Thanksgiving Countdown Corner Nov. 19: Recipes that really work, part 1


Thanksgiving Countdown Corner Nov. 19:

Ever tried a recipe that looked really good in a book or magazine, and it was a total disappointment? Well, here are some that have been in my family for years and I know they work. I hope you’ll enjoy them!

Cracker Pie

This pie originated during the Depression. Afterward, when people received help from the government in the form of ‘commodities’ they often had commodity crackers, so this recipe came in handy when there were no apples available. It’s also a lifesaver if you need a pie quickly and don’t have apples on hand. I’m not sure about the magic involved here, but it comes out looking and tasting just like apple pie!

  • One box refrigerated pie crust (2 crusts)


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 T cream of tartar

Bring above to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally.

With water at a rolling boil, add 20 saltine crackers. Do not stir.

Boil for exactly two minutes by the clock. Do not stir, as this will cause crackers to become mushy.

Pour into prepared crust, and add the following to the filling, (don’t even stir to arrange in pan); sprinkle on top of filling:

  • 3 T butter, chopped into thumb sized bits
  • 1 1/2 T brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

I sometimes add a little squeeze of lemon over this, but that’s optional.

Top with second crust, flute edges, make holes in top with tines of a fork, and if you have any leftover crust, you can cut out the shape of an apple, with stem and leaves, and place in the center of the pie.

Like magic, you will have an apple pie in about 1 hour, baked at 350 degrees.

If you are not using a deep-dish pie pan, be sure to place foil or a cookie sheet underneath the pie.


Chocolate Cobbler

Melt two sticks of butter in a 9×13 dish.

Mix together in a bowl:

  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup of milk plus a smidgen

Pour this over the melted butter; DO NOT STIR, just drizzle the above over the butter.

In another bowl mix:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa

Sprinkle this over the above mixture. Again, DO NOT MIX into the ingredients already in the dish, just sprinkle.

Now add two cups of boiling water over the top of all of the above, DO NOT MIX, just pour over.

Bake at 350 uncovered for 35-45 minutes.


The following recipe has become a tradition at our house. Every holiday morning, I simply take out the raw casserole which was assembled the previous night, pour the last two ingredients over the top, top with halved cherry tomatoes. While we are opening gifts it cooks slowly so that when we are finished it’s ready. Only one dish to clean, too!

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole

  • 8 slices of bread, cubed
  • 2 cups of grated cheese
  • 2 lbs. bulk sausage, browned and drained
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup milk

Place bread cubes in bottom of greased 9×13 pan. Sprinkle cheese over; add browned sausage. Blend eggs, milk and mustard; pour over ingredients in pan. Refrigerate overnight. Blend soup and milk, pour over casserole and bake one-and-a-half hours at 300 degrees.

This is especially good at holiday time; you can prepare it the night before and pop it into the oven to bake while you open gifts.


This is the only chocolate frosting recipe you’ll ever need!

Homemade Chocolate Cake Frosting

  • 12 oz. cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 6 T dry cocoa
  • 1 1/2 lbs. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla flavoring

Mix all together until smooth; spread over cooled cake; store in refrigerator up to one week!


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