18 Comments

I’ve done thanksgiving since I first lived in the US around 25 years ago - I always make different dessert recipes every year to ring the changes. But there has to be cornbread stuffing too!

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Nov 20, 2022Liked by Nicola Lamb

One of my UK-based American friends, from North Carolina, always does bourbon sweet potatoes. In my English opinion they’re better than marshmallow sweet potatoes, but not as good as sweet potatoes left to their own marvellous selves!

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I am a Texan but my best friend is from Louisiana and if you want hyper-regional, you want to go to Louisiana for Thanksgiving. They have dishes that the rest of us don't, like mirliton casserole ("mirlitons" are what everybody else calls "chayote"), and an oyster dressing is very popular there. My friend has tried to replicate her grandmother's but has given up because she took certain oyster-dressing secrets to the grave with her. Then of course there is always the Turducken, which occupies a strange middle ground in America--some people think of it as a grotesque joke, but the people who like it are deadly serious about it. My friend is a Turducken person. (If you are unfamiliar, this is a boned turkey stuffed with a boned duck stuffed with a boned chicken, with a layer of dressing between each. You can make your own, but most people buy them pre-made. Paul Prudhomme is responsible for this).

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Same menu every single year growing up (in the 80s and 90s) in Massachusetts (though my mom, the cook, is 4th generation Colorado). Roast Turkey w/ gravy (wonderful, wonderful homemade gravy staring turkey stock and pan drippings); stuffing featuring chestnuts, celery, onion, parsley and bread cubes; sweet potato souffle (don't worry, no marshmallows); baby peas in butter sauce (from the freezer isle); homemade cranberry sauce; and once in a while, a "relish tray" which has raw carrot sticks, celery sticks, and black olives from a can. Dessert is Aunt Helen's Fluffy Pumpkin Pie (a Julia Child recipe), and pecan pie. My mom learned to cook by watching Julia Child on TV (and my mom is a great home cook). Oh, and lunch is veggies and ginger dip, a profoundly 1950s recipe with mayo, sour cream, water chestnuts, onion, soy sauce, and candied ginger. Sounds gross, but it's unbelievably good, especially on a potato chip. It's perhaps the only recipe in the meal that is carried from my mom's childhood (that and pie crust). It all sounds pretty basic, but it tastes so good. Memories are of the smell of onions and celery sauteing in butter for the stuffing, burning fingers the night before peeling chestnuts, and of course watching the big parade in New York on TV, followed by the dog show.

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Okay, this looks incredible!! As do the creme brûlée cookies… I am so intrigued! Do they have custard baked on top of them and then brûléed?! Re: thanksgiving, my family is super untraditional so we used to have hot pot or dumplings for thanksgiving dinner all the time and just use it as an excuse to gather as a family. These days we usually do a prime rib roast, stuffing, mashed potatoes and creamed spinach.

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This has to be the best apple pie ever! Made it twice now

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Attempting a riff on this today with Mystery Orchard Apples from my MiLs and an oaty crumble top (as I wanted pie, Matthew wanted crumble). Texture might be a bit different as I legit have no idea what these apples are other than the ones that are definitely bramleys but I am sure it'll be delicious.

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I made the sweet potato pie as one of last nights desserts and it was incredible!! Saved a slice for today, was still excellent - really love it and will make again! Maybe next week!

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My mom's family who I grew up celebrating with in Indiana does a very typical Thanksgiving menu, with the special addition of chocolate crinkle cookies for dessert!

I've been going back to this New York Times article about heritage, family recipes and Thanksgiving this time of year since it came out in 2016 and really recommend it: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/11/15/dining/100000004761113.mobile.html?_r=0

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I love an old cookbook. They are so fun to read. I have a 1977 Delia Smiths book of cakes (it was originally my sisters husbands mums🤣).

It has some great recipes and some really funny things like this warning under a brownie recipe: “a brownie warning: we sometimes get letters about failed brownies. The problem is that people expect cakes, but they are not the same consistency as cakes: they are moist and chewy” or like the section on using wholemeal flour and them at the jury is out on if they will work or not!

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We usually have a turkey dinner around Thanksgiving sometime (had it last night, in fact) because we don't do turkey for Christmas but I do like it. I don't do the full catastrophe though, and now I really want pie.

It's taken me a long time to realise that American pie dough really is quite different from shortcrust.

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My family makes all the traditional things (turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, lots of gravy, green beans, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie) but the one thing that's specific to our thanksgiving meal is a cranberry caramel pie, so good! I also don't really like pumpkin pie so for a couple years my mom and I would make pumpkin cake with chocolate ganache and salted caramel cream cheese frosting. Absolutely delicious!

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Apple pie is one of my favorites yummy 😋 it looks so good ❤️ thanks for sharing

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When I lived in the states I would just buy a chunk of the Whole Foods one for stuffing but here I make it (sometimes I make a fancy one not for stuffing purposes - the pumpkin cornbread in NYT is v good with less maple syrup than it says so it’s not basically a dessert!

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