Thanksgiving Food!

Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks and food! Of course. What do you serve for Thanksgiving? I love hearing how people across the country do Thanksgiving differently. Here’s we did it – on the east coast with my family and then in the midwest with Brian’s: 

  • Turkeyduh. East Coast: My mom rarely put the stuffing inside the bird and she never bought a fancy bird or did anything fancy to it. Just a plain ol’ bird, roasted in the oven since early morning Thursday. Midwest: My mother-in-law is the queen of cooking cheats. She would go to the deli and ask for thick slices of turkey breast. Then, she would heat the turkey in her giant slow cooker, either with a little bit of water, or with gravy in the bottom.
  • Stuffinghands down, the best part of the Thanksgiving meal! East Coast: My mom was very traditional with her stuffing – no nuts, nothing fancy, all homemade, and later as we got older, she even stopped putting gizzards in it (phew). Midwest: Stove Top. All the way. I have to admit, that doesn’t bother me in the least. Just talking about Stove Top makes my mouth water.
  • Potatoes the one part my sister could eat all day long. East Coast: Homemade mashed potatoes with homemade turkey gravy. Midwest: Same thing, but with canned gravy.
  • Sweet PotatoesYUM. East Coast: Little bit of orange juice, cinnamon, sugar, salt, with melted marshmallows on top, baked until hot with gooey marshmallows on top. Midwest: I’m not sure Brian’s family knows what to do with a sweet potato.
  • Green Bean Casseroleclassic. East Coast: Traditional – no change to the classic, old recipe here! Why change a classic?? Midwest: I always made it for my in-laws. I don’t think they’d had it before I came along! But to me, how can it be Thanksgiving without green bean casserole?
  • Saladso many options, so little time. East Coast: Normally, we had a green salad and a jell-o salad of some sort. I don’t think we ever had the same jell-o salad twice growing up. Midwest: Salad? Must be somewhere with the sweet potatoes…
  • Rolls OH. MY. WORD. Fresh bread will be in heaven. I promise. East Coast: My mom makes these heavenly rolls every year for at least Thanksgiving and sometimes for Christmas, too. It’s a recipe from my great grandma and it makes the whole house smell absolutely amazing. They are the perfect thing for leftover turkey sandwiches. They’re golden and crispy on top and flaky and buttery inside. A ton of work – I think my mom spends an entire making them – but they’re so worth the effort. Midwest: Like I said, my mother-in-law is the queen of cooking cheats. At Brian’s home, it’s brown and serve rolls or crescents from a can. But, for all the non-homemade-ness, they’re still fresh bread and you won’t find complaints here!
  • Cranberry Sauce so good when smeared all over the turkey! East Coast: Normally, just from a can. Why mess with it? [Growing up, I always thought my mom stood in the kitchen and made the lines herself before serving… I didn’t know it came from a can until I was like in high school – no joke.] My mom has made it from scratch a few times, but we all so greatly prefer the canned stuff, she decided she didn’t need to waste time! Midwest: Canned. Of course.
  • Pieswhat is Thanksgiving without pie?? East Coast: All homemade. Mom starts baking at least on Monday and always has a big variety depending on the crowd. If all of us are home, she tries to make everyone’s favorite. We have been known to have pumpkin, pecan, apple, and blueberry at the same Thanksgiving dinner. Midwest: Lots of pies. None homemade. Until I showed up. hehe. I always made the pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. The rest – apple, blueberry, chocolate – were all store bought.
  • Drinksgotta have something to wash it all down! East Coast: Cranberry juice mixed with Gingerale was the special drink we always have. [I tried to get that this year, but it was just too much money since we were buying expensive pecans as well. Bummer.] Midwest: The best drink ever – sherbert with 7Up. You take whatever flavor sherbert you’d like, put a few scoops into the pitcher, then cover with 7Up (or is it Gingerale?? Shoot. I could be wrong. I am almost certain it’s 7UP, though). So good.

So, what will you be feasting on this year?


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November 2011
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