CQC: Holiday Classics Renewed…


Greetings, squaddies!

Today, we discuss the holidays. I know… most people find them to be a world of suck, but not me. Thanksgiving and Xmas are a time of joy, well… at least I think so. I get to cook for my loved ones. I get to drink. Maybe every so often, I get a very nice gift.

But the one thing about the holidays is the food. We share memories at the table. The tastes, the smells… they bring back memories for all of us. And what I want to do here is give you some recipes to make some memories. So buckle up, buttercup… ’cause we’re going for a ride!

V’s Cranberry Relish

1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
4 tablespoons Grand Marnier
orange zest

1. Preheat oven to 325°F.

2. Place cranberries in 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle sugar, then orange juice concentrate over them. Cover tightly with foil. Bake until juices form and cranberries are very soft, about 1 hour.

3. Uncover, then mix in liqueur and orange zest.

4. Cover and refrigerate until very cold, about 4 hours. Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Keep chilled.

But wait! That’s not all! If you keep reading, you can learn to make this!

V’s Oyster And Bacon Stuffing

6 cups 1/2-inch cubes French or home-style white bread
1/2 pound bacon, roughly chopped
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
6 cups crisp cornbread, roughly broken
2/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons rubbed sage
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 cups chicken broth
12 to 16 oysters, shucked and chopped (or use 3 tins of cooked oysters)
2 eggs, beaten (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F and toast white bread cubes 5 to 7 minutes or until barely golden.

2. In a large skillet, cook bacon over low heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain, and pour out all but 4 tablespoons of fat. Add onion and celery to remaining fat in skillet, and cook over medium heat until softened (about 3 minutes).

3. Transfer onion and celery mixture and bacon to a bowl and add toasted bread cubes, cornbread, herbs, salt, pepper and chicken broth. Toss well, and adjust seasoning to taste. Very gently fold in oysters.

4. Transfer to lightly oiled baking dish and bake at 325°F for 40 to 45 minutes until bubbly and top is lightly browned.

5. Nom with turkey.


Ok… now onto the second feature. I’ve been doing business with a store called Ranger Joe’s for over 20 years. If you need anything military, police, EMT, CERT, or hunting related… then they are the go-to guys. From TA-50 items, to knives and pistol holsters, to boots and emergency rations, I can think of no other retailer who has it all, and at very reasonable prices.

Go check them out. Seriously. And find something swank to buy me for Xmas.

Popping smoke!