Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

True Stories: Pilgrim Ancestors

Here comes Thanksgiving, and of course I’m thinking about my Pilgrim and Puritan ancestors.

Here are three stories from the past:

Plimouth Plantation

Modern reproduction village: Plimouth Plantation. Photo by Nancy, licensed under GNU Free license, Wikimedia

My naughty pilgrim ancestors. What a heritage!

My Pilgrim Ancestor missed the boat–or the boat was delayed by “mechanical difficulties.”

Being a Woman on the day of the First Thanksgiving. The story of Susannah Fuller White.


Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes Round Up

In 2014 and 2013, in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, I shared recipes from our Thanksgiving Dinner Table. In case you’re wondering about what you’re going to have on your table, here are some ideas.

Cranberry Relish

Cranberry-Orange Relish ingredients

Harriette Kaser’s Cranberry-Orange Relish, with a look at the old fashioned food grinder she used to make it.

Paul Kaser’s Scalloped Corn, which has become my son Brent’s contribution to our Thanksgiving Table.

Norma Kaser’s Turkey Dressing, with all kinds of good things including her Spiced Pecans, which are great on their own for any festive occasion.

Perfect Gravy, in honor of my Aunt Rhema, whose gravy was always perfect.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Killer Corn Bread

Killer Corn Bread, my own tradition, borrowed from a 1960s newspaper article about the Scottsdale Hilton chef.

Pickled Beets and Eggs, a traditional European recipe that is a must on our Thanksgiving table, the beautiful ruby-red beets and eggs served up in a crystal dish.

Frozen Fruit Salad, a relic from the days of Jell-o salads and Jell-o frozen desserts.

Thanksgiving recipes

Mixing generations. Left-cut glass bowl from Hattie Stout; top meat platter from Hattie Stout; center my own cut glass bowl, shallow china bowl my wedding china, wicker basket a wedding present.

And of course there must be pie. Pumpkin Pie from the canned pumpkin label OR…

Perfect Pie Crust.  Honestly, it is SO easy.

Caramel Apple Pie  I made it with a pecan crumb crust. MMMMM.

Frozen Pie Filling If you want to get a head start, make and freeze your fruit pie filling. The principle is the same for most kinds of fruit–just gauge the sweetness when adding sugar.

Ken’s Grandma Badertscher’s Raisin Pie is a real vintage recipe, straight from Switzerland.

Acorn Squash Pudding or Pie  Acorn Squash is traditional for Thanksgiving. How about making it into a pudding or a pie?

Blueberry Pie from a Vintage Cook Book.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Dinner

Part of a Ham Dinner for an alternative Thanksgiving Dinner.

Add some mashed potatoes, and the turkey of course and you’ll have a whole Thanksgiving dinner.  If you were my grandmother, Vera Stout Anderson, you’d also have ham and bake a cake, and have three kinds of vegetables–but, hey, it all depends on how big an appetite your family has.

Thanksgiving Recipe: Paul Kaser’s Scalloped Corn

Paul Kaser Carving Turkey, Thanksgiving 1957

Paul Kaser Carving Turkey, Thanksgiving 1957

Our father’s favorite dish at Thanksgiving–besides the turkey– was this scalloped corn.  For years, he took the responsibility of making the scalloped corn.

Brent Badertscher

Brent Badertscher’s Birthday, 2003

When Dad died, my son Brent took up the challenge, and it has become traditional for Brent to come over to my house early enough to whip up the family recipe for scalloped corn and put it in the oven.


Of course, at the original Thanksgiving, the Indians along the seacoast shared their corn with the Pilgrims–not to mention the stored corn that the starving Pilgrims found and “liberated” during their first very hungry year in North America. And as I have written before, the Indians taught the early settlers many ways to use the unfamiliar grain, corn. So corn definitely belongs on our Thanksgiving menu.  At our house, it shows up in two forms.  Besides the scalloped corn, we must have my Killer Cornbread and I shared that recipe last year.

By the way, if you’re wondering what the term “scalloped” means in regard to corn, it is the same as “scalloped potatoes.” I explained the term ‘s (possible) origin here. (And by the way, the dish shown in the picture of the scalloped potatoes is the one we usually use for the scalloped corn.)

Although the family recipe for scalloped corn I inherited from my mother called for baking it in a shallow glass dish, we tend to use a round Pyrex dish to take up less space in the oven.  While I insist on using fancy dishes for most of the food on our Thanksgiving table, this one goes directly from oven to table in the baking dish.

It is essential that it be made after everything else (as the turkey comes out of the oven and is cooling is a good time), since it puffs up prettily when it bakes, but sinks down rather quickly.

Paul Kaser’s Scalloped Corn

Serves 6-8
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk
Meal type Side Dish
Misc Serve Hot
A traditional family recipe at our house has roots going back to the Pilgrims--Scalloped corn.


  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup soda crackers (finely crushed)
  • 1 can Evaporated Milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper (to taste)


1. Beat eggs, stir in all other ingredients except butter.
2. Grease a 8 x 12 rectangular or 1- quart round glass baking dish. Dot butter on top of corn. Bake at 375 degrees, 1/2 to one hour (depending on size of dish), until solid in middle, and just beginning to brown on the edges.


An easy way to crumble the crackers, is to put them in a zip top plastic bag, fasten securely, and then pound gently with wooden mallet or knife handle.

For a southwestern touch, add a can of mild green chiles.

If you are making a family dinner, it is highly recommended that you double this recipe. We invariably run out.

Extend baking time if using a larger, deeper dish.

The dish will puff up while baking, and fall a bit as it cools.