Friday Five: Thanksgiving Edition!

ThanksgivingIsn’t there always a “must have” list for the Thanksgiving table? What is the stuff at your house that you have to have, or it’s just not Thanksgiving? Here’s the list for our house… what’s yours?

1. Turkey. This turkey is smoked (by Terry) but we experiment with the rubs every year.

2. Dressing. We actually make two kinds of dressing every year. Terry makes his mom’s chicken dressing (I’ll try to get him to provide the recipe next Monday!) and I do one made out of crusty bread. The difference? His dressing has no sage, and I insist on it in mine. So, we have two pans of dressing.

3. “Green Thing”. This is one of those Southern traditions involving jello, nuts, and cream cheese. It’s one of those things that reminds Terry of his childhood holidays. Me, I think it’s far better straight out of the refrigerator with a spoon the next day!  You can find the recipe in my Thanksgiving post from two years ago.

4. Sweet Potatoes.  I like a casserole, but I’m considering switching things up this year.  I am open to sweet potato suggestions.

5. Friends.  Terry and I don’t do the run-to-our-family-Thanksgiving thing, we have a bunch of folks over to enjoy the company of friends, new and old.

What’s tops on your Thanksgiving list?



17 thoughts on “Friday Five: Thanksgiving Edition!”

  • Unfortunately, most of the great Thanksgiving feast makers of my youth have passed on, but *if* I had my way and could name my *dream* T-day dinner, it would include these dishes:

    1) Grandma’s dressing: grocery bread left out to go stale for a couple days before, celery and onions and sage (oh my!), cooked IN THE BIRD, stuffed so full that is oozes out during roasting and the dressing that hits the wall of THE pan (Grandma’s huge black marbely roaster) morphs into this amazing crispy “snack version” of the dressing that we chomp on during clean up.

    2) My mom’s green bean casserole – has to be my Mom’s. It was the same recipe everyone else uses of course, but somehow her’s always tasted the best. It is the only use I can find for those damn canned fried onions.

    3) Aunt Jean’s Sweet Potatoes – canned sweet potatoes/yams, drained of that syrupy goop they come in. Packed in an iron skillet (essential); topped with a ton of butter and brown sugar, then baked to ooey-gooey goodness. Of course any trace of the health benefits of the yam/sweet potato is obliterated, but we still would list this as a vegetable option.

    4) MOIST turkey – after the last ten years with my in-laws, I’ve learned that making the white meat *moist* on the bird is apparently a rare super-power only my Grandmother possessed.

    5) Cranberry sauce – Ocean Spray, out of the can, opened in such a way as not to damage the delicate nature of the can mold. Placed then in Grandma’s light blue oval shaped plastic dish and carefully sliced into a dozen or so circles – NOT, I repeat NOT just mushed up with reckless abandon. And you can keep that la-te-da uppity cranberry relish/salad/blah blah blah for your fancy friends I say.

    It’s official, Thanksgiving brings out the hillbilly in me!

  • If you’re ok with turning the sweet potatoes into a salad, we made this recipe last year – http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/18/health/nutrition/18recipehealth.html?_r=1 and it was delicious!

    My top 5 list would be:

    1. Devilved eggs – I grew up in Virginia, maybe this is a southern thing?

    2. The good ole green bean casserole mentioned by AmyInOhio. I made one mostly from scratch last year, but I gotta say, I still really love the original, but with french-style green beans (it’s how my mom always made it).

    3. Pumpkin pie with Cool Whip.

    4. Cornbread and sausage stuffing. We make our jalapeno cornbread from scratch a couple days before Thanksgiving so that it gets a little stale and can soak up all the yummy homemade chicken stock we use. And we get local made hot sausage, preferably one that has lots of sage in it. We, of course, add lots more sage to the stuffing too.

    5. Family and/or friends – I’ve done Thanksgiving with just family, just friends, and with family and friends. It doesn’t really matter where I’m at, just as long as I’m surrounded by people I love!

    • Absolutely Melissa – gotta be french style…not sure when the rest of America went off the rails on that one. Why would you use regular green beans? Yuck! Maybe it was back when the French hated us? They like us again, right?

  • Top 5 Thanksgiving Dishes at our house:
    1- Fried Turkey. It’s always good! Really, are you watching your calories on Thanksgiving?
    2- Corn pudding. Recipe passed down from the Revolutionary War in my Grandfather’s family.
    3- Pepperidge Farms Herb Stuffing. Yes I’m from the south, no I don’t like my stuffing made from corn bread.
    4- Mashed Taters and gravy.
    5- Green Beans
    For some reason, I can live without the sweet potatoes and cranberries.

  • This year I am going to do a couple turkeys on our smoker in the backyard!
    Along with all the other sides, I am going to try vanilla spiced mashed sweet potatoes!

  • Mashed potatoes and gravy, don’t know how you get along with out this one Julie, I ALWAYS eat too much and regret it. Also one of those nasty jello dishes of any kind, extra points for marshmallow inclusion, I never eat any but it has to be there for color. Biscuits or rolls of some white bread form. Last there must always be a mystery dish brought by some visitor which you are obliged to to put on your plate but either feed under the table to the dog or cover up with bones and scraps.

  • My wife and I went to Mariables tavern over the weekend. They actually cooked sweet potato slices, topped with goat cheese and candied pecans. It was really REALLY good.

  • The best sweet potato dish that I had was at my wedding (seriously) catered by Davis Catering at the old Cincinnati Club building. It was scalloped sweet and russet potatoes in a casserole with Swiss cheese, nutmeg and I wish I could remember what else. They gave me the recipe and I made it for years, but lost it in a move. I wonder if it’s still on their menu 12 years later??

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