Posted by Amy Bowers Gordy on November 23, 2015
Creating traditions is a great way to help bring your family closer together around the holidays. Whether your clan always indulges in a certain dish, comes together to decorate a Christmas tree post-feast, or takes turns at the table voicing what they are thankful for, a tradition is something everyone can look forward to year after year. Here, Allen shares a snippet from his childhood, a treasured family recipe, and a few Thanksgiving traditions he holds dear …
As a child, I
remember Thanksgiving meals at my grandparents’ house. My brothers, sister,
cousins, and I would play outside all morning and eat peanuts we roasted over
the old wood-burning stove. My grandfather grew peanuts, so there were always
plenty to keep us going until lunch.
Red cheeked and
hungry, we would run into a house full of mouth-watering aromas. After washing
up, we would all gather around for the meal – we small ones at the kids’ table
on the back porch, and the adults in the dining room. Before diving in, we
would stand in a circle holding hands around the “big” table and my grandfather
would say the blessing. All the wonderful dishes made it hard to sit through
the prayer, but as I grew older I learned to listen to what he was saying and
now, as an adult, I hear his words echoed around my own Thanksgiving table.
That’s what this celebration is all about, being thankful for the blessings of
the year, and rejoicing in the bounty of the harvest.
Many members of my family are gone now, but their memories are very much alive and with us on Thanksgiving. Every year I dig out my grandmother’s recipe for corn bread dressing, and my sister always makes mother’s cranberry relish. My young nieces and nephews have taken the place of my brothers, sister and cousins around the kids’ table and we’re passing on to them this very American tradition that each family has made into their own.
Try Allen’s grandmother’s cornbread dressing recipe at your Thanksgiving table and let us know what you think. You can find this recipe and many others in Allen’s cookbook, Seasonal Recipes from the Garden.
Josephine Foster’s Cornbread Dressing
2 tablespoons bacon drippings
1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1 (6 to 7 pound) roasting chicken
8 tablespoons butter
3 to 4 celery rind, including leaves, chapped
1 medium onion, chopped
5 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
12 slices day-old white bread, crumbled
1 cup half-and-half or evaporated milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 level tablespoon rubbed sage
1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Here are a few items you many need to make your Thanksgiving meal complete...