Thanksgiving Recipe Traditions

Story provided by Ammie Bryant

Every family has their holiday traditions, especially when it comes to what to eat for Thanksgiving.  Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pecan pie. These foods are consistently traditional across the spectrum, but the recipes used to prepare them and some of the other side dishes vary from family to family.

We come to expect these foods each year and we rely on our elders to pass along the details of how to make them. Woe betide the poor soul who decides to mix things up! I will never forget my husband’s horror the year that my mother’s side of the family (somewhere between 20 and 40 of my extended family members meet at one of my aunts’ homes each year) decided to forgo the turkey to pick up a few buckets of fried chicken instead. Jefferson made a sign and posted it on the table announcing a reward for the missing turkey. Luckily for him the turkey returned the next year along with our favorite sides of homemade macaroni and cheese (we use a recipe very similar to the one shared in January 2016 issue of SLM, see for a digital copy of that issue).

On my husband’s side of the family, his mother always made special dishes for everyone–the table groaned under the weight of the food. There is never enough room on the table for the many different types of dishes. There is turkey, mashed potatoes with several types of gravy because not everyone could agree on one type, green beans with whole baby potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, an elaborate relish dish featuring black and green olives, dill and sweet pickles, baby carrots, and assorted cheeses, sauteed mushrooms, yeast dinner rolls, macaroni and cheese, and of course dressing that is absolutely to die-for. I feel like I am forgetting something–there is so much food!

I never liked dressing before I had my mother-in-law’s dressing. I still prefer only hers. So if you’ve never cared for dressing before let me suggest trying it Rosanne’s way.

This Thanksgiving will be my husband and his sisters’ first without their mother; she passed in May after a long fight with cancer. In honor of Rosanne’s eagerness to please her loved ones with all of the special dishes she used to make we are sharing Rosanne’s Dressing.

May our readers’ holiday seasons shine with love and the spirit of giving, just like Rosanne always made sure our family’s did.