When I was young, the anticipation of Thanksgiving was almost as exciting as that of Christmas. Thanksgiving was the beginning of the holiday season, but more than that, it was all about our family traditions and creating the warm memories that I still cherish today.
In elementary school I loved the songs we’d sing: “We Gather Together”, “Come Ye Thankful People Come”, “Over the River and Through the Woods”, “Now Thank We All Our God”. (We were allowed to sing hymns in public school way back then.) My mother would sometimes make us
torture entertain our guests with our wobbly renditions of these songs before dinner.
(Um, yes, I may have “forgotten” to return this book in 6th grade. I believe the statute of limitations applies here!)
We always had company, often foreign exchange students from the nearby college, grandparents, or any strays that my folks could coax into coming. The more the merrier! When we were very young, we’d hear my mom in the kitchen before it was light, preparing for the feast. As we got older, we were right there beside her, chopping celery and onions, and reaching our small hands into the (eeeeuwww) turkey cavity to pull out the neck and giblets that would go into her stuffing and gravy.
Crisp white linens, the good china and crystal (well, except at the “kids’ table”), candles, and the gravy boat were all placed carefully on the table. My father usually carved and served, and the wait was agonizing.
Now it’s my turn. Although I have my own style, I still produce the standard dishes…and then some. Beginning the week before Thanksgiving my kitchen becomes a whirlwind of flour that doesn’t settle until Christmas Eve.
I’ve collected a few of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes together in one spot, each with a short description, photo, and link. Since this is a baking blog, I’ll leave the green bean casseroles and turkey to someone else and stick with rolls and desserts. Some are easy, some are more challenging. I hope you’ll find that all are festive and delicious.
Acorn Rolls cascade abundantly out of an edible cornucopia. Here’s a centerpiece for your table that won’t drop leaves, get knocked over, or block your view of the person across from you. Make a simple version or turn it into your own personal creative masterpiece.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dessert (aka: dump cake!) This dessert just may become a new tradition in your home. Warm, creamy, crunchy, and fragrant…this is seriously good. AND it has received more views on my blog than any other recipe. Ding-ding-ding…it’s a winner!
Pumpkin Sandwich Bread makes beautiful dinner rolls, too. The pumpkin flavor is mild, making the rolls perfect for turkey sandwiches the next day.
Humble Pie is a pumpkin pie with pastry depictions of all the things you’re grateful for dancing around the top crust. This takes a bit of time, but you can always narrow it down to a few important choices if you’re short on time.
Triple Trouble Caramel Corn, dumped in a pretty bowl, will keep the hungry hoards from sneaking into the kitchen to swipe olives, dinner rolls, and the bacon from the top of the turkey. (What? You don’t put bacon on top of your turkey? Oooh, you should try it. Just a few pieces draped over the top will baste your bird and add a little extra flavor.) This caramel corn can be made days ahead, which is always nice. It has bacon, maple, and pecans in it – perfect for Fall.
I have lots of cookie recipes that would be perfect for the occasion too, but I think I’ll save those for a separate post.
I guess this should have been named “Thanksgiving Carbs”, huh? Pfffft. Don’t think about that – just enjoy.