Bitchin#039; in the Kitchen with Rebecca

Oh yes, it’s almost Thanksgiving, and you can taste Grandma’s signature mashed potatoes just thinking about the holiday.

But some students opt to stay in the city to celebrate, hosting a dinner themselves or going to a friend’s.,This time of year, many of us are looking forward to going home for a few days of family, old friends . and food.

Oh yes, it’s almost Thanksgiving, and you can taste Grandma’s signature mashed potatoes just thinking about the holiday.

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But some students opt to stay in the city to celebrate, hosting a dinner themselves or going to a friend’s. If you’re one of these students facing the dreaded task of whipping up the comfort foods for which your guests have high expectations, have no fear.

Most of the food we load on our plates during Thanksgiving is relatively easy to prepare and difficult to screw up, though many dishes do require an oven.

If you don’t have access to an oven or are too timid to try the simplest of recipes, you can still make a vital contribution to the holiday dinner-jellied cranberry sauce.

And remember to have a bitchin’ holiday.

Stuffing

__1 package seasoned cubed stuffing or seasoned croutons

__1 medium-sized onion, diced

__2-3 celery stalks, washed and diced

___ stick butter, melted

__Pork sausage (optional)

__Poultry seasoning

__Ground black pepper

__Other desired spices

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine seasoned cubed stuffing, onion, celery and butter in a large bowl. Stir ingredients and add boiling water until the mixture is moist, but not mushy.

Season with pepper, poultry seasoning and other spices of your choosing, such as garlic powder or even a dash of chili powder.

If turkey isn’t enough for you diehard carnivores, punch up your stuffing with some of the other white meat-pork sausage. Chop it up, fry until lightly browned and toss in with the other ingredients.

Chances are you’re making the stuffing because you’re also taking care of the turkey, so you know what comes next-the stuffing has gotta go where the sun don’t shine. Spoon the mixture into the turkey, and be generous about it.

Any stuffing that doesn’t make it into the bird can be put in a pan or casserole dish. Cover and bake for 20 minutes; bake, uncovered, for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Other ways to make knockout stuffing: instead of sausage and black pepper, add some cranberries, nutmeg and walnuts or almonds. Or substitute water with chicken stock or white wine.

Dorm option: If you live on campus, volunteer to bring a less complicated carb-loaded side, like bread or rolls. A fresh loaf of Italian bread from the North End will please all of your fellow party-goers.

Asparagus Parmesan

__2 tbsp. butter, melted

__1 pound fresh asparagus spears, washed

__Grated Parmesan cheese

__Ground black pepper (optional)

__Garlic powder (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss spears with butter and then lay out evenly on a baking pan. Sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese. Add pepper and garlic powder for additional flavor. Bake, uncovered, until asparagus is tender, for 15-20 minutes.

Dorm option: Microwaving canned green beans could work, too.

Pudding Pie

__1 box pudding mix

__1 cookie or graham-cracker pie crust

__Whipped cream

__Additional garnishes

Make pudding according to instructions on pudding-mix packet. If you’re really rushed, or just plain lazy, buy a bunch of pudding cups rather than making it yourself.

Spoon the pudding into the pie plate. Top with whipped cream and any additional garnishes, such as Oreos, vanilla wafers or berries. Refrigerate before serving; this is a good dish to prepare the night before.

Dorm option: This dessert is entirely dorm-friendly. Even if you’re stuck in a room without a refrigerator, chances are a floor mate can shove aside his illegal 40s to cool your pie.

Some other sides and desserts you could prepare:

__Apple Pie

__Baked Acorn or Butternut Squash

__Boiled Carrots

__Broccoli

__Candied Sweet Potatoes

__Clam Chowder

__Corn

__Cornbread

__Creamed Spinach

__Garden Salad

__Gravy

__Green Bean Casserole

__Mashed Potatoes

__Pecan Pie

__Pumpkin Pie

__Pumpkin Soup

__Scalloped Potatoes

Rebecca Anne Flanagan is a senior writing, literature and publishing major and managing editor of The Beacon. E-mail her with recipe suggestions at rebecca.flanagan@gmail.com.