skin surface per recipe instructions. It is not a lot of salt. It just brings out the turkey juices and flavor.
• No butter or oil of any kind. No.
• A more traditional brine method will work too, but the turkey has to be super dry when going in the oven. I would stick with the dry brine.
TAHOE-TRUCKEE, Calif. — That’s right. This recipe for this recipe column starts with a store-bought boxed mix. Before you get all judgy and start with the eye rolls, let’s consider our holiday culinary obligations over the next couple months.
There are the office parties (yours and your husband’s), holiday parties for three children, guests visiting for Thanksgiving, then turkey day itself, then clever leftovers because they are still here, Christmas cookies, a half-dozen “just bring an appetizer” get-togethers with friends, the book club soiree, NFL Sundays, the neighborhood block party, Christmas Eve, day and morning brunch — and this does not even get us to the new year.
Mother needs a little helper, and since your husband has put a combination lock on the liquor cabinet (What does he think? We’re celebrating lent? That ended in April!) it is time to find relief elsewhere.
Enter Libby’s Pumpkin Bread, take two. I say “take two” because you are going to start with this mix as your base and add a little of this and a cup of that, to make this moist, incredibly festive, dessert bread your own.
Do you recall that old commercial jingle “When it says Libby’s Libby’s Libby’s on the label, label, label, you will like it, like it, like it, on your table, table, table?”
This was not false advertisement. I used to love that ditty in high school because of their corned beef hash (Excellent. So column worthy.) and also because there was a cheerleader named Libby who was not every nice and I used to hum it every time she walked by.
Now I am singing that tune for healthier reasons because this pumpkin bread mix in a box — which, I might add, includes a whole can of pumpkin purée — is making one whole day this holiday season just a little bit easier.
Remember what my therapist (That would be the girl who works the drive thru at KFC. No, they don’t sell turkey.) told me: “Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.” More power to ya!
1 box Libby’s Pumpkin Bread Mix
1 cup oil
1 cup water
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup whole pecans, chopped
1 cup chocolate chips
2 loaf pans
Prepare per box instructions by first combining the eggs, water, oil and pumpkin purée. To this add your spices and mix well. Next you add the bread mix and stir until combined. It says “just until combined” on the package, but I would make sure it is thorough.
Now fold in your nuts and chocolate chips and stir gently until combined. Bake your loaves per package directions, but make sure you don’t over bake. Set your kitchen timer for 55 minutes and do a check on them then.
Cool before using the little frosting packet included in the mix, but I don’t use it as the chocolate chips add plenty of sweetness.
Simone Grandmain is an internationally published travel and food writer who currently calls Truckee-Tahoe home. She welcomes your recipes, kitchen “must-haves” and food news at email@example.com.