For the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing Thanksgiving recipes and then Christmas recipes–not necessarily from ancestors, but then I’m somebody’s ancestor, too.
It is time to think about Thanksgiving dinner. Who’s hosting? Who’s cooking which Thanksgiving recipes? The answers varied with the generations and as people moved around the country. I remember the lavish spreads that my own Grandmother Vera Anderson laid out for the family. I imagine that some of the daughters-in-law brought dishes, but I don’t know what. I know that everyone pitched in to get the good china and crystal and silver on the long table.
I also know that inevitably, when everyone had pushed back from the table, exhausted by gobbling up two kinds of meat, dresssing, potatoes, numerous vegetables and a couple different pies and a cake–Grandma Vera would inevitably say, “Well I don’t know why I go to all this bother. You didn’t eat anything.” Because, of course, there was a mountain of food to start out with, and a slightly smaller mountain of food at the end of the meal.
Since I don’t have a lot of grandma’s recipes for Thanksgiving, I’m going to share some of mine. Every year somebody says, “Now, don’t go to so much bother. Just cook a few things.” Well, that would work, except that each person has his or her favorite–the one thing that they cannot do without, so decade by decade, the menu grows.
For my part, I like to mix things up a bit, and have the traditional turkey, sweet potatoes, dressing, pumpkin pie, but add something that is related but not traditional.
One of the non-traditional Thanksgiving recipes that has proved to be a great favorite is a recipe for frozen fruit dessert that I pulled long ago from that Joy of Jell-O cookbook I told you about earlier. This is particularly popular with kids, who think they are eating ice cream for their main course. I like that creamy goodness, too, but mainly I like the bright color it brings to the table.