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Nov 5, 2008 07:30 AM

Thanksgiving relish tray?

I was just curious...

How many of you have a relish tray at Thanksgiving dinner? This is my husband's first Thanksgiving experiencing my family's traditions, and he thought the relish tray idea was bizarre. Olives and pimento cheese-stuffed celery have always been included on our Thanksgiving buffet! What about you?

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  1. We do that- olives, celery with cheese and with Peanut butter, and the sweet pickle/relish mix. Also, have a fruit bowl as a centerpiece and bowls with assorted nuts ( in their shells)

    1. must. have. relish. tray.

      pickles, (cornichon, dill, bread 'n butter), olives, celery with peanut butter, celery sticks with pimento cheese. little tomatoes. carrot sticks. new addition, hot pickled okra.

      i grew up in the south, and mom always insisted we have a relish tray. is it an american thing? southern thing?

      3 Replies
      1. re: alkapal

        My Southern Virginia mom always has a relish tray. One for the adults and one that is kid friendly. Adults get the same as yours with the addition of homemade watermelon rind pickles & pimento cheese is served separately with a variety of crackers. Kids get the celery with PB or cream cheese, carrot sticks, raisins, dried fruits and pickles. She breaks out special trays for any relish worthy occassion!

        1. re: oldbaycupcake

          Oh yes! The special relish tray dishes! I have inherited many over the years, so I have quite a collection. Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only times they get washed and used, unless there is a bridal or baby shower in between.

        2. re: alkapal

          Purely American. We had them in the northwest.

        3. Always had a relish tray. My grandmother has special dishes that she gets out every year. Ours has been pretty basic: dill pickle spears, homeade bread and butter pickles, black olives from the can (best eaten off of fingertips :), pimento stuffed green olives, and sweet gerkins.

          1. Wow, lots of people really do have a relish tray! As for me, never heard of it. Seriously, I've never seen one. Is this a Jewish tradition? With all the pickles and such, it would make sense... ?

            12 Replies
            1. re: HaagenDazs

              Well, my family's Catholic in Cleveland. No Jewish or Southern influence there.

              1. re: HaagenDazs

                May be a Jewish tradition- but we are Irish Catholic from Boston!

                1. re: HaagenDazs

                  Methodist, SW PA background (neither apply any more!) - always have one - celery hearts, black and green olives, pitted, if doing a traditional Thanksgiving.

                  1. re: HaagenDazs

                    Polish Catholic in Detroit- always part of a wedding as well as 'fancy' meals.

                    1. re: Cathy

                      Catholic, Northern MA, Mom always had one for any fancy meal, especially Holidays.
                      We also had the pickled cauliflower mix, and we always fought over the pieces. Bread and butter, mini gerkins, black and green olives. Brings back wonderful memories, Thanks!

                      1. re: HaagenDazs

                        Cathluthlipalian - grandma made a relish tray for all important occasions. Carrot, bell pepper, radishes, pickles, celery, broccoli & cauliflower tops, green onion, olives (black, green,pimento &non) I'm sure she would now include grape tomatoes as well.

                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                          *practicing this brilliant new word: cathluthlipalian, cathluthlipalian, cathluthlipalian*

                        2. re: HaagenDazs

                          I think this is a "female" tradition unrelated to a specific religion or culture. In my family I believe it evolved from a need to keep the men and children out of the kitchen while we finished cooking. If we don't have something for those not cooking or preparing to snack on, they are constantly asking when dinner will be ready or trying to steal a bite here and there.

                          1. re: Niteowl

                            I think you are on to something. It is a pretty simple thing to put out, especially when you are swamped with other tasks. In my family the kids who wanted to "help" were kept from being underfoot with the job of stuffing the cream cheese into the celery, spooning out the olives, pickles and such.

                            1. re: Niteowl

                              Wow. This may be so obvious I don't even know what to say. What a brilliant conclusion!

                              Keeping men and children out of the kitchen is absolutely the root of this. Just keep them busy.

                            2. re: HaagenDazs

                              Scots Irish protestants from upstate NY. :)

                            3. Dried apricots with a dollop of soft goat cheese piped on top...with a candied walnut on top of that...

                              Tasty and very nice visually. I just put the goat cheese in a sandwich bag...nuke it for 30 seconds and pipe through clipped corner of bag.