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Inspired by the ever-popular what’s for dinner thread… What’s for Thanksgiving dinner?


The meal for us always includes the “Polish Salad” created by my grandmother. Lettuce, pickles, olives and mayonnaise dressing. It’s pretty awful, and we can’t figure out what’s Polish about it. But we make it every year even though no one eats it—especially the younger generations. Raising my fork with a bite of that dish always brings memories of our many holiday meals together.


All of us at AgingCare hope that your holiday season brings memories, laughs and meaningful things.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

As early as I can remember, my grandpa would take me to the Silverdome for the Lions Thanksgiving game. Hot dogs, nachos and cotton candy was the meal. We would go back to his house and I would have Kraft mac n cheese. He died after going to Ford Field once but that is tradition. Tailgating and Lions game, now with friends though.
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Reply to tacy022
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Here’s a funny memory: invited my husband’s boss and his family one year (they had no family nearby) and as they were pulling into the driveway, my mother in law turned the turkey pan sideways in the oven to put her casserole in, and the “roasting bag” touched the side of the oven, made a hole in the bag, the juices ran down into the oven and caught fire! Needless to say, the smoke alarm was blaring, the house was filled with smoke, and there wasn’t enough liquid to make the gravy! Smoked turkey anyone?!
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Reply to Dadsakid
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Brocolli souffle, cranberry sauce~New England style.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Such a lovely thread....I enjoyed reading all the stories here esp.jello mixed with shredded carrots!! Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!
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Reply to wren9184
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My dad would stuff the turkey with something called “forcemeat” - then instead of scooping it out the goal was to cut it in slices as he carved the turkey. Daddy said it was something his mother always made at thanksgiving. I never liked it much. I think it’s a British thing... As well, daddy always draped the turkey with a long length of linked sausage- the smaller breakfast kind. Now that was good!

I sure miss my dad!

Happy Thanksgiving!
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Reply to Rainmom
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My grandparents lived in a rough craftsman style house in the middle of a hundred acres. My great great grandfather had planted pecan trees in a big spread out grid. Picking up pecans was always a part of thanksgiving.
Grandmother’s menu was not really unusual other than there was a running argument about whether to include the oysters in the cornbread dressing or not. I remember her working in a tiny bit of pork sausage too, but this memory is contested like everything else in my family now.
She made a rich concoction that went by the name of giblet gravy. A popcorn popper that had to be from the 1940’s kept the boiled eggs and the turkey parts hot. I would sneak a roll and dip it in making my favorite treat of the day.
We ate early with the men going first, then the children before the women. They always made a big deal of how the children use to stay outside until they were fed last.
After we finished, the men and boys would slip outside for the adults to smoke before shaking the pecan trees.
My younger uncles would climb into the hundred year old trees and jump up and down sending the nuts to the ground like sheets of rain.
We would be rewarded for the tow sack bags full of nuts with coconut cake and boiled custard. There were always jokes about how our custard was never spiked with whiskey,
I’m the black sheep now. I left the family church, even though I’m still a Baptist and a deacon, it’s not really good enough. My cousins are distant. My politics have them questioning my faith. It’s not what my grandparents would have wanted.
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Reply to Jakjak
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My grandmother was an amazing cook, out of necessity during the depression more than just a love of cooking. She made delicious meals we’ll never have again. It’s funny, many of us tried to get her to teach us her gravy, her biscuits, her fudge, all of her wonderful foods she showered us with on holidays like Thanksgiving, and she simply couldn’t. Her cooking was just something automatic, she just knew what she did, no measurements, nothing exact or even quite the same each time, but wonderful every time. She couldn’t teach anyone because she wasn’t quite sure herself, but she could go in the kitchen and come out with a perfect meal without fail. I love the memory of it.
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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My mother was a great cook and always made wonderful gravy for the turkey. When my brother took over the holiday cooking he decided gravy was too fattening. The "dressing" was also made with little to no fat. No butter for the home made bread either. I miss the days when dieting took a break on Thanksgiving!
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Reply to Bigsister7
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My mom made the best green beans she would slow cook all day in a big pot on the stove with a ham hock that gave them a smokey delicious taste and aroma. I tried to duplicate it, but it's not the same.
As a teen and young adult we spent Thanksgiving at my Aunt's house. I remember her house smelling delicious, the table all set waiting for us, anticipation of the upcoming season, and lots of laughter. My Aunt is gone now and cousins moved away. I cherish those memories and am grateful it was part of my upbringing. I struggle to feel the magic and wonder if it's just part of getting older? My husband and I have hosted his side of the family for years and I hope I am making memories for the younger generation that they will look back on as fondly as I do. Happy Thanksgiving friends!!
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Reply to GingerMay
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What a great thread, Linda! When my new husband and I were in the military, we had no family near. Rather than cooking the traditional dinner, we went through fancy cookbooks and made a meal of exotic dishes that we would normally never make, you know, the dishes that have 30 ingredients or take 5 hours to make.

On our first Thanksgiving in a brand-new house the brand-new stove decided that was the day it wouldn't work. *sigh*
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Reply to MountainMoose
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Green bean casserole with mushroom soup and , french's french fried onions. (the kind that come in a can) My Mom made a really good basic sage stuffing that I still make to this day.
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Reply to Isabelsdaughter
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Mmmmmm, cranberry orange relish! Bag of cranberries, whole orange with peel, sugar to taste? Grind it all up in your blender or processor. Recipe on bag of ocean spray berries.

Steamed cranberry pudding with hard sauce. More of a very heavy cake, but enjoyed by all.

Trying to think of some strange ones. Maybe those have been lost.

Though Christmas Eve is and always will be rice porridge. Anyone marrying into the family was REQUIRED to become accustomed to that one. It is served with a bit of cream, a dollop of butter and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. Very Norwegian and is risengrod.
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Reply to gladimhere
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My mom always made baked corn, stuffing balls and a cranberry/ orange relish. Sadly she passed a year ago, try as I might, can't duplicate those recipes. I think the most important ingredients were all of us together at her house. But I'm thankful I had my mom as long as I did.
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Reply to Friendtotheend
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cwillie Nov 22, 2018
I think the ingredients missing from all those old family recipes are our youthful appetites and the love and family that were mixed in, no doubt the older generation also felt they never lived up to their mother's cooking.
Hope you have a wonderful day!
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Let's see - worst traditional dish had to be my aunt's salad of lemon jello, shredded carrot and topped with a dollop of Miracle Whip. Favorite old traditional dish is my grandma's sausage stuffing. Favorite new traditional dish is broccoli rice casserole, made with rice, mushroom soup, Cheese Whiz and broccoli.
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Reply to Linda22
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Shell38314 Nov 22, 2018
The broccoli rice casserole sounds pretty good. I might have to try that one.
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