Edith Brush's Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes

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Edith was an impeccable cook.

She is photographed above, holding grandson Tony on his first birthday with his sister Clare. Edith and Tony shared the same birthday and auburn hair color. This photo was taken at Edith’s Mount Vernon, New York apartment in 1958.
Tony Brush is the husband of our Schoolhouse Lifestyle Director, Diane Brush.  After an initial career as a graphic and packaging designer Tony went culinary school & was head chef at Chez Panisse for years.  He continues his family’s rich culinary legacy at their frequent dinner parties and as a food stylist.  Tony and Diane celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary this month and were gracious enough to share their family recipes for a traditional American Thanksgiving.  Enjoy.



Almonds and cashew nuts, celery hearts stuffed with blue cheese spread, olives stuffed with pimento, & caramelized rosemary pecans


Pickled Celeriac (Edith's Recipe) 

Use pear (smallish) sized roots. Cook about 20 min. Test until just done (poke with a paring knife). (larger ones take up to two hours) *Save a pint of the water the celeriac cooked in! Let cool. Peel and cut into 1/4” slices. Layer in a (nonreactive ceramic/glass) bowl with thinly sliced white onion. S & P as you go. Use a proportion of 1 cup cider vinegar to 1 cup celeriac water. Pour over to cover. Prepare day ahead - otherwise allow 9 hours to marinate.



Pan de Mie or Peperidge Farm White Bread, 4 cups Diced Bread - Dried Out Completely, Minced Giblets (optional) Without Liver, 1/4 to 1 cup Diced Celery, 1 cup +/- Diced Onion, Sage, thyme & parsley, a little nutmeg, herb de Provence and oregano or basil. Season with salt and pepper.

Carefully remove crust if thick. Dice into small cubes. Let dry out completely. Optional to start by sauteing minced giblets w/o liver. Sweat diced onion and celery, add sage and thyme. Chopped flat leaf parsley, s&p, nutmeg. In a large vessel - moisten bread with chicken stock and melted butter add sweated onion etc.  In the past we have added chopped chestnuts, walnuts...etc. Should be a bit more moistened if cooking in a casserole...and lightly grease the inside of vessel. Bake approx 350 degrees for approx 40 min or until warmed through…



Peel and waffle cut. Cover with damp towel. Orange and yellow. Steam. Mix with salt, pepper and a little butter.


Parsnip Fritters (Edith's Recipe)

Peel parsnips and cut into uniform pieces to steam. Cook until tender. Food mill through medium blade. Mix with :

1 Egg Beaten, 1 cup Parsnips, 1/4 teaspoon Salt, 1 1/2 tablespoon Melted Butter, 1 1/2 tablespoon Flour, 1 1/2 T milk, Worcestershire - 3 drops(optional) & pinch of Nutmeg

Pan fry small, flat, oval patties in a small amount of butter until medium golden brown. Add more butter to pan as necessary. * not dredging in flour makes lighter textured fritters.


Sweet Potatoes (M. Stewart 2004)

Heat oven to 400. Peel 8 medium sweet potatoes- 5 lbs. Halve lengthwise and slice crosswise 1/2” thick. Toss potatoes with 2 T olive oil and salt. Cook on two half or one whole sheet pan until tender, tossing occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes. Can be held at this point.

Sprinkle with 2 T butter cut into small pieces, 2 T lt. brown sugar, 1/3 cup pecan pieces and 1/8 t cayenne. Bake until sugar is caramelized and hard, about 10 - 15 min. Gently toss and serve immediately.


Pickled Beets

Trim stems and wash beets. Drizzle with a little olive oil and water. Roast in gratin dish covered tightly with foil at 350 until cooked through but not mushy. 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Make pickling liquid. Bring to a boil:

1 cup Cider Vinegar,  Pinch of Pickling Spice, 1/4 teaspoon Mustard Seeds, 1/2 cup Water,  1 bay leaf, 1/2 cup Sugar,  & a Few Black Pepper Corns

Let liquid sit 30 minutes and strain over cooked beets which have been peeled while warm and cut into bite size pieces. Separate golden from red beets when pickling to keep distinct colors. Let sit 24 hours. Drain to serve.


Mashed Potatoes

Peel whole russet potatoes and hold in water. Bring to a boil add salt and cook until tender and cooked through. Do not pierce too much. Potatoes will tend to explode and get mushy. Drain, reserving some cooking liquid. Season with s&p, milk, cream, creme fraiche and butter.  Serve immediately- don’t let sit.


Creamed Pearl Onions

Drop into boiling water and boil three minutes. Cool by running under cold water. Cut root end off and slip outer layer off. Steam until fairly tender- hold. Make small amount of bechamel with stock, cream, and roux. Add onions to reheat. Check seasoning.


Clover rolls

(i.e. Parker house rolls) Joy Of Cooking pg. 611. Edith used Bridgeford refrigerated dough.


Cranberry Sauce

3 cups Cranberries, 1 cup Sugar, 1 cup Water, sliced paper-thin slices of Meyer Lemon. Poached slices in the sugar water and removed before adding cranberries and cooking 5 -10 minutes. Add back in when cranberries are cooked.


Pumpkin Pie Filling

2 cups pumpkin puree, 2 eggs beaten, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 can evaporated milk 12 0z., 2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon powered ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/4 teaspoon gtound cloves, small grating of nutmeg

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