Thankful to Teachers for Thanksgiving Recipes

By Aiden Wacksman

Every Thanksgiving holiday, families across the United States celebrate by making delicious foods for their loved ones. A couple of teachers at Oak Hall have volunteered to share their Thanksgiving entree and dessert recipes.

Lower School teacher Kylie Holland’s Maryland Crab Cake recipe:


2 pounds of lump crab meat
1 cup of mayonnaise
1 egg
Pinch of paprika
2 dashes of tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup crushed saltine crackers

  1. Mix all the ingredients except for the lump crabmeat
  2. After all the ingredients are mixed well, fold the dressing with the crab meat without breaking up the crabmeat
  3. Form 5 ounce balls of crab cake. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes
  4. Season with Old Bay seasoning


Upper School Spanish teacher Libby Karow’s Pumpkin Empanada recipe:


15 ounces of pumpkin puree
1 cup of packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of cloves
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
All purpose flour (for dusting)
2-15 ounce packages of refrigerated pie pastry or homemade pastry
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
2 tablespoons of milk, cream, or evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, cloves, ginger and nutmeg in a mixing bowl and combine. Dust work surface with flour and cut 4” diameter circles of pie pastry. Set aside. Keep using dough until you have approximately 24 circles. Fill each circle with 1 level tablespoon of filling. Fold the circles of dough in half, align the edges and seal with a fork. Place empanadas on two baking sheets. Brush each with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes.


Upper School teacher Quinn Bohan’s Thanksgiving Turkey recipe (serves up to eight persons):


¼ cup kosher salt
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, divided
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup finely chopped rosemary, plus some sprigs
2 Tbsp. finely chopped sage, plus some sprigs
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 (12–15) lb turkey
2 onions, quartered
2 stalks celery, chopped

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Combine the salt and 4 tbsp of butter with garlic, chopped rosemary, chopped sage, and black pepper. Mix it together until you have a garlic-herb butter paste. 

Remove the giblets from inside the turkey, and pat the turkey dry. Place it in a roasting pan that has some space at the bottom. 

Rub some of the garlic-herb butter underneath the skin of the turkey, then rub the skin of the turkey with the remaining garlic-herb butter. It may be slightly uneven, but that is all right. 

Before placing the turkey in the oven, tuck the wings under the breast so they don’t burn and cover the turkey with heavy duty aluminum foil. The foil should make a tent around the turkey, not touching the turkey. Pour about four cups of water into the bottom of the pan as well. 

Roast the turkey for 1.5 – 2 hours, basting it using the turkey juices at the bottom of the pan every 45 minutes. After that time, reduce the temperature of the oven to 375 degrees and continue to baste every 45 minutes until a thermometer inserted into the fattest part of the thigh registers 155 degrees. This may take anywhere from 1 hour to 3 hours depending on the size of the turkey. 

Before serving, let rest for about an hour, then transfer to a carving board. 

To make a decent amount of gravy: 
All the turkey drippings
1-2 cups extra of chicken stock
0.25 cups of all purpose flour
Salt and Pepper

Pour the drippings out of the bottom of the roasting pan into a measuring cup of appropriate size. Using a ladle or a spoon, you’ll want to ladle off the fat from the top of the drippings and put it into a smaller measuring cup or bowl. The fat is the clearer liquid that will float to the top of the drippings as it is more dense than the drippings. 

Now, you’re going to make a roux by spooning 4 tbsp of the turkey fat into a medium pot heated over medium high heat. As you do this, wise in the flour. Cook, while constantly whisking, until the flour begins to bubble in the fat and turns a toasty graham cracker color. This should take about 5-8 minutes. Getting it to this point is key for a successful gravy. 

Now, slowly mix in your turkey drippings and bring to a simmer. If you do not have enough turkey drippings, add chicken stock. Whisk together the roux and turkey drippings for about five minutes or until the gravy is smooth. Add salt and pepper as desired.