Many immigrants from different countries that arrive in America make Thanksgiving festivities to fit in with their own cultures. I think that is wonderful. We are free in this country to celebrate Thanksgiving any way that is special to each of us.
My parents were German immigrants. They had no idea what Thanksgiving was about. They had never eaten turkey. They wanted to fit in with America and therefore bought their first turkey. My mother learned how to cook the turkey and some of the traditional American trimmings and incorporated some of her traditional German dishes. I married, had children, and we all went to Oma's (grandma) house for a German-American Thanksgiving every year.
Our family moved and it was too far to go home every year for Thanksgiving so I started cooking the meal and kept most of my mother's German dishes and added some of my own trimmings. The kids grew up with my mother's red cabbage and cucumber salad and always loved it. I could never get it just like she made it but it is very close.
We then moved much further away, and I became a single mother, but the Thanksgiving traditions stayed on with me and the kids. Sometimes we would have guests over that had no other place to go for Thanksgiving. Our special meal was always a discussion at the dinner table as they tried some of the delicious fare.
The girls are married. The older one comes home for Thanksgiving when she can. My son does whatever his current girlfriend wants. I now go to my daughter's in-laws for Thanksgiving every year. They have a large extended family, something we never had. Everyone brings a dish. Every year, I am asked to bring my mother's dishes that they now also look forward to every year.
My parents have both passed. I know that Mom would be happy to know that her traditions are still kept alive. This will be an extra special Thanksgiving. My youngest daughter just had a baby girl on Nov 3rd, a sister to a 3 year old brother. In time, they will also enjoy Great Oma's German-American Thanksgiving. A tradition, I hope, that will continue to be passed down for generations to come.
I have tried to get these recipes as close as possible since nothing was measured out and the girls and I know how to make it. I learned by watching my mother and doing it myself and writing things down as I went along. I hope the readers enjoy these simple recipes.
By xintexas from San Antonio, TX
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Inexpensive, quick and easy crowd pleaser. Combine one packet potato flakes and one bag stuffing mix in bowl with half a cup of hot water; stir.
It's almost turkey time again, so I want to share this great dressing recipe with you. It is easy, flavorful, and comes out perfect every time.
Wonderful Recipe for Thanksgiving Yeast Rolls. Why not try making your own this year?
Although everyone's Thanksgiving food varies for each family, there are some traditional dishes that grace tables across the U.S.; like turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. These recipes are all from New England, where the first Thanksgiving was celebrated.
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I'm looking for recipes for Thanksgiving dinner that can be made ahead of time and frozen or can be cooked a couple of days early. We're going to my parents on Thanksgiving Day, and then the next day we're having my husband's family over, so I will not have time to prepare the day before.
Cook your turkey ahead of time. When cool, slice meat from turkey and place in ziplock bags and freeze. If making homemade stuffing, prepare it in a disposable aluminum baking pan, Bake and then cool, cover with foil and freeze in pan it's baked in.
If you really want to impress your in-laws with your cooking, get your turkey ready the day before Thanksgiving and refrigerate it. Get up early on Friday morning and bake it. There is nothing more that says 'it's leftover' than frozen turkey, whether you want it to be or not. Sorry, but I am not a fan of frozen cooked meat of any kind, especially poultry. If you must do it this way, at least boil some of the juices you baked it in and pour over the warmed turkey to help give it that just cooked flavor. The potatoes can be made ahead and put in the crockpot that morning to warm. Good luck!
i'm so glad you asked.
i love how this idea works out!
i make my mashed potatoes weeks in advance.
i mash the potatoes as usual.
then i fold in some shredded mozzerella cheese,
some finely diced ham and 1 egg (lightly beaten).
put the mixture into a buttered casserole dish.
sprinkle the top with a mixture of bread crumbs and grated parmesan cheese. Dot with butter.
cover with clear wrap and tin foil.
and freeze for up to one month
or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
before baking - remove clear wrap and replace foil.
bake for 45 mins to 1 hour at 350 degrees
until heated through and top becomes slightly golden. you can remove foil for the last ten minutes.
My girlfriend (the italian home economics teacher)
calls this "Italian Potatoe Pie"
Mashed Potato Casserole
Cook potatoes. Mash, season with salt, pepper and parsley; adding butter as needed. Add half and half, cream cheese and onion dip using whip or hand mixer. Do not over beat.
Put in a 9x13 inch greased casserole. Brush top with butter and sprinkle with parsley and/or paprika.
Bake in 350 degree F for 30 minutes. Serves 12.
Can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen. Bake for one hour at 350° to reheat.
Personal Note: I warm the cream cheese, sour cream, and half and half in the microwave at a low setting.
This is the first year I'm hosting Thanksgiving. We recently bought our first house and my parents and my in-laws, plus my grandparents will all be coming here for the meal. There will be 9 people, not to many. However, my family has the exact same thing every year for thanksgiving. Turkey, stuffing, cranberry, yams, lima beans, mashed potatoes, jello salad, apple salad, date pudding and pumpkin pie. Not only am I getting tired of this menu after 23 years, but I want my in-laws to and family both like the menu.
What should I cook for Thanksgiving dinner?
By shannon from Hazleton, PA
I am attending a family Thanksgiving dinner and I need ideas as to what to bring. They do not make a traditional Thanksgiving meal; I never know what they are making. And we will be driving about 2 hours away for this dinner.
By Shannon from Austin, MN
Any ideas for an easy, cheap Thanksgiving menu and the recipes?
Kathy Milligan from Mira Loma, CA.
I will give you the sample Thanksgiving menu that is in my mother's cookbook, along with as many recipes as possible.
Harvest Celebration Cup
To begin with this Harvest cup, thaw 2 pkgs. (12oz. each) frozen mixed fruit as per directions on package. Do not drain! Spoon 1/3 c. fruit with syrup into each of 8 punch cups. Pour about 1/4 c. chilled sparkling grape juice into each cup. Stir once and serve immediately. Delicious!
Roast Turkey & Dressing
Heat oven to 325. Rinse bird in cold water. Drain and pat dry. Fold wings, bringing wing tips to the back of the bird. Fill neck cavity with stuffing, if desired. Stuff body cavity as well, but do not pack stuffing as it will expand as it cooks. If you do not wish to stuff the bird, rub the inside of the bird with salt. Push drum sticks under a band of skin at the tail. Place turkey, breast down, and allow to bake at least 1/2 of the time. Then turn the turkey over carefully. Baste with butter. The browning of the bird will take place now so continue to baste with the juices from the roasting pan every 30 minutes. If you use a meat thermometer, make sure it does not touch the bone. Covering with aluminum foil will prevent excessive browning. Allow the turkey to stand 20-30 minutes to set before carving.
Mashed potatoes & gravy from drippings from the turkey.
8 lg. size ears of sweet corn (husked, silked & washed)
3 T. brown sugar (firmly packed
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 stick butter
Cut corn from each cob and scrape each cob to remove the cream from the cob. Spray electric skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Melt butter in skillet. Place corn in skillet. Top with brown sugar and whipping cream to cover corn. Season with salt & pepper. Cover; bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer. Stir often. AS it cooks down, stir to keep from burning. Bring caramelization to the top while stirring. This will take 20-25 minutes. The corn w8ill have a beautiful golden color. Delicious also!
1 pkg. lemon gelatin (3oz.)
1 c. boiling water
1 pkg. frozen cranberry-orange relish (10oz.)
1 can crushed pineapple (not drained) (8oz.)
1 red apple (chopped)
1/2 c. celery (chopped)
crisp salad greens
Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in frozen relish, fruit and celery. Stir until relish is thawed. Pour into 1 qt. mold; chill until set. Unmold on fresh salad greens.
Hot rolls & butter
Green Bean Casserole:
2 cans green beans(drained)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can water chestnuts
Pour all ingredients into a well greased rectangular dish. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Sprinkle a can of French-fried onions over the top of the casserole for the last 5 minutes or baking.
Creamy Fruit Salad:
1 can drained mandarin oranges
1 can drained crushed pineapple
2 bananas, sliced
1 c. mini marshmallows
12 maraschino cherries
1 carton Dream Whip (mixed with 3 t. sugar & 1/4 t. almond extract)
Mix ingredients together.
Pumpkin or Apple Pie
For the pumpkin pie, my mom always used the recipe that comes on the can of Libby's pumpkin. For the apple pie, here is the recipe.
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie shells
7 apples (peel & core)
Slice into pie shell. Mix the following:
1 c. sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1 c. cream
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
pat of butter
Pour over apples. Sprinkle grated cheese over top. Cover top with second pie shell layer. Brush with cream. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Bake 45 minutes at 400 degrees.
I hope these are good suggestions for you. Good luck!
How about a cooperative effort? You do the turkey and the dressing, and assign various people to bring veggies, desserts, beverages, etc? Most people are usually happy to show off their best dishes. Those who don't or can't cook might bring beverages, refrigerator rolls, paper goods or fresh corn for boiling, etc.
Even the children can participate by making and bringing a few hand decorated placemats each.
Thank you everyone for posting such great ideas! Everyone of them look so good!
Call a fast food chicken place like KFC or others and they have all the fixings and turkey for usually about 50.00
I need some new inspiration. What does your Thanksgiving Day menu include? I am looking for ideas from main dish, to sides, to dessert etc. (Links to recipes online if you have them would be great as well.) Many thanks.
This is an amazing twist on the typical veggie tray. For Thanksgiving, why not create a turkey shaped veggie tray. The steps needed to make one of your own follow. Then all that remains is the eating.