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Three Courses with Carson Gulley

Something savory, something sweet, and something to use up all those scraps.

Carson Gulley on set of cooking show.

Carson Gulley was many things: a chef, an educator, a housing-equity trailblazer, and a fervent believer in the power of food. The latter is especially evident in his legacy at the UW, which persists through both a dining hall named in his honor and in the continued presence of his beloved fudge-bottom pie in dessert cases throughout campus (and in the fond memories of alumni who still dream of the classic UW treat).

But Gulley’s legendary tenure with the UW is only one part of his culinary repertoire, which is far more robust than dining hall fare. His cooking career took him to restaurants around the country, and he shared his kitchen expertise with the Madison public through his television show, What’s Cookin’ and radio series, Cooking School of the Air. As a result, his cookbook, Seasoning Secrets and Favorite Recipes of Carson Gulley, is an anthology of dishes that hungry college students and fine diners alike would be delighted to find at their tables.

In fact, Gulley’s book has all the fixings for a full Thanksgiving meal, including the proper way to prepare and stuff a 16-pound bird. Here, we’ve pulled three more recipes to complete any autumnal dinner party spread (and to use up the scraps once the leftovers run out).

Gulley with cooking staff standing behind roasted turkeys.

Savory Side: Scallop Potatoes

Butter and potatoes — what’s not to love?


  • 6 cups of sliced potatoes
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1½ teaspoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of butter


Wash potatoes thoroughly, removing all of the starch. Butter baking dish. Put half of the potatoes in baking dish. Add half of the salt. Add remaining potatoes and salt. Pour milk over potatoes and bake in a 350-degree oven for one hour or until potatoes are tender and brown.

Sweet Treat: Pumpkin Pie

The quintessential autumn dessert.


  • 1½ cups of canned pumpkin
  • ½ cup of white sugar
  • ⅔ cup of brown sugar
  • ½ cup of milk
  • ½ cup of cream
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of ginger
  • ½ teaspoon of nutmeg (mace may be substituted)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons butter


Creams sugars and butter. Add eggs and continue to cream until light and fluffy. Fold in pumpkin, spices, cream, and milk. Add vanilla. Pour into eight-inch unbaked crust and bake in oven about one hour at 350 degrees to 375 degrees.

A copy of Seasoning Secrets.

Lots of Leftovers: Turkey Casserole

This comforting crowd-pleaser should take care of the remaining ingredients from preparing the main meal.


  • 12-ounce package of egg noodles
  • ½ cup of celery, cut fine
  • ½ cup of onions, cut fine
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 tablespoons of flour
  • 3 cups of good turkey stock
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes, add to turkey stock
  • 1 cup of hot milk
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of celery salt
  • ½ cup of grated cheese
  • 3 cups of turkey trimmings


Bring noodles to a boil; let simmer for 15 minutes. Add two cups of cold water; let set for 10 minutes. While this is setting, sauté onions and celery in two tablespoons butter. Mix flour in remaining two tablespoons butter and cook into smooth paste. Add the hot stock to roux and cook until thick. Add hot milk and seasoning. Cut the turkey as fine as possible. Giblets and heart may be used. Strain noodles and fold all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and bake in buttered casserole dish. Top with grated cheese or cornflakes.

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