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wundayatta's avatar

What are the traditional dishes in your family's Thanksgiving celebrations?

Asked by wundayatta (58357 points ) November 6th, 2011

I was just answering a question about making mac and cheese for Thanksgiving and I realized I had never seen mac and cheese at Thanksgiving, nor could I imagine ever seeing it. It’s not part of our tradition.

We have the usual stuff, but this question isn’t really about Turkey and cranberries and stuffing. Probably not about mashed potatoes, either.

This is about the food traditions that you have that you believe may be unique to your family or to people from your region of the country.

In my family, creamed onions and butternut squash (instead of sweet potatoes or candied yams) are traditional. I don’t like butternut squash, but I still have to serve it at Thanksgiving. I prefer a sweet potato recipe that my Mississippi-born brother-in-law taught me.

We also have mince pie for dessert, made with real homemade mincemeat that has actual chuck around the neck in it. Every few years we have a mincemeat making party. Then we have mincemeat for four years or so.

There also used to be a tradition of making pecan pralines. Northern pralines which aren’t all that much like Southern ones. But these days they are a bit rich, I think, so they don’t go over so well. Besides which, my father doesn’t eat nuts.

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23 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

I’ve been introducing homemade baked yellow-eye beans (a particular specialty of mine) and succotash (made with corn and cranberry beans / Roman beans / speckled beans, whatever you want to call them – no lima beans, though I like those, too). This year I might also make a batch of sautéed Brussels sprouts, which are pretty darn good. That, or Crash Hot Potatoes which have been well received on Fluther, anyway.

Judi's avatar

Everyone laughs, but we always have potato salad at our thanksgiving dinner. I was an adult before I knew it was a picnic food. I always thought it was a holiday food.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Green bean casserole and Frito Corn Salad.

AstroChuck's avatar

Tofurky and my wife’s Peanut Butter soup.

Sunny2's avatar

Oyster dressing at one end of the turkey and regular bread stuffing in the other. Fruit cocktail jello mold for the kids. Pumpkin pie AND minced meat pie.

wilma's avatar

Butterscotch pie along with the pumpkin.
@CWOTUS yellow-eye bean soup is my specialty.
I also make succotash with corn and cranberry beans as my husbands family always has. I grew up with corn and lima bean succotash.

Coloma's avatar

My killer apple-cranberry relish. Mmm good, and making it is a tradition for my daughter and I.
Nothing like a cozy day with the house smelling sooo good while the sauce simmers. ;-D

Sunny2's avatar

@CWOTUS I’m saving your crash hot potato recipe. Thank you for posting it.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Turkey
Ham
Mashed potatoes
Banana bread
Pumpkin bread
Cranberry sauce
Broccoli casserole
Yams
Crudités
Ambrosia salad

There’s probably more, but those are the ones I remember. We have the exact same dishes every year.

zenvelo's avatar

Creamed Onions. My mother started making them when my grandfather came to live with us. They are only made at Thanksgiving. My generation has maintained the tradition.

Coloma's avatar

OMG! crash potatos and Wilmas Butterscotch pie…jeez…time to stash the scale for a couple o’ months. LOL

Here’s my cranberry apple relish recipe. Easy and amazing with pork and poultry

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
4 cups fresh, rinsed and sorted cranberries
4 medium/large apples ( granny smith or honey crisp are my favs. )
peeled, cored and diced

Boil water & sugar
add berries and apples
cook over medium heat stirring frequently until the skins split on cranberries and a frothy pink foam arises ( you will hear them “popping” like popcorn
About 20 minutes.

Pour into canning jars and seal or, into bowls and chill overnight before serving.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Sourdough bread cubes stuffing with whole cranberry sauce mixed in along with some cracked nuts and chopped duck or goose livers.

Diced Acorn squash sauteed with corn nibblets, diced onion and cilantro.

Pumpkin Pie using the basic back-o-the-can recipe.

Everything else just goes by craving as far as birds we bake, hams or lamb dishes.

Coloma's avatar

@Neizvestnaya Aaaaagh…duck & goose livers…running, running, hiding my geese, say it isn’t so! lol

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@Coloma: My fingers twitched as I wrote because I immediately envisioned Marweyn and knew you’d cringe. If it’s any consolation at all, I could never bring myself to eat a pet.

Coloma's avatar

@Neizvestnaya Oh, I’m being silly, but yeah, it’s hard to look at your pets as stuffing. ;-)

geeky_mama's avatar

The one regional variation I know our Turkey Day meal includes are these special noodles..
My step-mother makes them and she eats them on top of her mashed potatoes with gravy on-top. (Carb overload!!!) They are traditionally part of the meal in the small town in Southern Ohio where she comes from. (And my dad likes to tease her about them.)

Our usual menu is:
Turkey
Stuffing
Mashed Potatoes and gravy
Sweet Potatoes (served with melted/browned marshmallows on top)
Corn Casserole
Green Bean Casserole (with the crunchy Durkee onions on top)
Waldorf Salad
Pecan Crusted yeast rolls

…and then most of the family has a, from-scratch Pumpkin Pie for dessert with freshly beaten whipped cream..but I don’t like pumpkin pie.

creative1's avatar

Mac and chees is not part of our tradition but a friend loves it as part of hers. I do make mac and cheese for our Christmas Eve celebration though

fizzbanger's avatar

I’m working on Turkey Day, and our tradition at work is to do a potluck. I think it’s time to make a turducken.

Coloma's avatar

Turducken is just wrong! lol

Coloma's avatar

Fascinating food fact # 399

According to wiki in 1807 a French chef prepared the mother of all Turduckens, a 16 bird combo of a Bustard stuffed with a turkey, a goose,a pheasant, chicken, duck, guinea fowl,
teal, woodcock, partridge, plover, lapwing, quail, thrush, lark, orotlan bunting and a garden warbler that was stuffed with a single olive. Oh my. ;-/

creative1's avatar

@fizzbanger Do you really have a minimum of 24 hrs to prep a turducken?? You need to de-bone each one of these birds and usually a minimum of 3 are used (turkey, duck and chicken) not to mention the 3 different types of stuffing. It sounds yummy and an experience to prepare, but I don’t think I would ever have that type of time. I wish you all the best with it if you are going to tackle the task and you will have to let us know how it tasted.

fizzbanger's avatar

@creative1 There’s a fantastic meat market on my street. I’m hoping they can offer some expertise. #boredwithturkey

@Coloma That sounds like a turfucken.

Coloma's avatar

@fizzbanger Yeah..haha Nothing like a dinner of endangered species of which quite a few of those birds are now.

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