Thanksgiving to me has always been truly about giving thanks and family. Of course, food traditions certainly play a part in these memories. But growing up in northeastern PA on a dairy farm, all the family came home to the farm for Thanksgiving. I always looked forward to this. My parents now have a farm in NYS, and with the way we work, holidays like today included, those days of the big thanksgiving on the farm are not the same anymore. My significant other's family has a lovely family gathering though and it is just next door at his sister's so it is still in the country, where I feel it should always be.
After all, we are thankful to God for the harvests and what we have been able to reap with His blessing. So at the farm where the abundance of produce is plentiful makes sense. It also makes sense in being surrounded by the natural beauty of the earth.
This holiday has so many food traditions from house to house and region to region, that it could be celebrated every day with a totally different array of food at each meal! So, I thought I would share a few dishes from around my region with you.
My mother's menu often looked like this:
Roast turkey with herbed filling
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Mashed butternut cinnamon squash
Corn Pudding (which is like a bread pudding)
Green Bean Casserole
Apple cranberry salad
Fresh dinner rolls and bread
Her apple and pumpkin spice pies
I am here to tell you that the squash and corn pudding I will often make at other times as well, and that salad cannot be beat! They are also simple to make. Another staple here in this part of Pennsylvania is potato stuffing. I love both, combined......how can you lose! So I will share that first!
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 to 3 celery ribs, finely chopped
- 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
- 2 slices white bread, torn
- 3 cups mashed potatoes
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- In a large saucepan, saute onion and celery in butter until tender. Remove from the heat. Stir in the bread, potatoes and parsley. Spoon into a greased 1-qt. casserole.
- Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 45 minutes or until top is lightly browned.
APPLE CRANBERRY SALAD
This is actually more of a slaw.
1 lb bag of fresh cranberries washed
7-8 fresh apples
1/4 C sugar (can add more to taste)
- wash and shred in food processor or hand grater the cranberries and peeled and cored apples
- zest a bit of orange rind
- add the sugar to taste
- combine and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving
Cinnamon Squash Mash
1 butternut squash
3 tbs butter
1/4 C brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
- cut squash lengthwise and bake face down on a greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees about an hour or until tender.
- after pitting seeds, scoop flesh out in large bowl
- add the butter, sugar and cinnamon
- mash and serve
(Lizelia Augusta Jenkins Moorer)
Let us give thanks to God above,
Thanks for expressions of His love,
Seen in the book of nature, grand
Taught by His love on every hand.
Let us be thankful in our hearts,
Thankful for all the truth imparts,
For the religion of our Lord,
All that is taught us in His word.
Let us be thankful for a land,
That will for such religion stand;
One that protects it by the law,
One that before it stands in awe.
Thankful for all things let us be,
Though there be woes and misery;
Lessons they bring us for our good-
Later 'twill all be understood.
Thankful for peace o'er land and sea,
Thankful for signs of liberty,
Thankful for homes, for life and health,
Pleasure and plenty, fame and wealth.
Thankful for friends and loved ones, too,
Thankful for all things, good and true,
Thankful for harvest in the fall,
Thankful to Him who gave it all.