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Recipes

Recipes from pros and prizewinners

      If there’s any day to bridge the gaping American divide, it’s Thanksgiving. On that great American feast, consensus rules. Eighty-eight percent of us report that turkey will be our Thanksgiving dish of choice, according to the National Turkey Federation. Certainly for me, one of the great pleasures of the day is the near unanimity of sharing in one great meal, all across the nation. 

Prize-winning recipes for the ­Chesapeake’s beloved bivalve

      Oysters are ours to eat again.       True, aquaculture ends the traditional summer drought, making oysters accessible all year long.

The best comes from your own patch

        Once you have eaten fresh homemade horseradish sauce, you will never want to eat the store-bought brands. It’s even better if the roots come from your own garden.        If you grow horseradish plants, now is the time to convert the roots to sauce. The hard freeze a couple weeks ago killed the foliage, and that dieback is essential to making a horseradish sauce that has the kick of a mule. 

Fame and fortune could be yours at the National Oyster Cook-off

Can you create an oyster recipe worth $1,300?          Suit the taste of this year’s judges at the 38th Annual National Oyster Cook-off, and that grand prize will be yours.     Last year, Tammy Davis of Chesapeake Beach earned all that money and enduring culinary fame for her Coconut Curry Oyster Soup.

Time, not effort, yields top-notch results

We find corned beef at delis, restaurants and at this time of year in groceries ready to boil for St. Patrick’s Day. This year I made it at home.     Do-it-yourself corning is neither complex, expensive nor labor-intensive. The challenge is finding the right containers for curing and cooking the beef. And maybe finding the refrigerator space.     There is nothing magical about the brisket. The traditional weight is six to eight pounds, but the recipe is just as successful with a smaller piece of meat.

A cookie lasts only a moment in your mouth, but Christmas cookies stay with you forever in memory.

Four Generations of ­Santaphant and ­Camelclaus

For the pros, it’s easy as pie

Thanksgiving dinner is never over until the pie is served.      If you’re seeking perfection but that final course is out of your comfort zone, turn to the professionals.         There are premium pies to be had in Chesapeake ­Country, and Bay Weekly has found them for you. Here’s what you’ll find at six champion pie bakers, from Prince Frederick to Severn.

Pumpkin Pie 101

Pies baked by professionals can be spectacular. But for Thanksgiving, maybe you want to do your own. Here’s how it’s done by for the Melamud Thanksgiving dinner by writer Bob’s wife Lyn Laviana. Lyn Melamud’s Pumpkin Pie Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen website and vouched for by Bay Weekly’s pieman Bob Melamud Prepare a partially baked 10-inch pie shell. Whisk together in a bowl:

Decorate your pie for the season

Your family tells you your pumpkin pie is the best they’ve ever eaten.     But you ask yourself, is there room for improvement.     When daughter Lauren Dinsick comes back home to Millersville from her high-stress job as a pediatric intensive care nurse in Philadelphia, she’s ready to unwind.     For her, relaxation often involves pie crust.     Lauren enjoys playing with food, and pies are her medium of choice. Generally, she decorates them according to the season.

The judges’ rule: Don’t overcook — or overwhelm — the oyster

On an ideal October weekend, up to 20,000 people thronged the 50th anniversary St. Mary’s Country fairgrounds for the U.S. Oyster Festival, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Lexington Park. Festival-goers stood in long lines to gobble oysters raw and steamed and — if they were lucky — to sample the inventive recipes competing in the National Oyster Cook-off.