My Family's Thanksgiving Favorites



My family, like most I would imagine, does not vary much from the menu that has become our Thanksgiving tradition. These recipes are from my grandmothers and my mother and from my own collection.

Our menu usually includes:

Relish tray

Deviled eggs

Turkey with Stuffing


Mashed potatoes

Gravy (3 kinds, giblet, creamed ham gravy and ham drippings)

Sweet potatoes

Green beans

Cranberry sauce (salad at my grandmother's dinner)

Orange stuff

Hot rolls

Pumpkin pie

Cheery cheesecake

Chocolate cake (when we had Thanksgiving at Grandma McQuerrey's)

Mother's Deviled Eggs

1 dozen eggs

1-1/2 tablespoons mustard

salt and pepper to taste

a little mayonnaise to taste

To boil the eggs, start with salted cold water, which makes them easier to peel. Put eggs in water and turn on heat. Set timer for 20 minutes. Drain and crack to speed cooling. Cool fully, peel and rinse. Cut in half, length-wise and scoop out yolk.

Combine yolk with mustard and salt and pepper to taste. If the mixture is too tangy, add a little mayonnaise to modify.

Return yolk mixture to egg halves and refrigerate before serving.

Teresa's Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

1 pound or 4 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 cup chopped celery

3/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1-2/3 cup chicken broth

1 pound bulk sausage, browned and drained

1, 16-ounce package cornbread stuffing mix

1-1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning

Cook mushrooms, celery and onion in butter or margarine until tender. Add chicken broth to heat through. Combine mushroom mixture with other ingredients, stuff into turkey before roasting or bake in greased casserole dish at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. A chopped apple and a half-cup of pecans can be added as well.

Grandma McQuerrey's Cranberry Salad

1, 6-ounce box cherry flavored gelatin

2 cups hot water

1 can whole cranberry sauce

1 can jellied cranberry sauce

1 medium apple, peeled and chopped

2 stalks celery, cleaned and chopped

1/4 cup lemon juice

8 ounces cream cheese

2 cups whipped cream or whipped topping

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Dissolve gelatin in water. Add cranberry sauces, apple, celery and lemon juice. Pour into a lightly oiled cake pan. Chill until firm. Blend together softened cream cheese, whipped cream and nuts. Spread on top of gelatin. Refrigerate overnight or for several hours before serving.

Another Cranberry Sauce

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 cups orange juice

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1, 16-ounce can whole cranberry sauce

Using a 2-quart saucepan, combine cornstarch, lemon peel, cloves and salt, then stir in juices until mixture is smooth.

Place on high heat to cook, stirring constantly to make a smooth, thickened sauce. Add cranberry sauce and heat, stir occasionally.

This can be served hot or cold. Makes about 3 cups.

Teresa's Orange Stuff

1, 8-ounce tub reduced fat whipped topping

1, 8-ounce container of fat free cottage cheese

1, 4-serving size box of sugar-free orange gelatin

2 small cans (or 1 large) mandarin oranges

1 regular-size can crushed pineapple

1-1/2 to 2 cups pecan halves or pieces

Combine whipped topping and cottage cheese with gelatin crystals. Drain fruit and add to orange mixture. Stir in most of pecans, reserving about 1/8 cup for garnish. Chill to set mixture, overnight or just for 30 minutes, as time allows.

It is not necessary to use the low-fat, sugar-free versions of the ingredients.

Grandma McQuerrey's Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

1/2 cup margarine

1/2 cup shortening

4 tablespoons baking cocoa

1 cup water

2 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift together sugar and flour. Melt and bring to a boil margarine, shortening, cocoa and water. Pour into flour mixture and mix well. Add eggs, buttermilk, soda and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

Pour batter into greased 13-by-9-inch pan and bake for 30 minutes.


1/2 cup margarine

4 tablespoons cocoa

6 tablespoons milk

1, 1-pound box powdered sugar

1/2 cup pecans

1 teaspoon vanilla

Make icing while cake is baking because it must be frosted while still hot. Melt margarine with cocoa and milk and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar, nuts and vanilla. Combine and pour over cake while it's hot.

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