Our family nearly always went to Ethel and James Hopper’s house, my mother’s parents, along with cousins and aunts and uncles—a gathering of the clan dressed in their finest attire.
Along with the chatter, the laughter, sometimes drama and tears, and playing games with cousins, I will never forget the food.
My favorite was dipping into the steaming bowl of chicken and dumplings and we never seemed to run out. There were probably dozens of other dishes around the table, but I chose that one more than any other. I did sample the home-canned corn cooked in an iron skillet, bread-and-butter pickles, and finally the jam cake with Carmel icing.
Today, one of our family's favorite is made from some of the Thanksgiving leftovers and we always enjoy it the next day: Kentucky Hot Browns.
The recipe originated years ago at The Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, but the cheese sauce—perfected by my mother—turned an ordinary-sounding dish into something scrumptious. The secret is in the sauce.
Kentucky Hot Browns
6 T. Butter
1/2 Cup Flour
3 Cups whole milk or you can use part half-and-half
½ t. Salt
½ t. Dry Mustard
1 T. Worcestershire Sauce
2 t. chicken bouillon granules
1 Cup shredded extra-sharp cheese
Melt butter, add flour, and cook one to two minutes or until browned, stirring constantly. I use a whisk. Gradually add milk. Heat until thickened. Add seasonings & cheese.
6 slices toast
Turkey, sliced thin
Ham, sliced thin
6 slices tomato
6 strips Bacon, cooked
Shredded Parmesan cheese—about ¾ Cup
You can make these in individual baking dishes or in a 9x13 pan. Spray dish with Pam.
Arrange toast slices in dish. Add turkey & ham. Cover with cheese sauce. Top with tomato & bacon. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 425 degrees until bubbly.