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What is Your Favorite Non-Foodie Thanksgiving Dish?

Everyone has those family recipes that make foodies recoil in horror, but they are the dishes that Thanksgiving would not be complete without. What are your dishes and what is the most non-foodie ingredient?

We have one of those Jello salads with cream cheese, whipped cream, crushed pinapple and lime Jello. It looks like it's from outerspace, but my father would be most unhappy if it were missing from the table.

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  1. Okay...I know I'm going to get "churched"...haha

    But seriously, what IS a foodie? I get called that all the time, I assumed it was because I want to ultimately be a chef...but now you're using it in a different context, so now I'm confused. LOL

    Thanks in advance for the clarification anyone.

    3 Replies
    1. re: akcskye

      I think examples would be the best way to explain.

      Foodie Food: Crispy Quails with Chile Jam and Three-Bean Salad
      Non-Foodie Food: Mashed Potatoes From A Box, Microwaved

      1. re: PikaPikaChick

        aka.....BLACK FRIDAY TURKEY & this year it will be :

        Gram's Creamy Turkey Ragout with Pimiento Cornbread Dumplings - obviously, it's all left over from the night before transformed into a new supper, but what's left over from here goes you know where...."BFT" ('bout freakin' time) - I'm not a turkey fan & my family will not deviate from traditions; although, I must admit that the "BFT" is actually better than the actual Thanksgiving spread.

        The true Thanksgiving charm is obviously not about the turkey, but rather the long awaited weekend with close family on a slow speed setting at the beach cottage without televisions, computers & fuss - just good old-fashioned food & fun !

        1. re: PikaPikaChick

          honestly pikapika. i lol'd and even snorted a little bit when i read this. PERFECT description!

      2. We have two - both from the grandma's who are no longer with us, except at Thanksgiving!
        My husband's mother always made or brought "shrimp dip'". One bar of cream cheese and one sauci shrimp cocktail, the kind that comes in a glass jar in the refrigerator section of the grocery store - these two ingredients are pureed in a blender and served with bugles. It's getting hard to find the shrimp cocktail and the bugles but we have to have this!

        My mother made creamed onions by draining a glass jar of boiled onions and mixing them with a can of cream of celery soup (undiluted) and sprinkling on some Italian bread crumbs. These are baked when the turkey comes out to rest. My husband insists we make these every year.

        Actually there is a third item and it's mine! - stuffed mushrooms with deviled ham as the secret ingredient- but it's a secret.

        5 Replies
        1. re: ginnyhw

          Wow Ginny. My family has a dish we make that is remarkably similar. You unwrap a block of cream cheese and plop it on a plate then dump a jar of prepared cocktail sauce on top. On top of that, you drain a dump a can of baby shrimp. That's it. You don't do anything else to it but stick Triscuits in it and enjoy!

          1. re: southernitalian

            I guess my mother in law must have gotten a blender for Christmas one year and wanted to kick it up a notch!

              1. re: southernitalian

                I can't believe someone else makes this. I used to have a friend who called this "Crab Pizza". She would let the cream cheese soften, then spread it on the plate. (Funny aside: one time my now-ex saw the block of cc on the counter and put it back in the fridge. He thought he was doing her a favor.) Haven't had it since she moved away 18 yrs ago. Not sure if I miss it!

              2. re: ginnyhw

                Oh my, the memories. We totally did the cream cheese/cocktail mix and even had the bugles. I had forgotten all about these delicious cone shaped goodies until reading this. Classic.

              3. Because I am first generation, we had very little American food for Thanksgiving until I learnt to cook it myself. Instead of turkey we had tikka; instead of potatoes, we had pancit. So when I finally tried green bean casserole at a friend's Thanksgiving when I was 20, I fell in love with what was then the most exotic Thanksgiving side I had ever had. Onion rings on vegetables? What manna from heaven is this?

                29 Replies
                1. re: JungMann

                  That green Jello with pineapple concoction was a staple at our T-day dinners too. It was sliced into squares, plopped on 1 leaf of iceberg lettuce and set at each place instead of a green salad. Now that I celebrate Thanksgiving with in-laws I have offered to make it there too, but they've got plenty of their own nasty sides to contend with, and I suppose the carbophobes in the group would not care for this "too sweet" item (but the sweet potatoes paved with marshmallows are apparently OK)......

                  1. re: Cheflambo

                    my Jello-O is red, not green.
                    and my husband would be bereft if we didn't do the green bean/mushroom soup thing.
                    Thanksgiving is all about being non-foodie for a day.

                    1. re: rudysmom

                      When I was a kid and it was on my Grandmother's Thanksgiving table it was lemon jello with shredded carrots and celery.

                      I didn't get it then and I don't get it now.

                    2. re: Cheflambo

                      We also have a jello dish.. Jello, frozen berries on top of a layer of cool whip and cream cheese.. all on a crust made from pretzels and butter.

                      the other dish we just have to have around thanksgiving is called sex in a pan. it is a shortbread cookie crust, with a coolwhip and crem cheese layer, topped with chocolate pudding (Jello from the box), topped with more coolwhip.

                      (and a sercret of mine.. I add a little spam to my homemade cornbread pudding. everyone thinks it is sausage or ham....lol)


                      1. re: coconutgoddess

                        Pretzel Salad! I haven't thought of that recipe in ten years! Someone always made one for all of our block parties, birthday gatherings or Wive's Club luncheons when we lived on base. I remember thinking it was the best-tasting disgusting-sounding recipe I had ever tried. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I'll have to make one soon.

                    3. re: JungMann

                      This is my favorite also. Not for the actual Thanksgiving Dinner, but for the leftovers as the side to a delicious turkey sandwich on white bread with mayo, lettuce, and a little salt. Heaven!

                      1. re: mtleahy

                        You almost have it right... '-)

                        Gummy white bread, Hellmann's/Best Foods mayo, A SLICE OF CANNED CRANBERRY JELLY, turkey, salt and pepper, with lettuce. Best eaten at 11:00pm Thanksgiving night when everyone else is watching TV or sleeping, and your olfactories have had a chance to regroup after cooking all day. For the cook, this is the great Thanksgiving dinner.

                        1. re: Caroline1

                          see i like the contrast of toasted white bread and LOTS of mayo. and lettuce and turkey. and of course leftover mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce on the side. like 2 hours after dinner. because there are some people at my house who get that "oh i can't eat another bite" thing - really? i don't have that problem so i just eat more after they leave! :)

                          1. re: Caroline1

                            Bingo!! I cook dinner for 20+ and usually dont' get to really enjoy the dinner. But I LOVE the sandwich you described. I don't include the lettuce, but love this sandwich- call it a turkey terrific, and I usually have it with some of my moms creamed cauliflower on the side.

                            1. re: Caroline1

                              Oh, man! So close, yet...not quite!

                              Whole wheat bread, "Hellmann's/Best Foods mayo," cranberry jelly (fresh or canned), white meat turkey, yellow mustard, "salt and pepper, with lettuce."

                              If you *really* wanna go whole hog, add two strips of warm bacon. (Get it? "Whole hog"..."Bacon"? Heh? Heh? Heh?)

                              Stuffing slathered in gravy on the side, with more cranberry jelly on top of it, with another side of a dab of GBC or mashed potatoes with yet more gravy. BTW--*real* turkey gravy has visible pieces of hard-boiled egg white in it.

                              1. re: KenWritez

                                Swiss cheese and stuffing on mine!

                                1. re: KenWritez

                                  Never heard of (I presume) hard boiled eggs in turkey gravy. Or any kind of eggs, for that matter. But I do use the giblets in my gravy. Without giblet chunks, it ain't turkey gravy! I buy extra gizzards so I can have "giblets" in both the gravy and chopped up in the sage/bacon dressing I make from scratch. Both of which recieve a healthy dose of white vermouth to enhance flavor... (Thank you, Julia!)

                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                    Hard boiled egg in turkey gravy is a fine old southern tradition, although it's one that always rather puzzled me. Never really saw the point, myself, but that may be because my family didn't do it.

                                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                      My family has always done the sliced hard boiled eggs with giblets in the gravy too. Giblets also go in the cornbread dressing, I think.

                                  2. re: KenWritez

                                    I have to laugh as I read these posts-like many of you I am the TG cook and don't really take the time to enjoy my "treat" until a few hours after the main meal. Then I toast up some wheat bread, get out the Best Foods,white turkey meat,cranberry jelly, and left over stuffing. These ingredients then are lovingly portioned with almost equal amounts except for mayo. Perfection.

                              2. re: JungMann

                                JungMann, your last sentence cracked me up! I love the green bean casserole too. Also, Stove Top stuffing from the box, livened up with a little more fresh celery and onion.

                                1. re: JungMann

                                  One of my favorite (non-traditional) Thanksgiving dishes is a culinary exchange student with yours. Definitely a bastardized dish, it's Madhur Jaffrey's gujerati sem (green beans stir-fried with garlic and black mustard seeds) simmered for a couple of minutes in white sauce and sprinked with crispy fried shallots and garam masala.

                                  AFAIK the sauce takes it completely outside the realm of any traditional Indian cuisine. And fried shallots and garam masala may not appropriate to northern cooking. But the dish works as a whole, fits right in on the T-day table, and doesn't cause my midwestern in-laws to raise an eyebrow. Onion rings on vegetables?} Oh, yeah!!!

                                  1. re: JungMann

                                    >> Onion rings on vegetables? What manna from heaven is this? <<

                                    It's GBC, baby! Green Bean Casserole, one of the most famous American holiday side dishes! It's easy to make, tastes great, looks pretty, and anyone who turns their nose up at it as being "insufficently foodie" wears their underwear too tight.

                                    If you asked 10 people at random if GBC was at their Thanksgiving dinners, I'll bet at least 6-7 would say "yes."

                                    You have given me an idea, and I thank you for it: Next time I make this, I will use fresh-made onion rings, chopped, instead of the canned onions. (I still won't be able to eat more than two bites of it because of my restricted salt diet, but I love seeing other people enjoy good food.)

                                    1. re: KenWritez

                                      You'll be sorry!! Everyone will complain about the onions.

                                      1. re: yayadave

                                        I agree, the Frenchs onions are integral.
                                        My twist is frozen french cut string beans, with lots of sherry and dried exotic mushrooms presoaked in sherry.

                                        1. re: yayadave

                                          Some years ago, Cooks Illustrated did a homemade version of green bean casserole that got rid of the inedible aspects of it (canned green beans, cream of mushroom soup) and replaced them with things people would actually want to eat, like fresh green beans, real mushrooms and a proper white sauce. However, they totally kept the canned french-fried onion rings, simply because nothing else even came close.

                                          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                            I have a green bean frencher that I use to prepare fresh green beans for GBC. I blanch the frenched beans, drain them, and then assemble the casserole with the cream of mushroom soup and fried onions. The fresh beans really brighten up the dish!

                                            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                              I have celiac disease, so unfortunately, have to make my own mushroom soup and onion rings. I think my version is better than the old one, overall, but I do miss that crunch.

                                              I don't bother battering the onions, I just slice them thinly, let them sit out a while on paper-towels so they aren't too wet, and fry them in peanut oil until crispy...then salt them.

                                              I use parmesan cheese in there too. Pretty damned good but very time consuming. Still, once a year, has to be done.

                                              1. re: kitINstLOUIS

                                                If you are looking for that "crunch" that the onion rings provide, try crushed pork rinds. I know, I know, so white trash, but they offer the crunch with no flour or carbs of any kind. Mixed with your onions and parmesan cheese you will get flavor and crunch.

                                                I have also processed them in the food processor and used them to bread pork chops or even chicken when I wanted the feel of fried chicken without the flour.

                                                Desperate times call for desperate measures.

                                                1. re: gardencub

                                                  My Mom (who is a Chef) made pancakes out of Pork Rinds and said they were delicious. They are low carb evidently. Here is the recipe she used. CRAZY! Who knew these could be so versatile?


                                          2. re: KenWritez

                                            One year I made a delicious dish with green beans, shoe peg corn, onions, celery, sour cream...and my husband was crushed that there was no regulation GBC that year...I learned my lesson! And yes, I love GBC as much as anyone else!

                                            1. re: KenWritez

                                              I don't mind so much that's it's non-foodie, Ken. I mean, my idea of a great lunch when hubby's at the office and all the kids are wherever they are is a handful of Sunkist dates which I dip one-by-one into a jar of good ole Skippy. Understand the dates have utterly no purpose; they're merely the vehicle for stuffing globs of hydrogenated legumes into my mouth. Conscience is forcing me to put up with natural peanut butter these days, but it's just not the same without the added sugar, and--shhhh, don't tell--but sometimes I just have to sprinkle salt on top.

                                              So, as you can see, I'm hardly one to denigrate GBC on a technical basis, but the truth is...I just don't like the stuff. No matter who has ever prepared it, it always feels...slimy...to me.

                                              I also TRULY don't care for baked yams or sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping....even though I LOVE Marshmallow Fluff (hmmm...I should try adding that to my date/Jiffy recipe). Sometimes when I watch family and friends devour these two dishes, I feel like a changeling who was dropped off by Martians. :-D

                                              1. re: MaggieRSN

                                                Great post!! My family has been eating the same dishes at Thanksgiving for my entire life. It is a traditional meal, except- believe it or not, does not include GBC, and the sweet pototoes are always baked, then mashed and seasoned with only butter, salt and pepper. As a matter of fact, I am 53 yo and have never had either!! I think I may have to just them sometime- but I am not allowed to make them for Thanksgiving- no way I can change the menu!

                                                1. re: MaggieRSN

                                                  I'm with you Maggie on the sweet potato with marshmalllow thing. I was 28 befiore I figured out I liked sweet potatoes becuase I thought they always had to come with gobs of white goo or brown sugar and pecans. ha ha

                                              1. re: PikaPikaChick

                                                Oh yes, StoveTop Stuffing, plain or doctored, can't go wrong!

                                                1. re: blue room

                                                  so glad to be among friends. I do so love Stovetop. Fancy schmancy dressing just isn't the same

                                                2. re: PikaPikaChick

                                                  Pepperidge Farm (blue bag) stuffing made with chicken broth from a can, into which I put 1/2 pound of Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage, sliced mushrooms, butter, slivered almonds and Bells Seasoning in the yellow box. My family whines if I don't make this.

                                                  1. re: PikaPikaChick

                                                    Agree with this one. And additionally, prior to me becoming unable to eat MSG, Rice-a-Roni. I could eat a whole box for a meal.

                                                  2. Orange jello with shredded carrots, canned pineapple and walnuts.

                                                    23 Replies
                                                    1. re: doctor_mama

                                                      Another mark in the jello category...
                                                      Coke Salad- Black cherry jello, coke, pecans, pineapple, and cherries.
                                                      Only in the South would you label something like this a "salad"

                                                      However, what I really look forward to at Thanksgiving are the following days of turkey sandwiches. Turkey, fresh white rolls, brie...heat under broiler. Top with mayo and left-over cranberry relish. OMG

                                                      1. re: Honey Bee

                                                        :) Laughing at salad comment (I'm from SE Kansas orginally). So true!

                                                        Rice Salad - cooked white rice, cool whip, walnuts, red grapes...I think that's it. From grandma, of course.

                                                          1. re: stellamystar

                                                            Where in SE Kansas? I'm from Coffeyville.

                                                            "Salad" at our Thanksgiving table is Pretzel Jello.

                                                            1. re: revsharkie

                                                              Coffeyvile?? I once spent Thanksgiving with relatives in Baxter Springs and we went to a truck stop. I think that might have been a step up from other options.

                                                              1. re: miss louella

                                                                Yes, Coffeyville. There used to be a really good smorgasbord restaurant over by Riverton called the Spring River Inn. We would go over there now and then if my dad was off on Sunday. (He ran George's Cafeteria in Coffeyville from about 1972 until 1988. It's gone now. I miss it, sometimes.)

                                                              2. re: revsharkie

                                                                Pretzel Jello. Yes, my wife's elderly aunt, God rest her soul, would bring that to nearly every dinner, including Thanksgiving.

                                                                A few weeks ago, my wife got nostalgic for that dish and we didn't have the recipe. It was provided by Google, however.

                                                                My grandmother was from Galena, Kansas.

                                                            2. re: Honey Bee

                                                              LOL Honey Bee, that salad had fruit, didn't it??? ;-} (from a fellow Southerner with tons of church cookbooks with tons of similar "salads")

                                                              1. re: Honey Bee

                                                                You may be right. My mother calls this "jello mold." It's a reference to the vessel in which the mixture is chilled, not to anything that grows on its surface.

                                                                1. re: doctor_mama

                                                                  doctor_mama, we have a favorite "mold" dish, too. Shrimp mold. It's not necessarily a T-Day staple, but an all around holiday staple. Sounds awful, looks awful, but I will defend it til the day I die. Highly seasoned boiled shrimp, chopped, chopped celery, other ingredients that fail to come to mind now, all mixed together with unflavored gelatin and molded. It shows up at bridal showers and wedding receptions, too (not professionally catered ones, of course).

                                                                2. re: Honey Bee

                                                                  Wasn't Coke Salad a T-day staple at the Clinton White House? The chef was required to obtain the recipe from an Arkansan elder stateswoman and duplicate it annually for the President's holiday dinner. Much to his chagrin...

                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                    That sounds about right. I bought a cookbook of his favorite recipes and the Coke salad is in there.

                                                                    The jazz brunch at Clinton's musesum hosts his "favorite" desert. It's looks like uncooked brownie mix, but it is hot and extremely chocolate. It is spooned on a plate and topped with whipped cream and cherries.

                                                                  2. re: Honey Bee

                                                                    Ahh Honey Bee...Coca Cola Salad...we add chunks of cream cheese to ours. It's a staple at our house for Thanksgiving. One year, mom decided not to make it and you woulda thought she hadn't cooked anything else, from all the caterwallin from my brothers (never mind that the table was groaning under the weight of all thoe other food!). They simply couldn't enjoy Thanksgiving dinner if we didn't have my Grandmother Jessie's Coca Cola salad.

                                                                    1. re: Honey Bee

                                                                      MMMM, bing cherry jello salad...

                                                                      1. re: Honey Bee

                                                                        I wondered if someone was going to mention Coke Salad!
                                                                        This is from my BiL's family (TX), so if any of my sister's family comes over we have it. Ours is just as you decribed yours. I love it!
                                                                        We do have trouble finding the Black Cherry Jello tho & in the past few years we have had to use plain cherry. We went to countless stores in a 25 mile range.

                                                                        Where do you find the Black Cherry Jello?

                                                                        On the other hand, I don't think my family had any unusual Thanksgiving items. Oh wait . . . I guess having Oyster Dressing and Rice Dressing and Cornbread dressing and Herb Dressing might be considered unusual. These are 4 separate dressings, not one! We are from New Orleans.

                                                                        1. re: Isabella

                                                                          We have relatives bring or ship Black Cherry Jello from Utah since we can't find it in CA. My favorite is a lime jello with pears and cream cheese with whipped cream folded in. It's soft and silky like a mousse and doesn't hold its shape like a traditional jello salad

                                                                          1. re: Isabella

                                                                            If you can't find the Black Cherry Jello - use regular cherry jello and then use DR PEPPER instead of Coke...tastes pretty good actually!

                                                                          2. re: Honey Bee

                                                                            Coke salad? O, hurt me! This sounds incredible! See, this is what I get for my parents not moving to the South and parking in California instead.

                                                                            Do you substitute Coke for all the water?

                                                                          3. re: doctor_mama

                                                                            Another jell-o vote from a Utahn by birth. My mom makes a layered salad with four different flavors of jell-o, splitting each batch in half and mixing one half with some sour cream to create an opaque pastel layer for each color. The salad takes hours to make because you have to let each one set before you can pour the next, but it makes a pretty spectacular (and sort of campy) presentation of an 8 layered rainbow salad. I made this salad for friends last Thanksgiving and added vodka shots to the layers. It was that much more spectacular.

                                                                            1. re: mollyomormon

                                                                              Molly - I assume by your screen name you are Mormon, so I have a question for you..In Jeffrey Steingarten's book he talks on and on about how good Mormons are at baking amazing fruitcakes around the holiday season. Is there a specific reason for your delicious fruitcake? Or, do you think he writes about an isolated incident?

                                                                              1. re: stellamystar

                                                                                I'm not Mormon any more (see vodka in the jello) but I was raised Mormon in a small town in Utah that's heavily Mormon and my family is still practicing. But I've never actually had fruitcake nor see a recipe in any of my Mormon cookbooks. Doesn't fruitcake typically involve alcohol? If so, then I'm guessing that it was an isolated incident. Which book of Steingarten's? I'd be interested to read about it.

                                                                                1. re: mollyomormon

                                                                                  It's The Man Who Ate Everything, and he specifies that the fruitcake his wife's relatives made contained no alcohol. Great book.

                                                                                  1. re: lissar

                                                                                    I'm flying to Utah tomorrow so I'll be sure to ask around while I'm there!

                                                                          4. Cranberry sauce straight from the can. Mmmmmmmm.

                                                                            Cornbread dressing.

                                                                            Carrot raisin salad

                                                                            Cream cheese with pikapeppa sauce poured over it and served with wheat thins. (Although lately it's been raspberry chipotle sauce instead.)

                                                                            Pumpkin pie made from the Libby's recipe

                                                                            Good stuff, all of it!

                                                                            And I always make chili for Christmas Eve!

                                                                            37 Replies
                                                                            1. re: dalaimama

                                                                              My family loves the cream cheese/pickapeppa thing at EVERY function. What a great idea to try it with other sauces. Next time I will surprise (lol) them with the raspberry chipotle : )

                                                                              1. re: mtleahy

                                                                                While I like it with pickapeppa, I lurve it with pepper jelly!

                                                                                1. re: pattisue

                                                                                  Even better with Apricot preserves mixed with a little spicy brown mustard and HORSERADISH...omg....

                                                                                  1. re: Pjacob01

                                                                                    that's the dip for little smokies! ;-)).

                                                                              2. re: dalaimama

                                                                                Respectfully disagree that Libby's pumpkin pie is not "foodie." Pumpkin pie is a perfect example of how to highlight one ingredient in a delicious and simple way. And if you do a quick search, I think you'll find most hounds agree Libby's recipe is hard to beat!!

                                                                                1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                  I have to agree with you, charmedgirl. I've had pumpkin pie made from fresh pumpkins, pumkin cheesecake, etc., and I personally don't think any of them are nearly as good as Libby's recipe.

                                                                                  1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                    I agree, but I think I've found a way: using the Libby's recipe as a starter, I use 3/4 the amount of sugar - and substitute dark brown for white sugar. Increase (use heaping measurements of) all the spices. Sometimes I subs real half and half for the evaporated milk. All the rest remains the same. It's even better than the original!

                                                                                  2. re: dalaimama

                                                                                    Jellied cranberry without the cranberries? Essential for leftover turkey and dressing sandwich!

                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                      For the past several years, I've made a batch (or two) of Cranberry Pecan jam in small (1.5 oz. or 4 oz.) jars sometime between Halloween & Thanksgiving. I then set one at each place setting for Thanksgiving dinner. Each person then has a jar of jam to take home with them along with some sliced turkey left overs to make a sandwich or two the next day. I LIVE for the turkey sandwich the day after thanksgiving...and this way, the host doesn't get stuck with a ton of turkey leftovers - especially if the host doesn't have a large family under their roof. The best is to add a little cream cheese. Yum!!!

                                                                                    2. re: dalaimama

                                                                                      Since when is carrot-raisin salad not chowish?

                                                                                      1. re: piccola

                                                                                        It is chowish! Just not foodie...

                                                                                      2. re: dalaimama

                                                                                        Wait a minute!! Chili for Christmas Eve? Where'd that come from? Regular chili?

                                                                                        1. re: yayadave

                                                                                          We love seafood gumbo for Christmas Eve.

                                                                                          1. re: pattisue

                                                                                            Christmas Eve is Christiana Campbell's Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg !

                                                                                            It's a William & Mary/Williamsburg/Virginia thing - Sherried Crab Stew (along side is a beautiful cut glass sherry cruet for an extra splash) & juicy/tasty Oyster Fritters, with their signature sour cream and bacon relish, just as General Washington liked them.

                                                                                            Family traditions are unsurpassed !

                                                                                            1. re: yayadave

                                                                                              We've had chili on Christmas Eve for at least 27 years that I know of! I think it's supposed to be the "easy" night, so we have soups and nibbles. It would be very weird if we did not have my grandma's chili on Christmas Eve!

                                                                                              1. re: Katie Nell

                                                                                                Well, I guess that makes some sense, it just caught me totally by surprise.

                                                                                                1. re: yayadave

                                                                                                  Chili or some other form of quick and tasty Tex-Mex meal on Christmas Eve was a standard in my house as well.

                                                                                                    1. re: yayadave

                                                                                                      My family is in the chili/soup/nibbles camp as well. Has been since long before I was born...

                                                                                                      yayadave--what do you have on Christmas Eve?

                                                                                                      1. re: smarsh

                                                                                                        Christmas eve has been french onion soup in my life for probably 40 years. BEFORE church, munchies and champagne after church (we're baptist, so you can't go to church with the champagne on your breath)

                                                                                                        1. re: elayne5

                                                                                                          For the longest time when I was a kid we went to our family's Korean friends' house on Christmas eve, or they came to us and brought some of our favorite Korean dishes to serve alongside the stuff we had (if we went to their house we didn't go empty-handed, either).

                                                                                                          One year we were all at my grandparents' house. The Hans' youngest son was about four at the time. He got into the "adult" punch, and at first everyone was thinking, "Oh, isn't that cute." Got considerably less cute when he got sick under the buffet table. (It was red punch, to make matters worse.)

                                                                                                2. re: Katie Nell

                                                                                                  We always had KFC for Christmas Eve when I was growing up. My grandma (my dad's mom) was not exactly known for her cooking skills, so one year my aunt & uncle "volunteered" to pick up a bucket of chicken and the tradition began.. it wouldn't have been Christmas without that red-and-white bucket!

                                                                                                3. re: yayadave

                                                                                                  I'm a Texan.

                                                                                                  I make chili in advance because it freezes so well and then I don't have to cook Christmas Eve and Day.

                                                                                                  I also go buy tamales but that's not exactly non-chow.

                                                                                                4. re: dalaimama

                                                                                                  It's definitely not Thanksgiving if the cranberry sauce doesnt have ridges!

                                                                                                  1. re: dalaimama

                                                                                                    My mom has started doing two cranberry sauces: one made from scratch with frozen whole cranberries, and one straight out of the can. Guess which one disappears first? It's not the same without the ridges!

                                                                                                    1. re: ajs228

                                                                                                      Amen! And I dont even like the stuff. Ridged or not! And I love that Mom puts it in a sterling silver server!

                                                                                                      1. re: MellieMac

                                                                                                        We also have both types of cranberry sauce, and the canned one is carefully "decanned" and sliced onto a silver platter as well!

                                                                                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                          No slicing in our house! Then you cant see the ridges! I find myself EVERY year setting the table and saying "it's not Thanksgiving if there arent ridges!" I love the holidays!

                                                                                                            1. re: kindofabigdeal

                                                                                                              I'll go ahead and assume that was out of necessity. Like they were 3 cans for 79 cents?

                                                                                                              People know you?

                                                                                                              1. re: MellieMac

                                                                                                                I keep the stuff around too, i like it with whipped cream like a dessert, or on ham, turkey ,or chicken sandwiches.

                                                                                                                1. re: MellieMac

                                                                                                                  People know me?

                                                                                                                  A combination of necessity, nutritional ignorance (it's fat free, right?), and genuine enjoyment.

                                                                                                                  1. re: kindofabigdeal

                                                                                                                    Sorry, I thought kindofabigdeal was a nod to Ron Burgundy in anchorman. It was a line he had.

                                                                                                                    1. re: MellieMac

                                                                                                                      Oh sorry, it is. I just wasn't thinking.

                                                                                                            2. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                              It ain't Thanksgiving without a can of Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce. I once had Thanksgiving dinner at a friend's house and her mom made "traditional" cranberry relish and it was horrifying. Tasted like I was eating pot pourri. Yuk!

                                                                                                        2. re: dalaimama

                                                                                                          We definitely serve homemade cranberry sauce and then the whole cranberry sauce from a can. Yum! I'm also not a fan, but my sister insists on serving corn from a can with a little butter.

                                                                                                        3. I love my sweet potato pie with marshmallow meringue, but I've lost the recipe!

                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: mainsqueeze

                                                                                                            dalaimama and mainsqueeze -- at least yours involved recipes. my mom always uses Mrs. Smith's frozen pumpkin pie.

                                                                                                            1. re: mainsqueeze

                                                                                                              Ooooh! Ooooh! Recipe please for marshmallow meringue!

                                                                                                              1. re: mrsbuffer

                                                                                                                Here's my recipe, in my own words.

                                                                                                                SWEET POTATO PIE
                                                                                                                with MARSHMALLOW MERINGUE TOPPING

                                                                                                                **Graham Cracker Crust**

                                                                                                                1-1/2 cups graham crackers, crushed
                                                                                                                1/3 cup granulated sugar
                                                                                                                1/8 tsp salt
                                                                                                                5 Tbs butter, melted

                                                                                                                Preheat oven to 325°F. - Bake 5-minutes.

                                                                                                                Mix graham cracker crumbs with sugar and butter. Spread evenly over bottom
                                                                                                                and sides of a 9-inch pie pan and bake 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

                                                                                                                **Sweet Potato Pie Filling**

                                                                                                                1-1/2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (cooked fresh or drained canned)
                                                                                                                1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
                                                                                                                1 cup whipping cream
                                                                                                                3 large eggs
                                                                                                                1 tsp vanilla extract
                                                                                                                3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
                                                                                                                1/4 tsp ground mace
                                                                                                                1/4 tsp salt

                                                                                                                Preheat oven to 400°F. - Bake 45-minutes.

                                                                                                                Place mashed sweet potatoes in large bowl. Whisk in brown sugar, whipping cream, eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, mace and salt. Mix well and transfer filling to pie crust.

                                                                                                                Bake until pie is set the in center, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool.

                                                                                                                **Marshmallow Meringue**

                                                                                                                1/4 lb Marshmallows (about 2-cups miniature marshmallows)
                                                                                                                1 Tbs Milk
                                                                                                                2 Egg Whites
                                                                                                                1/4 cup Sugar
                                                                                                                1/4 tsp Salt
                                                                                                                1/2 tsp Vanilla

                                                                                                                Preheat oven broiler. - broil about 1-minute.

                                                                                                                In a saucepan on the stove top over medium heat, heat marshmallows and milk,
                                                                                                                folding gently until marshmallows are about half melted.
                                                                                                                Remove from heat and continue folding until mixture is smooth and fluffy.

                                                                                                                In a separate bowl, beat egg whites, add sugar gradually and continue beating until stiff and smooth. Add salt and vanilla. Fold into marshmallow mixture and spread over pie.

                                                                                                                Bake under oven broiler about 1 minute or until light brown.

                                                                                                                Enough Meringue for 1 (9-inch) pie.

                                                                                                              2. re: mainsqueeze

                                                                                                                I'm with mainsqueeze, except I go with the casserole form so that it disguises itself as a side.

                                                                                                              3. Green bean casserole with French's onions -- my mom (who refuses to make them) remembers them as "Company Beans" from the 50s.

                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: dinner belle

                                                                                                                  I thought Company Beans were baked beans with pork?

                                                                                                                  1. re: dinner belle

                                                                                                                    We had Company Potatoes also know as Funeral Potatoes. We usually had those at Easter -
                                                                                                                    diced potatoes (no skins, of course), onion, tons of cream cheese, pepper and bread crumbs. Eat and nap. repeat. Good cold or hot!

                                                                                                                    1. re: stellamystar

                                                                                                                      Our Company Potatoes are shredded, mixed with a pint of half and half, and baked with cheddar on top.

                                                                                                                      1. re: JGrey

                                                                                                                        My family's version is called Party Potatoes and includes cream of chicken soup too. It's a classic along with Mom's Christmas Day beef tenderloin marinated in French dressing. Oh man, that stuff is good!

                                                                                                                        1. re: JGrey

                                                                                                                          I grew up knowing these as "lucious potatoes" I love them! Always served with the big spiral ham.

                                                                                                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                            I always make scalloped potatoes ( sliced potatoes, sliced onions, hot milk, cheddar cheese, salt and pepper, layered and bakes in a shallow pan) to go with the lovely Easter ham. And asparagus.

                                                                                                                      2. re: dinner belle

                                                                                                                        I love the green bean casserole, but I use fresh green beans and make my own sauce with sour cream base. They must be topped with no less than 2 small cans of fried onions. This ingredient is not debatable.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Kelli2006

                                                                                                                          I did Green Bean casserole with a jar of alfredo sauce (classico brand) one year. Very tasty - still had the onions, too!

                                                                                                                      3. We always have a pistachio pudding salad with miniature marshmallows and pineapple in it...but why? No one in the family seems to know when it was added to the traditional fare. Being Latina, we also have tamales with our coffee that morning---to give us energy to cook for hours. The tamales were a latecomer to the T'giving table, though. It wasn't until I moved back to Texas that we started that tradition. My family aren't tamale makers but there are many home based tamale makers in Austin.

                                                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Kaya_n_Austin

                                                                                                                          Funny story about psitachio pudding salad:
                                                                                                                          A friend of mine grew up with with that dish being a regular part of a holiday meal. Using the pistachio-flavored boxed pudding mix, the "salad" is green. One year, she was making it and accidentally knocked it over onto the cat that was asleep at her feet...the WHITE cat. Yes, it dyed part of the white cat green. To this day, her family calls that dish Green Cat Salad.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Honey Bee

                                                                                                                            This was called Watergate Salad in my family. Your guess is as good as mine.

                                                                                                                            It alternated with a fruit salad that consisted of a large can of fruit cocktail (drained, preferably in juice or light syrup), a bag of sweetened coconut and a large tub of sour cream. This is still surprisingly delightful, and I've been known to make it myself.

                                                                                                                            Thanksgiving is my holiday, and Thanksgiving week is my favorite week of the year. It's probably because it's the only major holiday that isn't religious or nationalistic in origin: it's about food, family and relaxation, a kind of ramping up to the general insanity of the holiday season.

                                                                                                                            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                                                                                              Re: the fruit cocktail/coconut/sour cream thing... what do you eat this with? Alone? It sounds awfully rich to just eat it by the spoonful.

                                                                                                                              1. re: mainsqueeze

                                                                                                                                That's why you only take a spoonful or two! That fairly mingy amount could feed 8-9 people, with leftovers.

                                                                                                                              2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                                                                                                I was in the ninth grade when Watergate was taking place (1972). By eleventh grade people were making this cake called Watergate Cake. A girl in my class brought one of these to school - a cake made with this fabulous new invention - Instant Pistachio Pudding!! According to this girl's mother, it was called Watergate Cake because it was green (representing money) and full of nuts (the politicians) and it was frosted with Cover Up Frosting. Seventies food humor.

                                                                                                                                I've been addicted to Pistachio Pudding ever since. My friends think I'm crazy. "What IS that half eaten bowl of green stuff in your refrigerator?" Pure heaven.

                                                                                                                                A link to the cake recipe (there a MILLION out there - all slightly different):


                                                                                                                                History of Watergate Salad and Cake (with no real explanation about the name):


                                                                                                                                I've never had the salad - sounds good. I LOVE the GREEN CAT SALAD story!

                                                                                                                                OH! - I forgot this was a Thanksgiving food topic.

                                                                                                                                Our "weird" thing my mother always served was hot sauerkraut with butter. I think this was because my grandmother used to make sauerkraut from scratch years ago, and it was a real treat. However, Mother's was from a can.

                                                                                                                                No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without hot buttered sauerkraut!

                                                                                                                                1. re: GloriaSwansonsTVdinner

                                                                                                                                  This cake is my non-foodie Christmas recipe (because it's green) but I never knew the Watergate name!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: GloriaSwansonsTVdinner

                                                                                                                                    I love pistachio pudding too. When my daughter makes pudding for dessert, sometimes she'll mix a box of pistachio with a box of chocolate.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                                                                                                    Supposedly it originated at the Watergate Hotel restaurant in Washington DC...my Ex-MIL used to make it every year...Thank goodness it tastes good cause it was the only edible thing on her Thankgiving table!!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Pjacob01

                                                                                                                                      i cannot imagine the watergate hotel serving a pistachio pudding with pineapple and marshmallows. i like to go to the food timeline, which attributes it to kraft! ;-).

                                                                                                                                    2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                                                                                                      I'm waxing nostalgic on the eve of TG....We always adored "Honeymoon Salad" It too has a dressing of sour cream but included Cool Whip. The fruits never varied and were Maraschino cherries, pineapple tidbits, and mandarin oranges. Add sweetened flaked coconut, mini marshmallows and chopped pecans. It is very rich indeed.

                                                                                                                                      Our other low-brow favorite is corn pudding made from :
                                                                                                                                      1 can whole kernel corn, drained
                                                                                                                                      1 can cream corn
                                                                                                                                      1 stick butter
                                                                                                                                      1 (8 oz.) pkg. sour cream
                                                                                                                                      1 box Jiffy corn bread mix
                                                                                                                                      Bke 45 mins at 350

                                                                                                                                      1. re: chainique

                                                                                                                                        that corn pudding is good -- and simple! you can also "doctor" it with add-ins.

                                                                                                                                  3. re: Kaya_n_Austin

                                                                                                                                    I know how it got added to our holiday fare - we lived in northern MN! Oh, the exotic flavor of pistachio pudding from a box. Always the cop-out potluck side, paired with green bean "hotdish" w/french onions.

                                                                                                                                  4. Any recipes that require canned cranberry jelly?

                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: mainsqueeze

                                                                                                                                      Yes, a Tbsp each of whole cranberry sauce and brie, wrapped in puff pastry or phyllo, brush with butter and bake for appetizers.
                                                                                                                                      The other dish we can't do without is broccoli and cheese (Velveeta) topped with Ritz crackers. With lots of butter throughout.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                        Oh, cranberry and brie phyllo pocket thingies sound excellent!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                          I'm a huge cranberry sauce fan...so this sounds delish!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                            The cranberry/brie things are so good, they could be a meal by themselves. I got the recipe from Ocean Spray, but it's not much of a recipe. Just little cubes of brie, a spoonful of whole cranberry, brush the phyllo with melted butter and fold bottom corner over into triangles a few times. Bake 10 minutes, then let cool because they are hot!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                              I CAN'T WAIT to try this! This will be appearing over the weekend -- I will not wait for Thanksgiving. I love whipping up new phyllo surprises, and lately we're on an appetizers-for-dinner kick in my house. We make a monster-size batch of a new recipe I want to try, as my sweety insists that we always make the full company's-coming-amount, and then the two of us watch, ummm, something silly like Desperate Housewives and indulge. So tonight or Saturday it will be your phyllo munchies. Thank you.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: mainsqueeze

                                                                                                                                            I make sweet and sour meatballs. Make your favorite meatballs, melt one can of whole cranberries with one 14 ounce bottle heinz catsup. Add meatballs and let it simmer for an hour or so on low. I ususally add a little brown sugar and lemon juice for a more sweet and sour taste, and maybe some sour salt.

                                                                                                                                          3. Jello mold - with cool whip, pineapple, pecans and marshmallow - yum, yum, yum!

                                                                                                                                            1. My family liked this, but I did not...Ambrosia...UGH.

                                                                                                                                              See, I am motivated first by texture, then by taste. Ambrosia has Coconut flakes in it...and whipped cream isn't supposed to be chunky. LOL

                                                                                                                                              Other than that, tastes good...but it's one of those things that was always a staple on the holiday table.

                                                                                                                                              11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: mainsqueeze

                                                                                                                                                  Picture whipped cream and fruit cocktail mixed together with coconut flakes, and you basically have Ambrosia...there may have been some jello involved, but I can't remember.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: akcskye

                                                                                                                                                    I'd read this far in this most interesting thread and was fearful I was not going to find Ambrosia mentioned. This was an absolute "must" for every Thanksgiving & Christmas meal at our home and homes of all relatives on both sides of the family - though I do not know why, for to me its taste does not anywhere near justify all the work involved. Know there are many, many versions of ambrosia, but that made by all in our family was a very simple recipe - fresh cut up oranges, canned crushed pineapple, and coconut (preferably from fresh coconut). Grating that coconut and especially fooling with cutting up all those juicy, sticky oranges just was not worth it to me. Think if needed they also put a little sugar into the ambrosia, but no whipped cream, other fruits, jello, etc. as other ambrosias I've had sometimes contain. I actually liked what the folks called "fruit salad" better than ambrosia. Can't remember all details but was chopped apples, pecans, celery (and think maybe at times raisins, Mandrin orange slices, and maybe some other fruits), but apples, pecans, celery were main ingredients, lightly moistened with mayonnaise. And I can never think of holiday meals and coconut without thinking of a coconut cake (made from fresh coconut) by one aunt every Thanksgiving & Christmas. Absolutely best coconut cake I've ever eaten. After Aunt Vera died, both my mother and other aunt tried to make the cake using her recipe exactly, but neither could ever get their cakes to come out nearly as good as was Aunt Vera's.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: foodisgreat

                                                                                                                                                      That apple salad sounds like what my Mom called Waldorf Salad.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                        Hi, coll. I think this apple salad (or "fruit salad" as it was called in the family) was some version of, variation on the Waldorf Salad theme.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: foodisgreat

                                                                                                                                                          I always forget about Waldorf salad, I should make some tonight. I'll add a few other things like your family does too. Thanks for the idea!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                            Waldorf was the absolute MUST when I was growing up. When I took over the cooking it kinda went away...but I think it might make a comeback this year...I'm kinda nostalgic this year with both Mom and Dad passed on...Dad really loved it...and hubby loves it now too.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Pjacob01

                                                                                                                                                              I really love Waldorf salad, I doubt we'll have it for TG dinner, but I'm going to cook a TG part deux just to have leftovers, and I WILL have waldorf salad.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: foodisgreat

                                                                                                                                                        My brother was a caterer and we always used his fast, easy, inexpensive recipe for ambrosia: Canned fruit cocktail, sour cream, mini marshmallows.

                                                                                                                                                        Drain the fruit cocktail and reserve the liquid for another use or drink it. Add all fruit, sour cream and marshmallows (amounts to taste) to a large bowl, fold gently to coat everything with the sour cream, cover w/ plastic wrap, then chill in fridge for at least 2 hrs.

                                                                                                                                                        Ta dah! You're done. The sugar in the cocktail will easily sweeten the ambrosia, never add whipped cream! Don't add apples or bananas--they will quickly brown.

                                                                                                                                                        To spiff up, add coconut, mandarin orange segments (drained). Walnut or pecan fragments work well as a garnish.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: KenWritez

                                                                                                                                                          My mother made that stuff every Thanksgiving. She called it "Fruit Salad." I hated it, my brothers hated it and it took at least 15 years before she realized that we never ate it. It finally died. Thank goodness.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: foodisgreat

                                                                                                                                                          My mom's Ambrosia salad had tiny marshmallows in it as well.

                                                                                                                                                  2. Hashbrown casserole. Frozen hashbrowns baked with a couple sticks of butter, a bunch of shredded cheese, cream of chicken soup and sour cream - baked and topped with crushed potato chips. So gross, but very yummy. Funny part is we introduced some friends to this not too long ago as a joke and everyone went completely crazy for it.

                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bullygirl

                                                                                                                                                      No, I don't think it'd be gross at all. I like the idea of potato chips as the topping vs. crackers or bread crumbs...that would give you the salt without having to add it...I wonder...do you use plain chips? I bet ranch chips would be delish!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bullygirl

                                                                                                                                                        There was a great thread on these potatoes a while ago- I think the thread called them Mormon Funeral Potatoes. We call them Cheesy potatoes- and I have never met anyone who does not like them! We sometimes top them with corn flakes- and sometimes add cubed ham and broccoli ( and then pretend they are almost healthy because of the broccoli!). We don't have them on Thanksgiving, but they usually appear at Easter brunch!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: macca

                                                                                                                                                          How about we sometimes have these for brunch and add cooked, crumbled breakfast sausage? Also very good!

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: bullygirl

                                                                                                                                                          Yup, but with corn flakes instead of potato chips. So bad yet so good.

                                                                                                                                                        3. oh that's an easy one

                                                                                                                                                          Ocean Spray canned cranberry sauce, jellied only!

                                                                                                                                                          1. Green bean casserole, made with canned french cut green beans. Hardly anyone else eats it, but it's one of those must-haves for me. I make a small dish of it (2 cans beans worth).

                                                                                                                                                            1. My brother would disown me if he read this, but for me it is that hideous green bean casserole you make with cream of mushroom soup and french fried onions. Sorry to all those that may be fans of said concoction and such, but to me, it looks disgusting and tastes worse.

                                                                                                                                                              Edited to add... boogiebaby posted right before me and I didn't notice his post above mine says essentially the same thing. Ah well, GMTA!

                                                                                                                                                              1. A dish called "San Antonio Squash". It's served at Threadgill's in Austin and is available frozen in the grocery stores there. Since we've moved back to Rhode Island, I still make it every year as my mother is bereft if it's not on the table. Thank goodness Threadgill's posted the recipe on their website! It's a mixture of yellow summer squash, onions, cream of mushroom soup, hot peppers, and Velveeta - topped with bread crumbs and baked.

                                                                                                                                                                1. My brother would kill my mom if she didn't make the famous broccoli rice casserole. I have NO idea where it came from but it is Uncle Ben's white rice, cheese whiz, broccoli, and walnuts. Assemble and bake in oven. It's kind of like mac and cheese with veggies...and nuts.

                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roma_girl

                                                                                                                                                                    I have a broccoli casserole that is soooo yummmy
                                                                                                                                                                    thawed frozen broccoli, 1 cup mayo, 1 can cream of mushroom, 2 beaten eggs and 8 oz. grated swiss. mix all of these and bake 35 minutes covered at 375, then uncover, mix in a box of croutons and bake additional minutes uncovered. My absolute favorite dish on the Thanksgiving table!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: soyummmy

                                                                                                                                                                      what size baking dish do you use, and how many people does it serve? thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                  2. ever since I was little, the night befor Thanksgiving, my Papa would put together his own pasta dough and make homemade noodles that he would dry on a plastic table cloth (set aside just for this purpose) overnight. The next day, my mom would set aside the gizzard and some of the stock from the turkey, and cook the pasta in it with the gizzard diced up. It was so hard to decide between these noodles and the turkey because just one bowlful was enough to put you in a food coma.
                                                                                                                                                                    My boyfriend was introduced to these "noodles" as they are simply called and he is counting down the days to Thanksgiving so that they can get reacquainted :) I think he's hooked!

                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dodgerfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                      I don't know, dodgerfoodie, that sounds mighty foodie to me. And it sounds fantastic, as nothing beats hommade noodles.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kkak97

                                                                                                                                                                        well if you knew my family you would think it anything but foodie haha...my dad thinks everything should be battered and deep fried or mixed with a can of cream of mushroom soup...I cant believe this one survived his cooking past but Im glad it did!

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: dodgerfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                        Dodger - my grandma (from KS) would do the same only w/ a roast on Sundays. I love those homemade, knobby noodles. Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: stellamystar

                                                                                                                                                                          they are a permanent favorite in our house thats for sure...I think there would be an uprising at any holiday at which they didnt make an appearance

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: stellamystar

                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah! I remember my grandmother making what must have been spaezle (or the Hungarian equivalent) -- eggs and flour for the dough, then cutting off little bits with a knife and dropping them into soup.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. I just thought of another one. My husband's family always ate what they call salami coronets for an appetizer on T'giving... slices of salami rolled with cream cheese filling.

                                                                                                                                                                          Dh's family always has what they call salami coronets for an appetizer on T'giving Day. They're salami slices rolled with cream cheese filling.

                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mercyteapot

                                                                                                                                                                            My Dh's family has the following "appetizer"

                                                                                                                                                                            1 green onion
                                                                                                                                                                            smear cream cheese on the green onion
                                                                                                                                                                            roll in thinly sliced corned beef or deli ham

                                                                                                                                                                            eat like Bug's Bunny's carrot.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: stellamystar

                                                                                                                                                                              I've seen a similar recipe calling for a pickle in place of the green onion. Cream cheese gets lots of play around Thanksgiving!

                                                                                                                                                                          2. One of our standards is a baked corn casserole souffle thing maded with canned cream corn, peppers and onions--even topped with crushed saltine crackers. It's been served at every Thanksgiving meal in my family since the early 1900s. I can't stop now! Grandma would roll over in her grave!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. When I was still living with my parents, we would go to my older sisters for Thanksgiving. This is in the mid-Hudson valley. In addition to Turkey, stuffing, etc, there would also be: a roast beef. A disposable aluminum pan full of ziti with red sauce. Sometimes the unusual combo of linguini with corn kernels. A total mish-mosh of food, some of which was traditional, and some was....filler.
                                                                                                                                                                              Oh, and she was never much of a veggie eater, so there is always the token green beans (overcooked) and the token iceberg and styrofoam tomato salad. With a selection of 8 different bottled dressings.
                                                                                                                                                                              We made Thanksgiving dinner at my parents one year when we visited, very nice, probably the best dinner that ever graced my parents table, and my sis shows up with....ziti. Gotta love her.

                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MsDiPesto

                                                                                                                                                                                Where in the mid-Hudson Valley? We are originally from Marlboro.

                                                                                                                                                                                And no dinner was complete without an antipasto (pronounced antipast) consisting of Genoa salami, slicing pepperoni, celery sticks, sliced provolone which is layed on a platter. On top of that was dumped a jar of artichoke hearts undrained, a jar of roasted red pepper undrained, chucks of the stinkiest provolone you could find (it wasn't smelly enough unless it smelled like feet) and chunks of pepperoni. Delicious, but not heart healthy.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mrsbuffer

                                                                                                                                                                                  Sorry to be late in replying, I grew up in Hurley/Kingston, sis lives in Ulster Park. Are you familiar with Cappolla's restaurant? It was in Highland, started in a storefront and then they built a new place on 9W (Cappollas Fantasia or something like that). That was my fave Italian food, esp when Vinny, the dad was still supervising.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. You start the event with chips & dip--always featuring Velveeta and Ro-Tel tomatoes nuked together, dipped up with tortilla chips (if you must) or Ruffles. If it thickened up, Grandma would nuke it again.

                                                                                                                                                                                She used to would put her turkey in the oven and set the timer so it started cooking at like 3 a.m., because they liked to wake up in the morning to the smell of turkey. When it was done (she always cooked a 20+ pound bird) she'd carve it all up and put it in the roaster to reheat just before dinner. I never saw a turkey carved till my husband and I started doing our own. Dressing is made in its own pan, never stuffed into the bird. When my mom (an Okie) joined the family, she made cranberry sauce every year--the Kansas side of the family didn't know anything about such things. Then we had mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, rolls, and my aunt Edna's escalloped asparagus:

                                                                                                                                                                                Drain canned asparagus (amount is according to how many you're serving; I usually use four cans), place in casserole pan and salt lightly. Top with sliced hard-boiled eggs (at least 3; I use 6). Make a medium white sauce and add a jar of Old English cheese (sharp Cheddar spread). Pour this over the asparagus and eggs, and top with buttered bread crumbs. Bake at 350 until the crumbs are brown and the sauce is bubbly.

                                                                                                                                                                                This stuff rocks, and I can't imagine Thanksgiving dinner without it, even now that Edna is gone. (I make it for my own Thanksgiving dinner; last year when I had had knee surgery the day before thanksgiving, my husband made it and did just fine.)

                                                                                                                                                                                We also have some kind of salad or other vegetables. If I'm there my aunt Sue always makes a big mess of pretzel jello, which I love--but I can't eat a whole doggone pan of it by myself! There are usually sweet potatoes, but I don't really care about them (the only time I remember the sweet potatoes was one time when we were having Thanksgiving with the other side of the family and my aunt Pat burned the marshmallows on top of the yams, and never heard the end of it). Other times we have other things. But you don't mess with the basic menu. one year they did, trying to spare my grandma the chore of cooking the turkey, and even my dad, who hates turkey, said, "Why didn't we have any Thanksgiving food?"

                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: revsharkie


                                                                                                                                                                                  I LOVE this post! These are the exact things I was looking for in responses. But I really have to ask what is pretzel jello? I think you are he second or third person to mention it and I've never heard of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kkak97

                                                                                                                                                                                    Pretzel jello is awesome. It's a crust of crushed pretzels mixed with sugar and butter, a layer of dream whip mixed with sugar and cream cheese, and then a layer of strawberry or rasberry jello mixed with strawberries or rasberries.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mollyomormon

                                                                                                                                                                                      ...and then, in my aunt Sue's version (always strawberry, never raspberry), another layer of whipped cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. my mom's/grandmother's stuffing recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                  two of the main ingredients are canned mushrooms and cornflakes...not exactly foodie fare, but family & friends used to wait all year for it!

                                                                                                                                                                                  i modified it a few years ago, and [much to mom's chagrin] my sister insists it's even better now :)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. clam dip.
                                                                                                                                                                                    canned clams, cream cheese and lots of salty stuff.
                                                                                                                                                                                    love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Our entire dinner is a big foodie nightmare, but the big staple at Thanksgiving dinner is the cranberry jello, which is a combination of some form of red jello (strawberry or raspberry), can of cranberry sauce with whole or crushed cranberries, frozen strawberries and a can of crushed pineapple. Gets finished off way faster than the jellied cranberries do.

                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: empfam

                                                                                                                                                                                        The way we did cranberry jello at the cafeteria was with raspberry jello. Then there were nuts (always local, native pecans) in it along with the chopped cranberries and crushed pineapple.

                                                                                                                                                                                        We also had a cranberry-marshmallow salad that was pretty much the same only it was mixed with whipped cream so it turned into this nice fluffy stuff. (I have these recipes, but I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post the cafeteria's recipes here, even though it's gone almost 20 years now...)

                                                                                                                                                                                        But at supper we have the basic bag of cranberries boiled in a cup of water and a cup of sugar. (My mom was on a diet a few years ago and made cranberry sauce with Splenda instead of sugar. It was just not right.)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: empfam

                                                                                                                                                                                          That reminds me...my boyfriend's Mom puts red grapes in her cranberry sauce - sliced in half. I thought it was so unusual, but when I tried it, I really liked it. The other day I spied a package of 'baby grapes' that looked adorable, but I was in a hurry and didn't take the time to see if they were seedless or not. If they're seedless, I'm thinking maybe this year, I'll add baby red grapes to my cranberry sauce and see if anyone notices. Regardless of what cranberry dish goes on the table Thanksgiving day, it does not negate the little jar of Cranberry Pecan jam I mentioned in a reply post above. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: empfam

                                                                                                                                                                                            This isn't for Thanksgiving at our house, but I've had something like that at other parties and liked it -- and I don't llke jello molds usually. But the way I had it it was very thick with mostly cranberry sauce, crushed pineapple and chopped walnuts. The jello just kind of held it together without being too sweet. And it didn't jiggle!

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. cool post!, i got a couple, my grandmothers lemon jello with pineapple shredded cabbage,and carrots ,wonderful stuff!, and my aunts warm apple sauce with red hot candy dissolved in it...makes me smile just thinking about it!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. The only time my mom (hippie, brown rice/tofu/steamed veggies) would buy white bread was for Thanksgiving stuffing. She was from Virginia, dammit, and our stuffing would have white bread, onions, celery and milk. Oh, and some dried sage.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: elizabells


                                                                                                                                                                                                This is very similar to my family's dressing, but mine has a pound of bacon, and I saute the onions and celery in the bacon fat WITH a stick of butter. Then I use evaporated milk to soften my white bread. I hate white bread, but dressing with anything but is an abomination. This recipe has been handed down from my great grandmother.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: elizabells

                                                                                                                                                                                                  My mother (who is not a hippie at all) decided to cook a Heart Healthy T-day one year from a very hippie cookbook. The next year we ate out. Then the cookbook mysteriously disappeared.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Candle salad. Perhaps the only dish that was always served on its own plate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  A leaf of iceberg, topped with a cottage cheese. A ring of canned pineapple. Then half a banana, topped with half a maraschino cherry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  So wrong in so many ways...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                                    My late M-I-L always made pear salad. Lettuce leaf on salad plate, one pear half, dollop of mayo, grated cheddar. Sounds bad, tastes good. I kind of miss it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pattisue

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Gotta top it with the Maraschino Cherry!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. For me it was Creamed onions....yup...drain those jars of Aunt Nellies, plop em in a pot with a can of cream of mushroom soup. I have added to it since Mom isn't around...use additional shitakes, sherry or white wine, and thyme...but it's something I HAVE to have. I'm such a fan that sometimes I make a mini-Thanksgiving dinner for one...with the onions, a roasted turkey thigh, and GASP...stovetop stuffing with extra onions and celery! OOH...I want it tonight now!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I must have been sleeping when I first responded to this post, because I answered what was the most non-foodie thing we have for Thanksgiving, not what my favorite non-foodie thing is. My favorite, and my son's too, is a salad that once upon a time was based on a Waldorf salad but has morphed into something altogether different. Start with apples, walnuts and mayo (the only remaining vesiges of Waldorf salad) and add seedless grapes, sliced banana, and mini-marshmallows. The mayo is mixed with an equal amount of Cool Whip for a dressing. This is especially good the 2nd and 3rd day (if it makes it that far). We only eat it on Thanksgiving and Christmas, but we love it. Yep, we're strange, all right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mercyteapot

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh that's funny...my family morphed almost EXACTLY the same thing....hmm...maybe we are genetically related! LOL!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. None of our dishes are "foodie" - Thanksgiving for us is about tradition and the same side dishes have been making an appearance since mom took over:

                                                                                                                                                                                                        blue cheese dip w/ raw veggies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        butternut squash soup
                                                                                                                                                                                                        mashed potatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                        baked sweet potatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                        creamed onions
                                                                                                                                                                                                        caramelized onions
                                                                                                                                                                                                        cranberry relish
                                                                                                                                                                                                        some type of green

                                                                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gini

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Butternut squash soup is pretty foodie, I'd say.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mercyteapot

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Really? Seems to me like the damn things sprout up all over the northeast in the fall. Baked & pureed with chicken stock definitely makes everyone say: wow! how fancy! Oh, wait.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jello-salad seems incredibly exotic to me. And no, I've never had a green bean casserole. Ever. Only had my first taste of mac & cheese 2 years ago. Different reference points, i guess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gini

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Being ubiquitous doesn't mean it can't be foodie, does it? At a bare minimum, it seems to be very trendy, especially for something that's been around forever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Don't worry, you're not missing a thing when it comes to the green bean casserole.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gini

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Never had grean bean casserole? Only tried mac and cheese two years ago? I think I was weaned on both of those.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Dax

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And I was weened on linguine with clams. Guess I'm not cool after all!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gini

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Conversely I've never had linguine with clams so my cool factor must be pretty low too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. The cheap-o turkey from the freezer section in the grocery store! Why spend $150 for a bird that has American roots deeper than mine when it is simply a vehicle for gravy, and later pumpernickel and mayo? Anyway, my favorite part of the turkey is the stock I use 'till February. And no, this isn't because we cook the daylites out of the poor critter; brined and delicious is our ceremonial bird.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Having grown up in a kosher, Holocaust survivor household, holidays were all about food. My immigrant parents and Grandma (she lived with us) prepared tons of ethnic food but Thanksgiving was all about American food. Nothing Hungarian about Thanksgiving. We alternated visiting relatives in Cincinnati and would have the turkey at around 2 p.m. and serve a light supper around 7 p.m. just before the guests would leave. My favorite memories are my mother's interpretation of stuffing with Pepperidge Farm croutons, onions, mushrooms, celery, etc., sweet potatoes (Bruce's yams from the can), jellied cranberry sauce (Ocean Spray), a kosher version of green bean casserole and dinner rolls from the bakery. Because the pumpkin pie was dairy (from the bakery too), we always ate it on paper plates with plastic utensils. For the light supper, we had leftover turkey sandwiches and a Pepperidge Farm chocolate cake, a treat to me as my mother & grandma always made our desserts from scratch (Hungarian/Austrian specialties!). To my brother & me Wonder Bread was a treat as we always got our bread from a bakery (Vienna bread). In retrospect, Thanksgiving was probably the worst culinary use of my grandma & mother's talents, but you have to admire how eager they were to "fit in" and prepare a REAL American holiday tradition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Our Thanksginving is routed in trdition, too. We have all of the items we ate when my brothers and I were kids, and my grandmother prepared the meal. And we have added new items as we had our own kids. But, I do notice that we never leave anything out- we only add. FOr appetizers, we have cheese, crakcers ( must include triscuts for one neice), pepperoni, spinach dip, my borthers wonderful stuffed mushroom, a fabulous clam chownder compliments of a SIL, a mexican layer dip. For dinner, the bird, gallons of gravy- stuffing made with bread, chicken ctock, butter, onins, celery and bells seasonings ( last year we used ten loaves of bread!) potaotes, sweet potatoes, spinach, butternut squash, boiled onion, carrots, peas, cabbage salad, canned corn for the picky eaters, green beans, cranberry sauce and dinner rolls. For dessert, I bake the pies (apple, pumpkin, lemon merangue and blueberry), truffels from another SIL, and some kind of chocolate dessert.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                U usually try a new preparation of an item and see how it flys.One year it was cranberry sauce- now dinner must include both homemade sauce as well as ocean spray. Last year I made some kind of sweet potato casserole ( no marhsmallows!), but the family prefers them with just butter, sal and papper, so I will go back to tradition this year. It is a lot of work, and a lot of food, but is the favorite family holiday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: macca

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I haven't seen anyone mention Cope's corn yet. Although it is not the tastiest corn IMHO, it is a must have at our Thanksgiving. We soak the kernels overnight and cook it up the next morning. My dad is Pennsylvania Dutch, so the corn, cranberry relish ground up in the meat grinder with orange peel, sugar, and walnuts, and really crispy crouton stuffing is his favorite. We live in the south now, so we also have a tasty concoction of cornbread dressing with an actual whole chicken shredded in it. Talk about poultry overload!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The day after Thanksgiving he insists we make a huge quadruple batch of sand tart cookies (made with rose water) to tide us over until Christmas. Thanksgiving to Christmas in our family is a constant month of really good eating!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mtleahy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cope's corn! I have two boxes waiting in my pantry right now. Thank goodness for being able to order through websites as they do not seem to carry this in Florida grocery stores. My father's side is Pennsylvania Dutch too...Shoo Fly Pie and all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hey - do you happen to know of a good way to use up a log of Lebanon Bologna? I have a sweet & a regular sitting in my freezer and my boyfriend is not overly keen on either...which I find strange for someone that can't eat enough beef jerky. My typical use is pan-frying thick slices in a dry pan...then putting in a sandwich...but then I'm left with a ton of sausage after I get my fix.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: debrolex

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I remembered that Emeril did a baked bologna on one of his episodes...


                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: debrolex

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        AHHH, Lebanon Bologna!!! Everytime I ever visited my grandma in York we went to the Farmers Market and bought several pounds of it. We ate it on sandwiches, but my dad's favorite is to serve it in big hungs with a nice sharp cheddar, spicy mustard, Wege's or Gettysburg hard pretzels(extra salt), Utz's chips, pickles, red beet eggs, and olives. My dad is a little OCD you might say so he assembles all of these items in a circle on a plate and eats them counterclockwise until only one bite of each remains and he finishes his favorite thing last (the hard pretzel) : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now that I live in New Orleans we put the lebanon bologna on our muffaletta sandwiches. It is kind of the same idea (good cheese, salty spicy meats, pickled olive spread, and great french bread). By the way, the Emeril's recipe calls for the traditional kind of bologna which as you know is very different from Lebanon. However, it might be interesting to see how it would come out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh what I wouldn't do to be going this Saturday to the farmer's market in York and getting lots of yummy food!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mtleahy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          that farmers market is still there, and it is a great stop!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mschow

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But sadly, the individual Knaub's cakes are not. They were a staple for our Holiday meals. We all got to choose our favorite types of cakes and they were assembled in little boxes for us. You can not replicate those choices or flavors. That, plus all the pie choices at the market made for sugar overload at Thanksgiving. I have never seen a Farmer's Market like that found in York, our's here in New Orleans is not even close : (

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: mtleahy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Red beet eggs! Those were always served at family reunions. Hey - you might appreciate this website. Maybe a gift or two for Dad this holiday season? www.weaversbologna.com After missing an outing to Weaver's during our reunion last year, my brother informed me the flier they picked up had this website for ordering. I got the pretzel barrel to share with my co-workers and they were shocked to see each pretzel individually wrapped for freshness. We don't mess around with our pretzels. BTW - as another *slightly* OCD person, I appreciate your father's eating methods. I do it that way too...except I add apple slices & nuts to the platter as well. : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mtleahy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hey Mtleahy,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Being born and raised in Hanover (York County, PA), I know all about the joys of Lebanon Bologna, one thing my Mom would make was "bologney gravy", basically chipped beef gravy, using Lebanon Bologna in place of the dried beef. MMMMM a plate of white bread smothered in bologney gravy....And I have to add you have not tasted an Utz potato chips until you have purchased them at the factory in metal cans, I don't even eat the ones in bags @ supermarket.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: macca

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My mom would always make spinach dip with dried vegetable soup mix, sour cream and mayo in a hollowed out pumpernickel loaf, with the displaced bread to dip with. Also homemade nuts and bolts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: trixel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I did something similar a few years ago as a joke. Fans of 40 year old virgin will understand. Anyway, it has now become a mandatory items for Thanksgiving football festivities!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: trixel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              are you referring to the knorr's dip? food of the gods, my friend, food of the gods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, the heavenly Knorr packet spinach dip. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: trixel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                my friend's mom always made the dip with Lipton's onion soup mix, spinach, water chestnuts and mayo and sour cream, and sometimes I think, pimento. She served it in a hollowed out Hawaiian Round Sweet Loaf... and we'd tear off pieces of the loaf and eat our way down... mmm memories of high school.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Since we're an American/Japanese family, next to the mashed potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, and stuffing with apples & onions, that we must have, we always have onigiri, and a big bowl of cold broccoli that we dip in mayonnaise mixed with shoyu & sesame oil. And my daughter makes sure I make an apple pie. I never ate pumpkin pie until last year,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              cant say I missed it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. In my family we sometimes have about 30-40 (extended) people for Thanksgiving and we all have very different opinions about what good food is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Non-Foodie favorites are the salad my sister always makes that we don't remember the name of: half and half, fruit cocktail, madarin oranges, grapes, and mini marshmellows. Soak the mini-marshmellows and half and half until the marshmellows break down and fluff the mixture. Mix in the fruit and serve. It was a recipe inherited from my maternal grandmother. Everyone loves it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Green bean casserole is super.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My family seems to prefer canned sweet potatos to real. I don't get it. I offered to make a sweet potato casserole with a praline streussle, but got voted down for mini marshmellows and canned spuds. The horrors the horrors.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Appetizers include cheese straws, shrimp cocktail, relish trays with black olives (the seedless kind from the can) green pimento olves, mini sweet gerkins, my grandma's homeade bread and butter pickles and dill pickle spears.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dessert for the longest time included Mrs Smith's pies and chocolate creme pies made from instant chocolate pudding, store bought grahm cracker crust and cool whip. I've been bringing homeade pies for awhile now, but still get beat hands down by the chocolate pudding pie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The one food I really miss since I became a vegetarian, my grandfather's homeade sausage stuffing. There was so much sausage in the stuffing it bled liquid fat in little orange pools around itself on your plate. (insert homer simpson drool here) The best stuff ever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: adventuresinbaking

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ditto on the relish tray. Black canned olives (which was the only time all year mom didn't just buy the green ones with the pimento), green olives and gherkins. It has it's own cut glass tray which is used once a year only.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: elayne5

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We do this too! We have two glass bowls, and each bowl has three sections- one for the black olive, one for the grean olives, and one for the sweet pickle mix. I think the bowls are worth a fortune, but have survived decades of Holidays without a mishap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: elayne5

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We also had the black canned olives and relish tray. Same tray every year too. Now I've got my own cut glass tray that I use for the relish tray at my house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kkak97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Indeed, for Thanksgiving & Christmas break out that antique cut glass for pickles, black & green olives, celery (both stuffed & unstuffed). Only times those dishes & trays ever used.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: elayne5

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For me, it's not REALLY Thanksgiving until you slip pitted black olives onto your fingertips, wiggle them about, and then eat the olives. Ah, memories of the kid's table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: KenWritez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I know it was the highlight of the appetizers, being able to play with the olives. I tried it last year for nostalgia's sake, but those holes are a lot smaller than I remember.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In our family there isn't much difference between the kids table and the adults. One year we had some role throwing action between the two.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ahh the holidays :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. This is my favorite post , I've seen in chow hound, I love reading about all of these family traditions...it's wonderful, not so much about the food as you would think, but about families, and people...unless I marry I will most likely never experience a family holiday dinner again,in ways thats a good thing!( LOL) ,my all time fave dish was a salad my grandmother made from grapes ,pineapple, mini marshmallows,egg yolks,lemon juice, and whipped cream...i still make it from time to time, just to remember, enjoy, and appreciate what you have!.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jword2001

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I thought we were the only people with the mini marshmellow and whip cream salad! My sister brings it to a lot of holiday parties and everyone is always put off at first and then raves about it. Well with that much sugar and cream how can you not I guess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. This post is hysterical! Our family also has the classic green bean casserole, complete with French's onioins. My mom also makes the broccoli rice casserole (my family is big on casseroles) and some weird cake/cobbler thingy where she dumps some boxed yellow cake mix and some canned pie fillings together and bakes it up. I think it's actually called "dump cake". My all time favorite Thanksgiving dish, however, is mashed rutabegas. I don't remember a Thanksgiving without them. A little butter and gravy.....mmmmmmm. We had some guests last year that ate up all the rutabegas and I was mad as all get out ;) I hope they go someplace else this year.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: diablo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Rutabagas are a tradition in my family too! Although it never gets forgotten to tell the story of the first time I had them at my grandmother's house and ask where she got the horrible orange potatoes! They seem to build traditions -- the other story always told too was that before they were married, my father came to my grandparents' house for Thanksgiving and he had to cut and peel the rutabagas (sometimes no easy task). It became his task in perpetuity (40+ years later) even though he doesn't eat them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But I must have rutabagas at Thanksgiving -- but now I have them throughout the fall. Try them cubed and roasted with sweet potatoes (with or without white potatoes and/or baby carrots)!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Once we all make it to the cottage on Thanksgiving Eve, our "family bunch" has homemade PASTA E FAGIOLI with homemade PANNI. My great-aunt is from the Isle of Capri & her Italian cooking is simple, yet wonderful. It's a family tradition that's well over 40 years old! The real treat is gathering all together on the shore & spending a long weekend with close family & friends all in slow motion - no televisions, no computers & no fuss!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JayVaBeach

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hmmm... sounds delicious, but not exactly "non-foodie." woops, I'll be silent lest a conversation regarding the definition of foodie pops up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kindofabigdeal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Please define "non-foodie" & forgive me for the err.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. How about the sweet potatoes with the marshmallows on top. Try to find a recipe for them today and there's almost always some newfangled "twist" added to them like quince marmelade or pomagrante juice etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Abbeshay

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              For you, abbeshay, and everyone else on this thread who have brightened my day by making me laugh and walking me down through some pleasant spots in Memory Lane. Sorry, no marshmallows on this one, though. This recipe doesn't need them at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My Sister Janice's Rum-Spiced Yams

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              5 - 6 pounds yams

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Arrange yams on baking sheet. Bake at 375 F for 45-60 minutes until very tender. Let stand until cool. Peel. Save flesh in mixing bowl.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Set oven to 400 F.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In mixing bowl, beat yams until smooth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1/3 cup milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1/2 cup sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1/3 cups dark rum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1/3 cups brandy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Tablespoons soft butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 teaspoon cinnamon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1/2 teaspoon salt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Stir all into yams. Adjust seasoning to taste. Mix well and spoon into greased 9"x13" baking dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 cup packed brown sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1/4 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mix sugar and nuts in separate bowl, sprinkle over yams.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 T chilled butter, cut into dots

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sprinkle chilled butter dots across surface of yams

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bake at 400 F for 30 minutes or until heated through.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Serve and enjoy! Feel free to add more butter, salt, spices or sugar if desired.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              (Note: I've increased the flavoring agents in this recipe because I enjpoy big flavors. If you want something more subtle, use 1/2 t for spices and reduce alcohols to 1/4 c. ea.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I totally agree that this is my favorite post on chowhound having just lost my last grandparent and knowing that Thanksgiving (my FAVORITE holiday hands down) will never be the same. I totally teared up reading this because it seems we're all different but the same - and it's why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday - because it's about the food and the love. I come from a family that loves good food and there is nothing foodie about our meal. Nothing. And despite moving on to new generations - there's no way I'd change a thing about it. Once a year that green bean casserole is the best thing I've ever tasted. I used to crave it pregnant because it speaks of comfort and family to me. And turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy. We do have homemade cranberries and cornbread and pies. But it's all plain and simple and perfect. THANK YOU for this post.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              p.s. Fried onions are the best. :) They're on that classic comfort food of tuna noodle casserole in our house too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: AMFM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I so agree! Last year I had Thanksgiving at our house -- just a month after my grandmother died. So I HAD to make her creamed vegetables -- not just creamed onions. Long ago she adjusted the recipe for non-onion eaters. So our Thanksgiving table is not complete without her version -- onions, cauliflower, and carrots. Depending on how it's made -- it can be very foodie!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Love this thread.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For the past 25-30 years, I have done most of the cooking for Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. The past few years my daughters are taking over and lot of the preparations and are even hosting the dinner. I love it. It is all about tradition, family, friends and FOOD. Not very CH food either.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Apps include cheddar cheese straws, chips and dips, crudites.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Turkey and ham. In recent years I have started buying Greenberg Smoked Turkey from Texas and it is terrific and much easier than getting up in the middle of the night to start a turkey.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Jello Salad, green bean casserole, broccoli-rice casserole, creamed pearl onions, yellow squash casserole, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn bread dressing,cranberry sauce (from the can) homemade dinner rolls and cinnamon monkey bread.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pumpkin pie, pecan pie, buttermilk pie.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Contributions from in-laws-Tomato aspic made with tomato soup, gelatin and hot sauce.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Awful is the only word to describe. It's the tradition in their family, so it is lovingly accepted and eaten. Other mother-in-law brings a one liter bottle of soft drink to a dinner for 20 people. Oh well.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Everyone does home with leftovers. In recent years, that disposable Gladware and Zip-lock bags have worked well.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We won't be in the states for the holidays this year. I'll make a special Mexican Thanksgiving dinner for the neighbors. Already found a supplier of fresh turkeys and Costco has spiral-cut, honey-glazed hams.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. For me it's ham-butter. Basically, you mince a bunch of ham in a Cuisinart and add a couple blocks of softened butter and some black pepper, mix it all together. It's awesome on hot biscuits, even good smeared on turkey breast, however horribly bad for you it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've seen lots of responses that say the green bean casserole-thing is at the top of people's lists. I'll be meeting my boyfriend's parents for the first time this Thanksgiving (they're from Atlanta, we're in San Francisco) and I'm told that's her signature holiday dish, which she'll be contrubuting to dinner at my house. Looking forward to trying it, I think.... :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I feel like I am standing in the corner watching all this thinking to myself...what about the stuffed celery??????? Doesn't EVERYONE have a tray of stuffed celery at Thanksgiving? ...it was then that I realized that this is not a traditional Thanksgiving dish to any family except my own. My maternal grandmother is the queen of the preparation...and heaven help the person that tries to 'help' her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Stuffed Celery

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 pkg softened cream cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 cup crushed walnuts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mix together & 'stuff' into the rib of each celery stalk (like you would peanut butter)...then slice in ~2" long pieces and arrange on platter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've switched to pecans when I make it behind her back - less bitter than walnuts...and I like to slice mine into bite-size pieces.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    P.S. My family also has the same discussion every year - as it remains unresolved - what is the difference between "stuffing", "filling" and "dressing"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: debrolex

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They were always on the relish tray.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: debrolex

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For any special occasion, my Mother would make this only no nuts -- just a sprinkle of paprika. It's tasty and easy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: debrolex

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It was a right of passage for the grandkids in my family to be allowed to make the relish tray at grandma's on Thanksgiving - complete with black and green olives, gherkins and celery stuffed with creme cheese or cheez wiz. Paprika classed the whole thing up! When the family grew and we started having smaller, separate family Thanksgivings, my mother opted for cheese and crackers, summer sausage and veggies with spinach dip as the pre-dinner pickin's

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          For all my love of Thanksgiving, day-after leftovers are my favorite meal of the year. Turkey and gravy (cooked together) and mashed potatoes made into potato pancakes. My mom passed away a few years ago without telling me her secret to keeping them from falling apart. Doesn't mater, they still rule.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Divamac

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            sorry to hear about your mom's passing. have you tried adding egg [and maybe a little flour] to bind the potato pancakes? that should keep them from falling apart.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            leftovers in our house were usually turkey sandwiches - leftover turkey on toasted white bread with tomato and mayo. nothing 'foodie' about that! oh, and of course a dish of reheated stuffing, which always tastes better the day[s] after.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Our sandwiches have stuffing and cranberry sauce on them too.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              One of my favorite days too, since I don't have to cook anything for dinner, just warm it up, and I let a giant pot of turkey soup simmer all day.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Potato pancakes definitely need an egg and a little flour, I also put a pinch of baking powder and baking soda to lighten them up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. This isn't my tradition but it was a delightful article in the Washington Post about thirty years ago. The writer remembered coming to the US with her family as Cuban immigrants. They had been told that to be American they had to have roast turkey on Thanksgiving so they did---with black beans and rice. And they were told you had to have hot rolls so they did---croissants with guava jam. She ended "And that is the way we have always done it since". Sure sounds good to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Some of my Mexican friends in the states have a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner also, but they substitute red chili gravy for the turkey gravy on the mashed potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. One thing that always disappears is deviled eggs, even the most plain ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: yayadave

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I was wondering when someone was going to say deviled eggs! I could eat a dozen if they wouldn't give me a tummy ache.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Peas. Frozen peas. Boiled. Nothing on them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Sam Ottawa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You mean you don't have to endure the entire stick of microwave-melted butter on all the vegetables served?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Sam Ottawa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We always have peas too, only with cooked carrots, mixed together.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In my family we serve butter and margarine at holidays (in separate butter dishes of course, for whatever people prefer)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: adventuresinbaking

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If we have peas it's creamed peas and onions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. We have the green jello thing too. We call it Green Junk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Stuffing, stuffing, stuffing...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Is there a person who does not love stuffing? Who cares if it's Stovetop, if it has oysters, or mushrooms, or sausage, or cranberries in it. It's stuffing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    To me, stuffing is like chocolate. Even mediocre chocolate is still decent, and worth biting into after a bad day. It's chocolate, after all.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We make ours with pimento stuffed green olives, onion, butter, broth, poultry seasoning, onion, celery. Sometimes we put some sausage in. And, it's always Pepperidge Farm white bread, slightly stale. I wish I had a big bowl of that with some mashed potatoes and gravy to wash it down right now!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mschow

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My ex-MIL made the stuffing the first year I had Thanksgiving dinner at her house. She uused those dried cube things and didn't moisten them very much. So what we ended up with was burnt croutons. Thank heaven I had insisted on making cranberry sauce even though that bunch of Yankees didn't know what to do with it. You couldn't NOT eat the stuffing; that would have been rude, so the next best thing was to drown it in a ton of cranberry sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My grandma makes the best. Two parts bread and one part cornbread, with lots of sage, butter, onion, celery. You get it good and soggy with eggs and broth, and cook it till it sets. If you can make out discrete cubes of bread it's not soggy enough. Then you bake it till it sets up like a nice savory bread pudding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now and then she'll make one pan of oyster stuffing for the about three people at the table who like it (I'm not among them).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: revsharkie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stuffing is my favorite part - Pepperidge Farm herb stuffing bag, no egg, broth, sauteed celery and onion and garlic, parsley, Bell's seasoning, a little more sage if I feel like it, peeled, cut up chunks of Rome apple, and : sliced fresh water chestnuts. (You can use drained from a can but not as good.) and toasted slivered almonds. Best taste if cooked inside the turkey ( I prefer Butterball hen, under 14 lbs.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: revsharkie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Is the stuffing why she's your EX-mil?? :) It sounds dreadful!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mercyteapot

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Well, no, not exactly. She wasn't much of a cook, though. Nor did they care about anything even moderately adventurous. I remember the night I cooked them a chicken pot pie, and they acted like I was trying to feed them something from another planet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The main reason she's my ex-MIL is that when the ex-husband and I moved back to where he grew up, a cul-de-sac in a Portland suburb, from Wichita, I was like a square peg in a round hole--didn't fit, no hope.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: revsharkie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Any kind of dressing (stuffing) is great as long as its made mainly from cornbread rather than wheat breads. Something like 2 parts cornbread to one part wheat bread (toasted bread, rolls, or biscuits), the items you mention, revsharkie, plus some turkey broth, giblets, chopped hard boiled egg. Everyone to his own thing, but to me dressing mixes are highly preferable to light bread (wheat breads) dressings, even homemade. And in the Home Cooking thread I earlier mentioned an Irish Potato dressing made by friends in Alabama which was lots of work but was absolutely delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. It is simply not Thanksgiving without Pillsbury crescent rolls. I'll eat a whole can by myself. We like Thanksgiving dinner pretty traditional; the same meal every year. For a while there Mom kept trying to sneak in new things, but we always shot her down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ajs228

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I wondered if anyone was gonna mention these. My brother just wont come to the table unless the Pillsbury crescent rolls are there. I like em too, but he is nuts about them. Last year we had 6 cans of them, and they all disappeared (about a dozen people)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ajs228

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ah yes, "roll-up bread" as my kids call 'em. I've been waffling on whether to serve crescents or something more interesting, but the crescents are a no-brainer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                see for us it's cornbread in the old cast iron corn stick molds that get all crispy. mmmm....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                but my husband would much prefer we have crescents like they do at his mom's i bet! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Does anyone else do biscuits and gravy on the day after with the leftovers?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My grandma does two pans, one with peas and one with out, of turkey and gravy. My grandpa makes the homeade biscuits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Needless to say we stuff ourselves silly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: adventuresinbaking

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                that sounds YUMMY!!! i'll take some with peas please... :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: adventuresinbaking

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No, but I really enjoy grossing out my husband with a big bowl mixed with the left over mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy, turkey all mixed together. It looks gross, but tastes great. I've done that every morning after Thanksgiving since I was a kid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My father always laughs and says, "here comes the bowl."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kkak97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ha! Me too!! Almost looks like soup with all the gravy in it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: adventuresinbaking

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My Grandmother(who raised me) would always take the left overs, turkey ,ham, roast chicken, dressing, mashed potatoes, corn, broccoli,put them in a large pan in a pie crust,then pour the left over gravy over it, cover with a top crust, then vent it, and coat it with canned milk, and bake, making,by a ton the best pot pie I have ever had...man I miss those!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jword2001

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That sounds great. What's canned milk? Condensed milk?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ajs228

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "canned milk" is usually evaporated milk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ajs228

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          yes, i belive the brand she prefered was pet, as a side note if there was crust left over she would put it on a cookie sheet or bottom of a baking pan put canned milk on it also, then sprinkle with sugar, and cinnamon...very good treat, and nothing wasted!.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: jword2001

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hm! We've always layered the leftovers as a sort of casserole, using the gravy as a binder, but I'm liking the idea of a big ol' pot pie! Given how many pies we make Thanksgiving week, it would be nothing to make an extra disc of dough to save for the weekend...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Leftovers always become the "diner" meal-hot turkey and gravy, stuffing, served over white bread. Mashed potatoes on the side. It's the only time white bread is ever in the house. My husband once asked if I could use whole wheat bread instead. Um, no. Actually, the next night is usually turkey a la king, with those canned black olives added for additional "flare".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: elayne5

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We'd usually make escalloped turkey with the leftover turkey, dressing and gravy. I still do that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: jword2001

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            sounds great...don't think i'll get to have any, in our family its a mortal sin to use leftover turkey for anything other than sandwhiches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Leftovers of all sorts are about as good as the Thanksgiving meal. I may have just missed it, but a favorite leftover when I was growing up was turkey hash (same as roast beef hash but just using turkey rather than roast beef).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. My mother makes the lime gelatin salad as well. It has lime Jello, cream cheese, a T of mayo, crushed pineapple and pecans. She also does a cheese ball on special occasions as well. Cream cheese, pecans, pineapple, minced onions, minced green peppers, and seasoning salt. Mix and chill. Then roll the ball in more pecans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My Aunt Dean has a special secret macaroni and cheese recipe. She is over 70 now and has handed the culinary baton to me. Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter will not happen without Aunt Dean's Macaroni and Cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We also make shrimp fried rice for Thanksgiving as well. Only on my father's side of the family. I'm not sure why. We just do :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: amethiste

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I made the lime gelatin salad for a Star Trek party back in my 20s when we were supposed to bring "weird" food. Everyone loved it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My family always has to have a cheeseball, too, (sometimes with pimiento and green bell pepper so it looks Christmasy), and a few years ago I found a sweet cheese ball instead of savory that is now a staple at our tree-trimming party. Cream cheese and butter with mini-chocolate chips (and a little brown sugar), rolled in chopped nuts. Serve with honey graham and chocolate graham crackers. Yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I had the sweet version at a friends house. Yum indeed :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Didn't see this mentioned..
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In tha Baltimore area there is a tradition of serving sauerkraut with the Thanksgiving dinner, many families also serve keilbasa with the sauerkraut( I love the keilbasa the next day sliced, cold with some Utz's Potatoe chips)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Hue

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Maybe the sauerkraut is from the PA Dutch influence. I remember reading somewhere that it is an Amish tradition to have sauerkraut with Thanksgiving dinner. Sounds good to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I grew up in PA and every time I go back, I get some Utz. I miss them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Hue

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A friend of mines mom served it with T-day dinner, but hers had brown sugar beer, and apples in it...that I know of, it was good, and different.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Hue


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I brought this up on Sep 27, but I had gotten long winded (first) about Watergate Cake. I am so glad you posted this. My family is from the Northern Virginia area. I have never heard of anyone else eating this for Thanksgiving. PA Dutch? Or Amish? Really interesting. We also had it for Christmas dinner, too. But not at any other time of the year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  From 09/27:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Our "weird" thing my mother always served was hot sauerkraut with butter. I think this was because my grandmother used to make sauerkraut from scratch years ago, and it was a real treat. However, Mother's was from a can.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without hot buttered sauerkraut!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GloriaSwansonsTVdinner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lots of my family put the sauekraut over top of the also traditional mashed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Every Thanksgiving Day for the last 15 ot so years a bunch of us prepare Thanksgiving dinner at the family house for the Johns Hopkins hospital. These are small apartments for the families of the pediatric patients who are under going treatment at the hospital. We have always served saurkraut and keilbasa and we get quite a varirty of responses from the families, as they come from all over the US and the world. Just trying to spread the tradition

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Stove Top Stuffing, sweet potatoes, and gravy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I hate foodie items at Thanksgiving. I'll take the homegrown foods over my love for fou-fou durind the holidays..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. My MIL makes stuffed celery mixed with cream cheese and olives and pimentos. My mother made her stuffing with the Kelloggs Croutettes. She added onions, celery peppers, mushrooms and lots of Bells Seasoning. It's still the only stuffing I can eat the next day cold. She also used a small crock pot to start the giblet gravy the night before. My husband's aunt made a great stuffing with stuffing bread that you cut up and dry the day before. She added cooked sausage, onions, celery. I make it once in a while. My sister in law always has to make brocolli casserole made with velveeta cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I have had sooo much fun reading all these posts. I cried a bit, laughed a lot, and got some great ideas!!! I will certainly try some of your recipes,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      For me, I am a stuffing nut. My mom used to buy the junk white bread and dry it in the oven with the pilot light, over night, to make her stuffing. The first year I tried to make the stuffing myself, I found out I have an electonic starter( no pilot light) You just have to laugh. I also use rolls from my favorite resturant for the stuffing. One year I didn't break up the rolls before they dried out and I had to use a hammer to break them down. I am sure most of you have left the bag of giblets in the turkey the first time you cooked a turkey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A few years ago, a friend didn't want to deal with her family, so she and her family joined me and mine. I started making deviled eggs and put the yoke stuff in a zip lock bag and give it to my friends son and this has become his job. My sister LOVES that green bean cassrole. My friend's other other son in a vegetarian so I learned how to make mac and cheese veggie style.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This year another friend and her family will join us. My only answer when people ask me what can they bring to my house is ..."Bring whatever will make Thanksgiving complete." I love the variety.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the trip down memory lane

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: temiha

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh what a wonderful way to say it! This thread points out just how much each person brings their own family traditions with them. The only time my family had the marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes was when my cousin was with us for Thanksgiving while she was in college near us one year. For her, Thanksgiving would NOT have been complete without them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A dear friend tells the story of her first Thanksgiving at her (now) in-laws house. Coming from a traditional Irish house, she was shocked to have a pasta course of lasagna before the turkey!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        More than any other holiday, it is very hard to let go of what we know. I read the wonderful Thanksgiving spreads in the foodie magazines every year. Even when I want to try the new recipes other times, I just can't get myself to switch too much for Thanksgiving --even when it's only me, my husband, and our 2 children (9 and under).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Finally made it thru all these amazing posts! I have to admit, growing up, I had many of these:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stove top stuffing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Relish tray
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sweet potatoes with marshmalllow

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mom never made the green bean casserole but I love it! She also never made those pop-n-serve biscuts, which I also love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Since my b-day is always around t-giving, my fave non-traditional food would be the birthday cake we always had for dessert instead of pie :)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: L_W

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          funny - so is my husband and FIL's so we have bday cake there too! :) happy birthday!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. When I was a kid my mom put out the little dish of Andes chocolate/mint candies at Thanksgiving and I would graze on those all day. Now it's become another holiday "must have".

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ajs228

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            weird. hadn't thought of that - but there used to be a bowl of those too. one of my family friends loved them! they do nothing for me though. :) strange the things you don't think about - until you do - but it is all in the details isn't it?!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AMFM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, I'll really only eat one or two now, but man will I bitch and moan if they're not there ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: ajs228

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes!!! The andes mints. I had totally forgotten about them. I may have to go out and search for them this year. Mom moved onto the little Godiva chocolate mints when she went upscale :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: elayne5

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In the Christmas season Crate & Barrel carries tins of chocolate mint melts that are divine. I plan to buy a few of them as presents this year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. my husband cant have thanksgiving without his mother's oyster casserole. she taught me how to make it last year, though i cant beleive i'm actually making it...LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              oysters, saltines, canned mushrooms, evaporated milk, butter, paprika...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              dear lord, next it'll be frito pie...lol

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TSQ75

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love my Grandmother's Oyster Stuffing, but we have it @ Christmas - we're "different" - we serve turkey with spinach gratin and smashed sweet potatoes with orange. We don't do stuffing at Thanksgiving.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Has anyone added homemade chicken soup?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                When the great-grandparents we still with us, Bessie always made her big pot of chicken soup (peasant style) as the 1st course.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lord, I miss those days!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Favorite non-foodie Thanksgiving dish is baked macaroni & cheese. It's simple, but it's not Thanksgiving without it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Kris

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Exactly! My fam has baked macaroni and cheese at every holiday. I 3as surprised to find out that many people find that strange. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: amethiste

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I just found out that I'm cooking Thanksgiving Dinner at my house for my much-loved, but utterly unchowish in-laws, instead of the big chowfeast with my side of the family.... there will be only 5 and my MIL serves pumpkin pie all the time (frozen), I'm thinking of alternate desserts. Pumpkin cheesecake came to mind, then I saw a magazine recipe for that pumpkin cake rollup thing, filled with fluffy cream cheese?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kmr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Try Ina's Pumpkin Banana Mousse Tart - it's wonderful - we did a test run the other night...


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kmr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pumpkin Cheesecake: I've made both the Sunset Magazine one (pumpkin swirled in) and Cook's Illustrated and now I think I prefer the latter. Takes a water bath. Great to make ahead. Not hard.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          One question: I have trouble moving my oven rack -- when there's a water bath it'll slosh. What can I do short of buying a new stove, which is out of the question right now?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kmr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I love the pumpkin cake cream cheese rollup thing. it's not very chowy but man is it good! but i love ina's recipes and i had fabulous sweet potatoes today with bananas in them so i bet that's good too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. My Elegant Yam Casserole (posted it last year).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. It's funny...my mom isn't really that great a cook. I mean, she's okay, but my family would NEVER be confused for Foodies. However, Thanksgiving is when she shines. Seriously, everything is homemade and so darn good. Real stuffing and gravy, an awesome turkey. It's so good. I do have to have the canned cranberry jelly, left in the shape of a can. One year she thought she'd be all fancy and cut it with star shaped cookie cutters. I couldn't eat it. My dad likes ketchup on his turkey. It's served in a Waterford crystal bowl.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: eightlegeddj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That made me laugh out loud...ketchup served in Waterford. Love it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: eightlegeddj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's so sweet, men love to be treated like kings!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. jfood mom used to make the following

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                black cherry jello
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                can of whole berry cranberry sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                cool whip

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                whipped it all together and placed in a mold.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In the middle of the night it glowed nicely in the kitchen when the lights went out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. My aunt Joni would always make a bundt cake out of Duncan Hines "pudding in the mix" devil's food cake, a box of instant chocolate pudding, and a bag of chocolate chips. Oooh yeah.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I would have to say our "cheater gravy." Many moons ago, when I first started cooking TG, I had no success with the turkey gravy. For my second TG, I bought some brown gravy mix just in case. I doctored it up with sauteed mushrooms and threw in some sage. I've tried to make turkey gravy and always hear complaints that the fancy mushroom sage gravy was better... This year, I'm going back to the cheater gravy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. We never really had much non-foodie food in my family (not always haute cuisine, either, just not much pseudofood. Nonetheless, I can recall (with horror) two things:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. My former MIL used to make Waldorf Salad as the starter for *every* Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. Now--yeah, yeah, I know Waldorf Salad was created at the Waldorf (imagine that) and it was all the rage in the 1890s and, therefore, probably strictly speaking wouldn't be considered "non-foodie"...but MIL's version is a different story. Mac apples, celery, walnuts in individual compote, with a dollop of Miracle Whip on top, with a few dried out, whizzened raisins plopped onto the Miracle Whip. They looked like something a rabbit might have deposited. Blecccchhhhhh to MIL's ubiquitous, lazy Waldorf Salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. (Not Thanksgiving. Christmas.) My grandmother was an outstanding cook, and an even better baker. Really. But, sadly, one year, one of her friends gave her this godawful recipe for some frozen abomination that sounds vaguely similar to your family's Jello salad, except...frozen. To its credit, I suppose, it calls for actual gelatin, versus Jello, but that's where the culinary mastery ends. Pink lemonade concentrate, some whipped cream, gelatin, a jar of Miracle Whip (there's that stuff again!), a jar of Maraschino cherries complete with juice, canned pineapple (which has many uses, one of which should not be *this*), celery...dumped in a metal ice cube tray (remember those?)...and, when frozen, each piece served on a leaf of iceberg lettuce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I KNOW this kind of food was not to my parents' taste or sensibilities, but of course they couldn't hurt Nana's feelings, so they made the fatal mistake of complimenting her on it and thanking her for making it. Which meant that every year from then on until she was too infirm to visit us for Christmas, we were stuck with forcing that abomination down and looking thrilled about it at the beginning of every Christmas dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The last thing I need to jumpstart my appetite for a perfectly prepared, aromatic crown rib roast when it's twenty degrees outside and snowing is a falsely pink, chemical-tasting lump of cold that features as one of its star ingredients Red Dye No. 2.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MaggieRSN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, we had a similar salad growing up. My grandmother and mother actually had the nerve to call it "Fruit Salad." It was composed of whipped cream and a can or fruit cocktail. Thinking about it makes me somewhat nauseated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I blame my mother's love for canned fruit for my inability to really get really appreciate most fruit to this day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Pepsi Yams.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This recipe still frightens me, but its a must-have on the table when my grandmother's there. Basically you take two cans of sweet potatos and dump them into a baking dish. Pour 6-10 oz. of pepsi (not diet, under no circumstances!) all over the potatos, cover it with Fluff and top with mini-marshmallows. Bake in the oven for about ten - fifteen minutes, or until the pepsi and the fluff are engaged in hot suguary combat.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It sounds horrible, and I'm sure its as horrible for me, but I can never seem to resist it...it tastes so wonderful

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tifsimons

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "hot suguary combat." That just had me rolling!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Would not be Thanksgiving (or Christmas) without my Grandmother's Cranberry Relish, she made every year, and I could eat it by the bowlful! I still make (Grandmother's been gone now 17 years) Take bag of fresh cranberries, 1 orange (I chop finely in food processor, she used food grinder) mix with 1 cup of sugar. Take 1 box any red flavor jell-o (small size) prepare according to package instructions, chill until thickened, then stir in cranberry/orange mixture. One bite and I'm 8 years old back in Grandmom's kitchen.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Our family tradition at Thanksgiving is that we always have Turkey, Dressing, O.S.cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, candied sweet potatoes, corn, sauerkraut with polish sausage, carrotts, and corn. Then, each person's favorite is added, if not already included: the original GBC, green lima beans, butter beans, cauliflower, broccoli, peas. Dessert is, you guessed it - Watergate salad (BTW the name came from the Watergate hotel menu item), pretzel salad, homemade pumpkin and apple pie (although we must admit the Costco or BJ's pies are even better), the occasional lemon meringue or custard pie, and whatever someone chocolate anyone wants to add. Sounds like a lot of food, and it is, but about 40 people eat their fill and take some home! When we were teens (and until the year my mom passed on) we went to the beach at O.C. Maryland for Thanksgiving. In a rented condo, there are very few cooking pots and utensils. We discovered the “Seal a Meal” thirty-five years ago, and started vacuum sealing most of the cooked veggies and frozen veggies in the bags. Easy to heat up all those bags in a huge soup pot of hot water!! The only thing we had to cook was the turkey, dressing, and mashed potatoes and rolls, GBC and sweet potato dish. My youngest daughter was married when my mom passed on 16 years ago, and we started having Thanksgiving at her home, along with her in-laws, as one big happy family – so no more beach. I always bring the bagged veggies. There is only one problem, I make my mom’s dressing recipe (stuffing in a pan), and my sister makes her variation of it. And each year, our respective daughters each say they want “my mom’s stuffing”, so the running joke from one of my sons-in-law is, “Are we having my mom’s dressing or your mom’s dressing or . . .” sort of a Thanksgiving who’s-on-first. When it’s my turn, I make sure to bake stuffing muffins for breakfast – everyone who’s there early, including my husband, 5 grandsons, two daughters, and two sons-in-law, eats them for breakfast. It holds us until we eat “early dinner” at 2:00 – about 40 of us including all the in-laws. Oh yes, I always make two turkeys and completely carve one (there’s lots of stealing turkey from the carving board by that time), place the meat in the “vacuum sealed bag” and keep it warm in the soup pot with the veggies. The first time my “ultra foodie” son-in-law saw me carve the whole breast off the bone and slice it, placing it in the bag (and on the platter) in one swoop, he was amaze-ed!! The other whole turkey looks great on the buffet, and we carve it as we need it. There’s plenty of meat for hot turkey sandwiches with leftover veggies on the side on Black Friday when we’re too tired from shopping to cook!! I have used the Big Easy oil-free turkey fryer this summer, and am thinking I can cook a 14 lb bird the day before in 90 minutes and carve it, bag it, and refrigerate it. Even easier, and less messy this year!! Although they won’t be able to steal pieces from me – a real tradition!! One year while at my niece’s home, she wouldn’t let anyone have a taste, and I heard about it for weeks!! Alas, our old Daisy Seal-A-Meal bit the dust after 35 years of use, but I replaced it with the newest version! Try it, you’ll be amazed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Not exactly "non-foodie," but in my mind very unusual as it's not what I had growing up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Since she was about seven, every time I ask my daughter what she wants for Thankgiving dinner, she says salad. So salad dressing is the "secret ingredient?" At twenty-six, Thanksgiving still would not be complete for her without a green salad.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Seeker19104

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Whatever sets her tastebuds aglow. Food preferences are personal. I must say, some of these dishes (watergate cake, that asparagus casserole, ambrosia, watergate salad, that brownie-mix-type chocolate concoction) sound absolutely divine. My mouth just watered all over my keyboard reading about all that yummy food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For special occasions, I make a no-bake cheeseless cheesecake by lining a square dish with mini graham wafers (available in the Nabisco 100 cal snack packs) or crushed-up Pop-tarts and then mixing Greek yogurt (Fage is best), whipped cream substitute, and vanilla instant pudding mix, then adding optional flavorings (melted jam, caramel sauce, mashed fruit) or just leaving it plain and spreading that mixture over the cookie/pastry base and popping it into the fridge until its time to serve it. Gourmet? Maybe not. Mind-blowingly delectable? Yes indeedy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. My family makes something a bit similar and just as horrifying to my foodie side...but it's so good no Thanksgiving would be complete for me without it! My mother calls it "green junk." Our version is pistachio pudding, crushed pineapple, chopped walnuts, and chopped mandarin orange segments. It looks disgusting but I request it every year without fail, and every Thanksgiving night I I can be found exhausted in front of the TV with a dark meat only turkey sandwich sandwich in one hand and the bowl of leftover green junk in the other.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Our festive essential for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas is Bacon-wrapped Chestnut!!! The preparation of peeling the piping hot chesnuts is worth every second of searing pain for the flavor of the fresh chestnut (NOT CANNED) that get infused with lovely smoky bacon...MMM!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Turkey noodle soup with leftover turkey!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      broccoli with cheddar cheese!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: k80k

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As long as there is no use of the horrible item known as "cheez whiz" on that broccoli. That fake neon-colored stuff is an affront to God and Man.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tonina_mdc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          oh god no! I like Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar... on almost everything! I won't touch that fake orange goo they call "cheez" *shudders at the thought!*

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: k80k

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Someone I know used to serve some sort of broccoli casserole topped with cheez whiz. I had to make myself take a bite the first time I tried it. I could never manage to do so again. It was foul beyond words.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. My mother made up this great orange jello salad recipe when she was a young bride. It has been a family holiday favorite ever since. EVERYONE would be so disappointed if she didn't make it for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is orange jello made with the juice from a can of mandarin oranges in place of most of the cold water. You blend in cream cheese while the jello is still hot and fold in cool whip after that. Fold in the mandarin oranges, pour into an 9x13 inch pan and chill. It is the only jello salad I like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I love spinach casserole. Frozen spinach, Italian breadcrumbs, eggs, milk, and cheddar cheese all baked together into deliciousness. No clue at all where my grandma got the recipe, but the one Thanksgiving she decided not to make it I was _so_ disappointed. Now, I always offer to make and bring it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Also, "zucchini appetizer." Sliced zucchini mixed with breadcrumbs and things into a savory, bread-like item. Good hot, cold, as an underpinning for mashed potatoes. Whatever.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sub_english

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My friend's Italian grandmother used to make spinach patties that had the same exact ingredients. But she formed them into small patties and pan fried them. I've tried to make them many times, but never as delicious as hers. The first time I had them was with their Thanksgiving leftovers, I think it was sort of a holiday dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sub_english

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              sub english, i love spinach in any form, and am crazy about stouffer's spinach souffle. would your grandma's recipe be similar? even if it's not, i'd love to make it! please share!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. For some reason, my extended family says they prefer canned sweet potatoes to the actual potato. I now make a sweet potato casserole at my mother's house out of actual sweet potatoes, for my immediate family's enjoyment.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: adventuresinbaking

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My family used to be the same way, until we switched to a sweet potato casserole. It's boiled fresh sweet potatoes, mashed and mixed with butter and I think an egg, then topped with a crumbly mixture of flour, brown sugar, chopped pecans, and more butter. It's decadent enough to only eat on holidays, but it beats canned yams any day in my book!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: adventuresinbaking

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  our thanksgiving sweet potato dish sautees them in butter with spices, brown sugar butter and apples. You have to fuss around a bit to get the sweets cooked and browned before the apples go in but its wonderful, with enough salt, butter and carmelization to cut the utter sweetness a bit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Ambrosia, no coconut! Mini marshmallows, sour cream, canned pineapple, mandarin oranges mixed together and refrigerated for flavors to meld. When we were children it was served with canned mixed fruit cocktail but somewhere it got omitted and is much tastier without.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BrendaWrighterbee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have a friend that seems to always make ambrosia salad whenever I am dining at her house. She puts cubes of cheddar cheese in it which I think is terrible. I always pick those out and eat them separately in order to be polite and leave a clean plate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: BrendaWrighterbee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We always had Ambrosia also. I think it was canned fruit cocktail, bananas, canned mandarin oranges and sour cream. I always thought it was pretty good, but never wanted to serve it at my table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MazDee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Our family MUST have our version of an Ambrosia salad. We make it with 1 bag of miniature marshmallows. 1 can pineapple tidbits (preferably in syrup, for a little extra sweetness) and drained. 1 cup chopped walnuts. 1 pint whipping cream...whipped. Everything is folded together and must sit in fridg overnight for flavors to blend. Result is sweet, but not excessively so, and not overdone with too many flavors competing with one another. Really the best of this type salad I've ever tasted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. We are a foodie family...even re-interpreted traditional Rosh Hashana brisket and vegetables to make a BBQ feast last year...but Thanksgiving...nothing new or updated touches our table...our favorites are the whipped sweet potatoes with vanilla, pineapple, and maraschino cherries with the toasted mini marshmallows on top and the corn pudding...I think it's a Paula Deen recipe...Jiffy corn muffin mix, cans of creamed corn, sweet corn, butter and sour cream. Two kinds of cranberry sauce, too...Ocean Spray with the ridges and homemade, which no one eats.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nancyl126

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, what a shame that nobody eats the homemade cranberry sauce!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I actually prefer Pepperidge Farms stuffing over any homemade that I've had, I'm semi-ashamed to say. One each cornbread and cubed, mixed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i start with the pepperidge farm bulk herb stuffing (not the mix, but the large plastic bag http://www.pepperidgefarm.com/Product... ), and use day-old cornbread, eggs, celery, broth, poultry seasoning, onions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          and i've made cran sauce, but i still gotta have my ocean spray!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We do this too: a bag of PFarm cubes and a pan of cornbread, mixed with onions, celery, Jimmy Dean sage breakfast sausage, the requisite seasonings, various dried fruits and nuts, and a couple beaten eggs. My wife insists on stuffing and I insist on dressing, so we have to make sure there's enough for both.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              my mom was never a "stuffing" gal -- we always had dressing -- in one of those large corningware baking dishes** that i'm sure they don't make anymore. before it was baked, it was like corn meal mush in texture. then it firmed up, of course.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              it was shaped like the large baking dish in this, but it was white (of course) and larger. http://www.corningware.com/index.asp?...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have several large white corningware dishes like that (different design of course) that were given to me (new) about three years ago. I live in nowhereseville in the midwest, so maybe we just have a lot of old-fashioned stuff around here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: tonina_mdc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  you are lucky, then. it's a great casserole dish!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, I don't stuff the turkey either, but i guess I shoulda said dressing... anyway, I put in some dried cranberries and/or cherries, chopped chestnuts, and whatever else seizes my fancy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I like cornbread in my stuffing too alkapal, but it would never last that long around here, so now cornbread has become a Thanksgiving Day breakfast item. Of course each year the stuffing is different. partly because some years hardly any cornbread is left. And I make a double batch too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  hot cornbread with butter! i could live on that -- and some nice field peas with bacon, of course.