Cooking On A Budget: Thanksgiving Memories

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thanksgiving Memories


When I was growing up we ended up with the biggest house in the country versus the small one my grandparents owned and where one of my mother's sisters lived (her other sister did not own a house). So many youthful Thanksgivings were spent with relatives from my mother's side at our house in the country.
I remember playing a rough version of football or even baseball, and on a very rare occasion it snowed; for which my parents reminisced how they used to go sledding on many Thanksgivings years before in their youth. Back then (I was around age 11) most everyone owned a television and there was the parade to watch with the marching bands and floats and then in the afternoon endless football games.
Why is it I remember the pies more so than the main course? There was always apple, pumpkin and one of my favorites: chocolate cream pie. Occasionally a cherry pie made it into the line up. Back then I don't think I ever heard of a sweet potato pie or a pecan pie.
And no one in our family ever made the green bean casserole or a sweet potato casserole. Even though my heritage was Polish, there wasn't any Polish food elements in the dinners. I feel cheated. It wasn't until my sister and her husband began hosting Thanksgiving and a local man who was a friend of theirs made his home made kielbasa did an element of my own ethnic background make the Thanksgiving scene. And I believe my sisters mother-in-law made a version of sweet potato casserole and I think my sister made a green bean casserole. For some reason that variety of food made the feast seems more like what a "traditional" family Thanksgiving meal should be.
I have some food envy over families who take into account their heritage and create dishes based on that and year after year they come to the holiday table with recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation.
So I ask you what is your heritage and what special recipes do you make for the holidays?

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