Thursday, November 8, 2012

My Cranberry Thanksgiving

Oh the beautiful colors and cooler temperatures of Fall! It just seems as if the whole atmosphere around my home changes. I start getting out my fall decorations. I burn my Pumpkin Spice candles... the house smells wonderful... and I start to I plan my Thanksgiving dinner. Now that the kids are grown and married, it's fun to plan the meal with my daughters (when i can get them in the same area at the same time)... and this year I get an added treat, to cook with my new daughter-in-law!  

We usually share in the cooking. My son-in-law Jake, loves to fry a turkey. This year, my son Logan, will be smoking a turkey, trying his hand at smoking meat. He's becoming quite the bar-be-que pit master. Rachel makes a few dishes of her own, and I usually make a few as well. But this year, I will get to teach my daughter-in-law, Rhiannon, how to make home made dressing. Not that it's hard... but since my family always asks for me to make the dressing, it's not a bad idea to pass along that recipe.

I used to make Stove Top stuffing. But every year when I was growing up, my grandmother would make homemade dressing. So after I was married, one year I asked her how to do it. Her recipe was as follows, in her words:

"You chop up your celery and onion in a pan and cook it in butter. When that's cooked, you take your chicken broth and mix it in there and let it simmer. Then you beat up your eggs, throw in your bread crumbs, sage, seasoning, and orsters (oysters), give it a taste to make sure it tastes right, cover it up, and bake it!"

Okay, it took a while before I got her to tell me how many eggs to put in! But Grandma never measured anything. So I had to make up my own recipe from what she told me...minus the oysters, because I don't like those. What I came up with was something that has become a family Thanksgiving Tradition. The kids always ask me to make dressing, so I'm always happy to oblige.

One particular year, I decided to get "fancy" and put nuts and cranberries in the dressing. Since I wasn't sure if it would go over, I made two batches of dressing. Let this just be a warning to you all: 


The dressing was good, don't get me wrong. But no one really ate it and I ended up throwing it out a couple days later. My Cranberry Thanksgiving was a good thought, but that's as far as it ever went. My son-in-law Jake said, "I liked it." I think he was just trying to be nice. Good thing I only made a small batch of that one and a bigger batch of the original. Later that evening my husband told me, "Honey, your dressing was really good. But don't ever put cranberries in it again. We like it the original way you make it." Lesson learned!

I hope you all have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving... whether you put cranberries in your dressing or not!


  1. For over 40 years now, I have been asked to bring the relish tray to the annual family dinner where there are about 30 of us each year. I've always suspected that they never got over their mistrust of my cooking. ;-)

  2. Cute story! I have tried messing with tried-and-true recipes and gotten the same reaction. If I want to add cranberries (which I love) to something, I need to come up with a whole new recipe! By the way, I adore autumn too, and have the book 'Cranberry Thanksgiving' sitting on my coffee table.

  3. My sister in law added raisins to her gravy; it was just something they did in her family, and boy, you should seen the look on her face when our side of the family said, "what is this?" the first year she served dinner. I don't think she's made it again.

  4. I see I'm not the only one who has had a Thanksgiving "Faux Pas!" Thanks for sharing...

    Karen, relish isn't so bad to bring. LoL!

    Lisa, raisins in gravy? I think I would have had the same reaction your family did.

    Okay, Miss Prude... I was going to write about my favorite Thanksgiving children's book "Cranberry Thanksgiving," but it turned into what you just read. But I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who has that book! I love it!

  5. Nothing like traditions - especially at holiday time! Sounds good :)


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