food for thought: favorite Thanksgiving food or memory

24 Nov

In case you have been living under a rock, Thanksgiving is this Thursday. We would love to hear about your favorite Thanksgiving memories or your favorite Thanksgiving day dishes.


I’m in the middle of prepping my house and my brain for the 15 people headed my way in 2 days. For a recap of my turkey day neurosis, go here. Thinking about my favorite Thanksgiving memories is a nice break from scrubbing my stove top with a toothbrush. (No lie. In fact, Anne caught me in the act.)

The Thanksgiving memory that always comes to mind was in 1997 – my junior year of college. My sister, Ann, was hosting that year and I went to her place the night before straight from school.  I had a nasty case of laryngitis. No words were coming out of my mouth – not one sound. It stunk – I love to talk.  Ann made Kung-Pao Chicken that evening and being the sweetheart that she is, made a MN nice version for my then wimpy palette. Well, the nice version was still way too wild for me. However, since I couldn’t talk, I didn’t say anything. It came to her attention when she looked up at me and tears were rolling down my face! The whole table was in fits of laughter as I ate as much white rice as I could shovel in followed by massive amounts of water. Thankfully I was recovered by the next day.

As far as favorite Thanksgiving Day foods, the one I look forward to the most is cranberries. I don’t really get excited about most of the traditional fare – I can take it or leave it. Cranberries, however, I adore. This year I made two versions; a traditional sauce with some orange zest added in and one made with a red wine reduction, pomegranate molasses and fresh mint. They are in the fridge in the way back so I am not tempted to break into them during the day.

If this year’s Thanksgiving goes down in the record books, I do hope it’s because it was awesome and the food was superb!


My most memorable Thanksgiving experience happened the day before Thanksgiving as well. It was the year I was in second grade, and we had a huge snow storm that day. That year we were having Thanksgiving at our house in Duluth, and my grandparents had come up to spend the holiday with us. Since our house was in rural Duluth and the snow plows had yet to make it down our road that afternoon, the bus driver thought it best to just drop off all the kids that lived on my road at the END of the road and have them walk home. Again, this is a rural road, probably two miles long. I had about a 1/2 mile walk home; lots of other kids had more. At the time I didn’t think a thing of having to trudge home in waist-deep snow- as a kid that sort of thing is rather exciting! The parental and grandparental units waiting for me to arrive home from school at the usual time on the other hand???? They were in a state of distress wondering where their darling child was an hour past when I normally arrived home. I remember getting home and everyone was all in a tizzy and I was all “wha?? I got to walk home in the snow!”

Other favorite Thanksgiving memories include dining around the ping-pong table in my grandparents’ basement so everyone would fit at the same table, and year after year my mom forgetting the green bean casserole in the microwave. (I think she did that on purpose because she doesn’t like that dish).

What about you oh dear readers???? What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory or favorite T-day food????


8 Responses to “food for thought: favorite Thanksgiving food or memory”

  1. Grandma B. November 24, 2009 at 8:14 pm #

    Here is a cranberry salsa recipe someone sent me. I have not tried it, but you may want to give it a try being you love cranberries. Hope your holiday meal is delicious! Happy Thanksgiving!

    Fresh Cranberry Salsa
    1-(12 oz) pkg fresh cranberrry– Clean
    2-finely diced large stalks of celery
    1-finely diced small white onion
    1-jalapeno pepper–seeded and minced
    1/4 cup shopped fresh cilantro
    1/2 teas kosher or sea salt
    3/4 cup sugar
    3-Tablespoons fresh lime juice—( I used bottled)–fresh would be awesome

    Process cranberries in food processor until coarsely chopped. Transfer to bowl, add remaining ingredients. Stir
    to combine. Do ahead at least 24 hours. Stir several time during the 24 hours to mix ingredients together so
    the sugar gets dissolved.

    • Jackson November 29, 2009 at 12:02 pm #

      I made the Cranberry Salsa but forgot to add the jalapeno pepper. It was great! We had tacos yesterday and I had made a batch of taco meat using ground turkey breast. Yum…… It will be even better when I make it next time and remember to add the pepper. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Jackson November 24, 2009 at 8:58 pm #

    My favorite Thanksgiving story is when my son Matt was 3. We were gathered around the table and before we said grace we were going around the table giving each person to state what they were thankful for. Things mentioned were: good health, a job they enjoyed, family, friends,etc. Of course being Barrie’s there were a few tears. We cry easily. Anyway, it got to Matt’s turn (and when you’re three your priorities are different than a grown-up) and he stated he was thankful for milk, his favorite beverage. It certainly brought on some chuckles.
    I know Jen dosen’t like grandma’s stuffing but I love it. Even the next day, cold, right out of the fridge.
    That cranberry salsa sounds awesome. I’m going to another gathering on Saturday. I think I’m going to make it and take it along. Thanks for sharing that.
    I just want to say I’m thankful being employed, having good health and a great family. Oh, and milk.:)

    • anne November 24, 2009 at 9:13 pm #

      We asked Ryan tonight what he was thankful for, and right away he said FOOD!! That’s me boy:)

  3. chez pat November 24, 2009 at 10:29 pm #

    i am thankful for pie

  4. Fav Sista November 25, 2009 at 8:21 am #

    One of my favorite Thanksgiving memories actually was one we hosted and took place about 6 or 7 years ago. We had invited family and some friends who didn’t have anywhere else to go. We too did the grateful circle where everyone shared their gratitude. There was laughter and tears and what was so great was how the family and friends blended together so nicely: laughing and crying at each others gratitude. It made me feel very blessed and complete.
    Speaking of gratitude, upon reading what kids say they are thankful for it reminded me of Ben. Following his accident some of the things he would say didn’t always make sense. A few days after his accident, Gary asked him what he liked to eat the most and after thinking a few minutes Ben simply said, Food. Makes me smile even now.
    Grateful for my family, friends, and all we have been blessed with and so grateful to Jen for hosting this Thanksgiving – looking forward to making a new Thanksgiving memory there!

  5. Ann November 25, 2009 at 10:21 am #

    Jen, I remember the year you came and I made Kung Poa! I felt so teribble that you were miserable. I will never, ever serve you anything with any type of hotness or spicyness again.

    Okay, so on to my Thanksgiving memories. I am so horrible at remembering such things, but I do remember the first year my husband, Trent, celebrated with my family. He had his first taste of pecan pie. He had never had it before. He never even knew what it was. Well, he loved it and insisted I get my grandmothers recipe and make it the next day. I just love the smell of turkey and stuffing. Thanksgiving is one of those predictable holidays. Turkey with all the fixin’s, football, wine and a nap. I am thanksful that I can be celebrating with family every year. I am thankful for health, joy, love and hugs(and a warm puppy…peanuts). Joan, I am really thankful for Ben and the belief in prayer/miracles…okay and tearing up……


  1. gift ideas for the cook in your life « She said. She said. - November 24, 2010

    […] One year ago: Our favorite Thanksgiving memories – and yours too! […]

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