Holiday Cooking

With Thanksgiving just two weeks and 2 days away my family has begun to list suggestions for Thanksgiving Dinner.  Supergirl, my developmentally disabled daughter has a strong opinion of what needs to be served for Thanksgiving: Pickles, carrots (carrots???), cranberries, and stuffing.  “Lots of stuffing,” she tells me, “because it’s my favorite.”

Today is Day 2  of the Preparing for the Holidays Blog Hop hosted by the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  Today’s topic:  Cooking, of course!
First let’s chat about Thanksgiving.  We have a nearly set menu for Thanksgiving: a combo of traditions from his family, my family, and traditions we’ve started as our family.

We start our Thanksgiving morning with some type of breakfast roll: Cinnamon, Carmel, or some variation.  I’d love to brag about how they are homemade and made from freshly ground wheat but they’re not.  They come from a can.  We only make them once a year so I don’t worry too much about cost or how incredibly unhealthy they are.
Our Thanksgiving cooking though begins at least the day before.  It has become tradition to eat Chex Mix while we play games before dinner is ready.  So we make a HUGE roasting pan full of our own variation of Chex Mix. We also get the potatoes cooked and mashed for the “really good mashed potatoes that are so good you don’t even need gravy” that will go in the crockpot.  I also steam or bake some yams/sweet potatoes (I am pretty sure they are yams but I call them sweet potatoes).  Those will get mashed up with butter and brown sugar and a bit of maple syrup if I have it and be placed in a casserole dish.   We also make the stuffed mushrooms.  Well we get them prepared and ready to pop in the oven.

Our Thanksgiving Dinner consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, cranberry-orange relish, jellied cranberries and sometimes my mom’s fruit salad which is really fruit cocktail, drained and folded into Cool Whip.  We start the meal off by snacking earlier in the day on a relish tray (pickles, olives etc), Chex Mix, the stuffed mushrooms, and sometimes spinach dip.  (It’s really a wonder that we have any appetite for dinner but I don’t serve lunch.)
Christmas dinner is a different ball of wax.  Before becoming Orthodox we did a breakfast casserole for brunch and didn’t go to church (our church didn’t have Christmas services) but now we’re Orthodox.  That means NO breakfast because we do go to Divine Liturgy on Christmas Morning.   We flip flop back and forth between prime rib roast and ham for our Christma dinner.  And our traditions for Christmas Eve has changed somewhat as well. 

There is one Christmas dish that must be served sometime between December 24th and January 1st.   This is a tradition my husband brought into the family.  Fruit Soup.   And it has to be served with lefsa.   We make the flour kind.  I could live without fruit soup but my children love it and with them I have become rather fond of butter slathered cinnamon/sugar loaded lefsa.

When I hear “Holiday Cooking” my brain translates it to “Christmas Goodies.”  I love making fudge (I use my mom’s “magic fudge” recipe) and a few years ago thanks to Sonlight Forums I was introduced to Buckeyes ( a peanut butter ball dipped in melted chocolate!) and Linda’s Famous Peanut Butter Fudge.  Those items along with various cookies have become part of our traditional family Christmas treats.  We do not start making these though until just before Christmas so that they can be enjoyed as part of 12 days of Christmas.
I think I have gained 5 pounds just thinking about Christmas Goodies!  What do you cook for Thanksgiving? What are some your family’s food related traditions for Christmas?  Click on the link below to hop from blog to blog to read more about Holiday Cooking or click on the Button near the top to link up your own Preparing for the Holidays post!


  1. Can you share how you do the really good mashed potatoes in the crockpot? I'm not a big mashed potatoes fan, but my family still wants me to make it every year.

  2. It's from the Fix it and Forget it Crock pot book but I'll do a recipe post of it and maybe some other holiday recipes. I'm not a huge fan of mashed potatoes but these are really good and my mashed potatoe loving family can't seem to get enough! They are dairy rich though.


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