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Flavors of Thanksgiving

by Susan Barnes

Nov 17, 2017

© Rawpixelimages | Dreamstime


For most of us, in addition to being thankful, Thanksgiving is all about the food. I, for one, grew up with a set Thanksgiving menu that rarely changed from year to year, yet blended flavors of my dad’s upbringing in Pennsylvania with my mom’s Georgia heritage. Fortunately for our family, that meant a lot of good food! And I bet, like me, Thanksgiving’s not quite Thanksgiving for you without a few of those family favorites — in my case, my grandmother’s cornbread dressing and asparagus casserole.


When I asked a handful of others what their favorite Thanksgiving dishes are, the resounding answer was “Stuffing!” Traci says she makes her dad’s recipe every year, and “I just can’t do without it.”


When asked who makes the stuffing on her Thanksgiving table, Stephanie said it depends who’s in charge — when her mother-in-law makes it, she does it from scratch, but when Stephanie’s husband is the chef in charge, he makes it from a box. “Both are equally good,” said Stephanie. “There is just something about the savory carbs that I love.”


We couldn’t agree more.


Aside from stuffing, various casseroles are on people’s must-have lists when it comes to serving Thanksgiving feasts.

Thanksgiving spread of food

Photo: Rawpixelimages | Dreamstime


Stephanie also points to a corn casserole as a second of her favorites on Thanksgiving Day, a recipe her husband makes from the back of the Jiffy box. As she says, “It’s sooooooooo good.” Melissa turns to sweet potatoes as her casserole of choice. When asked whose recipe she uses, she notes her mom’s recipe is, “the best, but it is more labor intensive, so I have an easier one with marshmallows on top.”


Traci says her sister’s macaroni and cheese is the best she’s had, and is a staple on her sister’s Thanksgiving table. “I think everyone just likes casseroles,” she said, at the same time adding she considers stuffing to be a casserole.


As for my grandmother’s asparagus casserole? When she would make it way back in the day, canned asparagus was all that was available. When I was growing up, my mom prepared the dish and followed her mama’s recipe to a “t,” opening that can of asparagus. A few years ago, I wrote out my grocery list for our Thanksgiving feast and when my father-in-law, a fantastic chef himself, saw canned asparagus on the list, he asked why I didn’t use fresh asparagus. To be honest, I never considered it, but that year I did and I haven’t looked back. Just goes to show even the most tried-and-true recipes can be tweaked and made even better.


However you feast this Thanksgiving, enjoy yourself and your loved ones. After all, that’s what the holiday is all about.


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