Traditionally Delicious


Yep, it’s that time.  Yum time.  Next week is we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the U.S., which for all of it’s lovely sentiment and national meaning, is really all about food.  

Especially traditional food. Now, just a quick note… I’m all for shaking up the traditional menu.  First of all, both of my daughters, my brother and I are all vegetarian – so we’re not attached to the turkey 🙂  There are a few traditional side dishes that are mandatory at our table that I’d be perfectly fine skipping.  But if I tried, my family would all sit on the couch, arms crossed over their chests and their lower lips jutting out in a pout that would garner a finger wag from Santa, all refusing to come to the table.  So we stick with the canned cranberry sauce and the mushroom soup green beans, as well as my favorites – mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy, cornbread stuffing, savory sweet potatoes and homemade yeast rolls.  Yes, I am a carb queen. 

So, really, the only place to mix it up on the traditional fare is dessert.  And even that has rules.  There has to be pumpkin pie, and usually my sister-in-law brings a chocolate cream pie and lemon meringue, too.  But to me, desserts are where it’s all at.  I want something new.  I want to test out a different treat.  And, really, dessert is the only place I can because it’s not ‘on the table’ so it doesn’t have to meet hte traditional meal requirements set by the stubborn pouters – aka my family. 

I figure we have to have pie -that’s a given.  And i’d be all for something fun like cheesecake or pecan bars or a pumpkin roll or some kind of cookies, but I keep getting reminded by my husband that every year, everybody is always too full to do much damage to the dessert table, which means we’re stuck with tons of desserts afterward. And since we don’t have extra family from out of town this year, we don’t have anyone to pawn off an extra slice of pie for breakfast on.  So – I can’t get too crazy.  Darnit.  

Soooo… what do you think?  What is your traditional Thanksgiving dessert?  Do you mix it up? Do you have suggestions that I can try? Recipes or favorite foodie sites?  And seriously, are you allowed to change up your Thanksgiving meal, or is it every family that stands firm on their holiday have-to’s?  



  • Helen says:

    Is he coming to my place?

    Have Fun

  • Helen says:


    We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in Australia but I have to say I would love to go to a Thanksgiving lunch all that food sounds fantastic LOL.

    At Christmas we have traditions that include Christmas pudding with custard or cream and for some reason we always have tinned peaches and custard as well and no one would talk to me if I didn’t have it on the table.

    There are sure to be some great ideas coming your way

    Have Fun

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Helen, your Christmas dessert sounds lovely! We do a small Christmas gathering on Christmas eve, but for some reason dessert doesn’t seem to factor into that. I think there’s a serious problem with that–I’ll have to figure out what happened LOL.

      I have never had Christmas pudding, but it sounds so good. And anything with cream or custard is awesome! Do you make homemade? I haven’t mastered homemade from scratch custard yet (I’m hell on wheels with lemon curd though) – I need to learn that.

  • Barb says:

    Look after him Helen …. won’t be up tonight lol

    Like Helen says we don’t have Thanks giving but we have to have Christmas pudding or though not many of my family like it….. they like cheese ncake but that isn’t really Christmas

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Mmmm, cheesecake. 😀

      I have a recipe for a delish pumpkin cheesecake (all the desserts seem to revolve around pumpkin or nuts at Thanksgiving here -which works, I love both).

      Okay, I’ve gotta ask, Barb. Does the rooster sneak over and torment you, too, when he’s visiting Helen? And vice versa?

  • Mary Preston says:

    Another Australian here!! (It’s an invasion.)

    We tend to have a lot of BBQ’s when there’s a crowd. So much easier to cater for than the more traditional sit down meal.

    • Tawny Weber says:

      YAY – viva la invasion!!! (did I get that right?)


      Oh I love barbecues, Mary! We do that a lot here, except for holidays. You’re right, it’s easier to feed everyone, nobody thinks twice about eating while sitting on the couch holding their plate in their lap, and there’s no fine china involved. All great things 🙂

  • Jane says:

    Hi Tawny,
    We do like to mix it up with the desserts. One year we had cheesecake with an Oreo crust and last year we had chocolate lava cake. My cousin is the one who bakes these so she usually gets to choose what dessert she wants.

  • Beth Andrews says:

    Wow, your Turkey-day menu sounds fabulous.

    Can I come to your house for Thanksgiving? Please? Pretty please?? I promise to eat extra dessert *g*

    Our traditional desserts are pumpkin and apple pies and Dirt. When my kids were little, we made Dirt one year and it’s become a tradition ever since, even my older nieces and nephews look forward to it (Dirt is simply chocolate pudding topped with whipped cream topped with crushed Oreos, repeat as many times as will fit in your bowl *g*)

    But we often also have different cheesecakes and pecan pie or something rich and chocolately.

    Okay, I’d better scoot off and book those airline tickets to the West Coast. The five of us will fit in my little guest house, right? And just think of how happy your kitty will be to see me!!

    • Tawny Weber says:

      YAY!!! Beth and family are coming to California!

      I’ll start prepping your little room. You don’t mind sleeping stacked up on top of each other, right? 😉 Actually, we have enough room for all of you, so come on over!

      And then you can help me make dinner 🙂 cuz your desserts sound so yummy. Especially the dirt, Yuummmmmmmmm!!!

      Off to prep Persephone that you’re coming to visit. She’s going to be so excited.

  • Mozette says:

    Turkey eh? Well, the last time I remember my brother cooking a turkey was when I was a meat-eater – and that was around 7 years ago. Funny as hell! I caught a train to his place at Kelvin Grove (about 3 hours from the south side of the city to the north side) and then we prepared the place for NYE party. He got his BBQ going, put the turkey in at around 3pm and had the brand new, store-bought baster. He had stuffed this massive turkey with lemons and oranges and peel and pushed under the skin butter and huge chunks of garlic!!! Yummo! Right? Wrong.
    During the afternoon and night, he got drunk. And I don’t mean a little shnockered… I mean fall-down, giggly-stupid, flaming-arse-race drunk! At around 10pm, he went around and asked everyone if they knew how to cook a turkey… as it wasn’t looking too hot. Nobody knew, then he asked me. I said yes and he showed me the turkey. It was white, spongy and weird-lookin’…. and little wonder! He’d forgotten to baste it! I asked where the baster was, and he picked it up – unused – off the table! I said he better start basting it every 15 minutes until midnight or we won’t have a skin!

    Well! It was the best-tastin’ turkey I’ve ever eaten at 1:30am… that’s when it was finished cooking. And we all stood around in our P.J’s eating turkey in the middle of the night!

    Otherwise, the only time I’ve had a Thanksgiving dessert was down the coast when I bought Pumpkin Pie. It cost me $12 and it was one heavy little pie… but did we fight over that last piece!!!! 🙂

    • Tawny Weber says:

      ROFL at your turkey story, Mozette! That’s so funny – especially the part about eating in the wee hours of the morning in your jammies 😀

      And yessssss, pumpkin pie is so good. I could eat pumpkin pie all year round, its so yummy.

  • Deb Marlowe says:

    I have to cook and host the day every year, so I reserve the right to mix it up! And I do. I’ve done the turkey different ways, tried all sorts of side dishes and desserts. Anybody who wants to complain is welcome to cook the dinner.
    I’d be thrilled! 🙂

    • Tawny Weber says:

      LOL Deb- GO YOU!! The power of the kitchen is yours.

      I like your answer. And the idea of mixing things up each year. Do you stick to any tried and trues or do you always shift the menu around?

      And what’s for dessert this year? I love dessert 😀

      • Deb Marlowe says:

        Always turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. Sometimes we skip the stuffing. (Gasp!) Sometimes we cook my grandmo’s egg noodles.

        This year desserts are apple crisp and pumpkin pie. Mmm…now I’m hungry!

  • Anna Sugden says:

    Like the Aussies, we don’t have Thanksgiving over here. Though, this year, we’ll be visiting friends in NJ and taking part in the celebrations!

    Our big feast is Christmas Day – Christmas pudding and Christmas cake are requirements, as are mince pies with cream or brandy butter. Since I’m not a fan of Christmas pudding, we also have trifle – lovely hubby’s is the best! Years ago, I used to make a Yule log out of a chocolate Swiss roll, but haven’t done that for a long time. To be honest, by the time you’ve had the main meal, there’s little room for dessert until well into the evening!

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Mmmm, I love Yule Logs. We do one for Yule each year 🙂 So nummy.

      I’ll bet your hubby’s trifle is delish – he’s so talented. But what is brandy butter? I don’t think I’ve heard of that before.

      I hear you on how full everyone is after the meal. That’s always our issue here – then I’m stuck (ha) with tons of dessert to eat myself for the next few days. I’m going to have to think up desserts that are doggy-bag compatible this year LOL

  • Dianna aka Hrdwrkdmom says:

    When we still did the holiday dinners it always had to be traditional, the family would all go to an Aunt’s house and bring their specialty foods with them. To the best of my memories we never had green bean casserole.
    My son is kind of like me when it comes to food, we are meat and potatoes kind of people. Green beans, but not in a casserole, corn (also not in a casserole), to die for gravy, and mashed potatoes, I have tried to dress those up but my son doesn’t like any changes.
    We don’t do desserts either, we just don’t have a sweet tooth at all. I know, practically un-American right?

    • Tawny Weber says:

      LOL your non-casserole meal sounds delicious, Dianna. Especially if it makes your son and you happy.

      My brother and two of my nephews are pretty much anti-sweets, too. So I knew there were more of you out there 🙂 I can’t say I understand it, since I’d skip most of the meal (not all, gotta have the mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy) just to have dessert instead. But it sounds like you’ve got a great meal plan going 🙂

  • Hi Tawny! I always enjoy this time of year in the lair – it’s kind of like I get a virtual Thanksgiving. As Helen says, it’s not a holiday we celebrate in Australia so it’s got this wonderfully exotic feel for me. Everyone here is starting to get ready for Christmas which is one of the BIG celebrations down here. My question is – WHAT HAPPENED TO 2012????!!! I feel like this year has just whizzed past.

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Hi Fo!!! 🙂

      I love this time of year, in the lair and everwhere! It’s like there’s yumminess in the air.

      and lookie lookie, I made a rhyme *g*

      I’m kinda freaking about the prep for Christmas, to tell you the truth. I’m not ready at all. But holy cow, I hear ya on where did 2012 go? I swear, I spent it all with my face buried in my monitor, writing. It all just sort of swooshed right over my head. I think I missed a lot of fun 🙁

      I hope 2013 is a little more leisurely 🙂

  • catslady says:

    I’m more into the meal than desserts but I do like pumpkin pie lol. Our family got so large that some decided we had to break it up (not me) so I only have to cook for 5 or 6 people. I have way too much food as it is so normally only one dessert but if someone came up with something else, I think we’d all be fine with it.

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Our dinner table seating has shrunk over the years, too as family moved away. I miss those huge gatherings, but it’s definitely easier to cook for 10 than 25 LOL.

      I know it’d be smarter to only have one dessert. But… well, it’s dessert 😀 I want mooooore!

  • Hi, Tawny–

    We have Christmas pudding, which we buy, at Christmas, but we have no traditional Thanksgiving dessert. I’m flexible in that department; it’s hard to find something that has sugar in it I won’t eat.:-)

    I can hardly believe Thanksgiving is almost here. The boy will be home, and we haven’t seen him since August. So I’d eat PB&J and be happy.

    • Tawny Weber says:


      Happy dancing for you that the boy will be home 😀 I’d settle for PB&J, too – nothing makes food taste better than seeing loved ones. Especially our kids!

      I still haven’t had Christmas Pudding. I’m going to have to find a recipe–or someplace that sells it 🙂

  • Hey Tawny!

    We’re pretty set in our Thanksgiving table, too. Turkey with oyster stuffing, corn casserole, home cooked greenbeans, rolls, gravy….(LOTS of my homemade gravy. One year I didn’t make enough and I heard about it til the next Thanksgiving!). My oldest daughter makes a maple sweet potato casserole she brings and my youngest daughter brings her homemade caramel apple pie. I have made a pumpkin cheese cake the last few years just for something different.

    Oh and to keep things fair, my son is required to bring something, too. His contribution? A movie the whole family can watch. I’m hoping for The Avengers this year!

    • Tawny Weber says:

      You are such an amazing cook, Suz, that I’m sure Thanksgiving in your house is incredible. The meal sounds delicious. That’s fab that you have everyone bring something 🙂 It has to make it a little easier on you.

      and YEssssssssssss… Gotta watch Avengers again. I love that movie 🙂 Its on my wish list.

  • Fedora says:

    We’re pretty traditional, amusingly 🙂 For years, my mom would do the turkey, stuffed with Chinese sticky rice, and we’d have all the classic sides–sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, gravy, mashed potatoes… But she’s getting older now and has passed on most of the cooking to the rest of us, and boy howdy–that’s a lot of work 😉 Fortunately DH is a great cook, and he does a lot of it. We’ll see what we end up with this year 😉 The kids want turkey AND ham… (alas, we are quite the carnivorous bunch… not sure we could go without turkey ;)) And mmm… dessert…

  • CateS says:

    Anything chocolate.. I do not like pumpkin… maybe I should host a coffee and dessert buffet party for the holidays… yum!