What is one Thanksgiving tradition you have?
We typically go home to Doug’s parents’ in Martinsville, Virginia, for Thanksgiving, though this year we’ll be finishing up our European Tour. This will actually be the second time we’ve had thanksgiving in Germany!
What are your favorite dishes at the Thanksgiving table?
All of them!! Doug’s mom is an amazing cook, and we love the traditional turkey, stuffing, POTATOES, cranberry salad? Rolls, etc. It’s one of my favorite meals ever!
What is your favorite dish to cook? If you have the recipe handy, we’d love to share it.
I’m usually on “potato duty”, and happy to oblige. The secret ingredient is love! You just can’t top real, from scratch, mashed potatoes. (Recipe below)
Turkey or Ham?
Well, I’m allergic to mammal meat (Alpha Gal), so it’s only turkey for me. Doug is never going to pass up a ham opportunity, though.
What are your favorite Thanksgiving desserts?
Mama Nell’s Persimmon Pudding is hard to beat (Recipe Below). Also, Doug’s sister (Becki Vasquez) makes the most amazing pound cake that is part of every family celebration, no matter the holiday. I like to Pinterest up something with pumpkin in it, maybe even a cocktail!
Where will you spend Thanksgiving?
We’ll be in Schwalbach, Germany this year. We were there a couple of years ago for Thanksgiving and did a big Raclette meal with our German “family” and it was wonderful!!
How soon is too soon to start decorating for Christmas?
I shoot for right after Thanksgiving. Each holiday deserves its own time.
Name 3 things you are thankful for this year.
Family, Friends, and Music – couldn’t survive without them!
MAMA NELL’S (Doug’s great grandmother) PERSIMMON PUDDING
(She gave me this recipe on 11-12-1977)
Recipes provided by Annelle Williams (Doug’s Mom)
2 cups persimmon pulp**
1 stick butter, melted and cooled
One-half cup corn oil
2 cups sugar, one white, one dark brown, packed
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups self-rising flour
1-cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoonful vanilla
1 teaspoonful cinnamon
Dash of cloves and nutmeg
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
**Persimmons will ‘turn your mouth wrong side out’ if you try to eat them before they’re ripe. Mama Nell always told us to wait until after the first frost to gather them. Just be sure they are nice and orange and getting soft. It takes a big mixing bowl of persimmons to make 2 cups of pulp. Rinse the persimmons gently and remove any debris. Let them dry. Then either use a pulper to separate the skin and seeds from the pulp, or force through a sieve or strainer. You can freeze the pulp and then thaw completely when ready to make puddings.**
Add the melted, cooled butter and corn oil to both cups of sugar and stir until mixed. Add eggs and mix well. Alternate adding flour and milk until all combined. Stir in vanilla, persimmon pulp and cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Fold in pecans and/or coconut if so desired. Divide batter between three loaf pans greased generously with corn oil. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. * You want the pudding to be set, but not overcooked. Cool in pan. Turn out onto foil paper. Wrap and store in refrigerator. Serve cold. May top with a little sweetened whipped cream.
*Check after 25 minutes…ovens vary, so if cooking too quickly, turn oven down to 325 and cook for ten more minutes, then watch closely and remove from oven when puddings are completely set…let cool in pan on wire rack.
Don’t really have a recipe. I like Yukon Gold these days.
5 lbs. Yukon Gold, peeled and cubed
1 Stick of butter, or more if needed
Salt & Pepper
Boil potatoes in salted water until fork tender. The water needs to taste the saltiness you want your potatoes to taste.
Pour off most of the water, leaving about a cup in the pot with the potatoes, and reserving another cupful.
With hand mixer, whip potatoes until smooth, adding more potato water if needed.
Add butter, salt and pepper to taste.
You can make these way ahead of time (hours—all day!). Put them in your crockpot on lowest setting. Add more chunks of butter to top and cover with lid.
You can also make these richer using milk or cream instead of the potato water, but they are delicious to me just like this.
If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, make potato cakes for breakfast the next day!
About Wild Ponies:
Wild Ponies are a Nashville duo (originally from Martinsville, Virginia) comprised of Doug and Telisha Williams. Their most recent album, Galax, was released on August 25. It was recorded in Doug’s grandfather’s barn in Galax, Virginia, with Nashville studio musicians as well as local players that Doug has known since childhood. The album has been critically acclaimed by No Depression, Bluegrass Situation, and Huff Post to name a few. The Wild Ponies hold an annual gathering for fans in Louisville, Kentucky, called the Bourbon Trail Ride, which you can read more about in Paste Magazine.