Thanksgiving Memories, Traditions, & A Recipe

Thanksgiving is almost here! One of my favorite holidays. A time of celebrating with family and friends that is built around food — no wonder it’s an American favorite. I love getting to be with my family. I love recounting what we are thankful for and setting aside time to remember those things. I love watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. And then making fun of the ugly dogs — and enjoying the cute ones — on the dog show. All while we are busy cooking in the background.

Both of my parents worked when I was growing up, so Thanksgiving was an extra special day when we got to be at home with them. I remember waking up to the sound of my mom and my dad downstairs, and then going down to watch the fun of the parade with them. We would sneak food even though mom said not to ruin our dinner. And I’m sure she had to put out fights between me and my brother and my sister, even though it was a holiday. But all of those things helped carve out a very special memory and special traditions that still hold true to this day. I want to build traditions like that with my children. I want them to have sweet memories of a holiday and family time together. I want to make delicious food for them with our family that resonates as favorites for years to come.   

thanksgiving 2012

Here are some of my favorite Thanksgiving foods: 

Turkey from Honey Baked Ham — out of this world good and definitely doesn’t require all the prep work.

Sweet potatoes — I’m in the “less is more” camp and prefer they be left basically alone. My sister, on the other hand, holds the philosophy of the “more marshmallows the better.” That one usually wins out.

Being a Southern girl, if I have a weakness for food, and I do, it would be gravy. Any kind of gravy can get in my belly. It’s not Thanksgiving without a boat load {or gravy boat} full of gravy. Mashed potatoes, turkey, dressing, even the rolls — it all needs gravy. 

We have a huge spread of food and all of it is so delicious, but I do have to say that I have a new favorite dish that’s been added to Thanksgiving in the last several years. Broccoli Salad. I think for everyone else it’s just another dish — in fact, my brother won’t touch it — but to me, it is at the top of the charts now! 

I’m going to share the Broccoli Salad recipe below in case you are looking for a new recipe to try. And I really want to know — what is your favorite Thanksgiving recipe?? One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is hearing what other people’s Thanksgivings are like! 

Broccoli Salad


1 head of broccoli (can use broccoli florets to cut out a step)

6-8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

1/2 cup chopped red onion (optional; I leave it out.)

1/2 cup Craisins

8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1 cup mayonnaise

2 T white vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes

Salt and pepper to taste


1.  Thoroughly wash broccoli. 

2.  Cut head into florets. 

3.  Place in large bowl. 

4.  Add crumbled bacon, onion, Craisins, and cheese. 

5.  In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, white vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. 

6.  Add dressing to the broccoli mixture and toss gently. 

7.  Add in tomatoes and toss very gently. 

8.  Chill before serving. 

This recipe is adapted from this Paula Deen one.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! Don’t forget to let us know what your favorite dish is!! Comment below, comment on Facebook or tweet us! 

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