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Ideas for Thanksgiving Dinner: Starting New Traditions

Ideas for Thanksgiving Dinner: Starting New Traditions

I love the holiday season! I love the decorations and the food and the spirit. I even love spending time in the kitchen preparing a holiday meal. My anxiety, however, does not love having people over at my house. Nonetheless, I still wanted to have some sort of Thanksgiving Day dinner in my own home this year. (The previous two years my husband and I were staying with family for Thanksgiving.) So, despite my sometimes debilitating anxiety, I have been looking up ideas for Thanksgiving dinner for the past couple of weeks. I will have Thanksgiving dinner at home!

Thanksgiving DinnerWhen I first started planning Thanksgiving Day dinner this year, the ideas for Thanksgiving dinner that came to mind were the same old recipes that my mom and my grandma prepared: turkey, boxed stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, crescent rolls, canned cranberry sauce, canned cranberry jelly, pumpkin pie, and frozen fruit salad. Do not get me wrong: I love the food that my mother and grandmother have served at Thanksgivings past. For my first Thanksgiving in my home, however, I wanted to start some new food traditions with some new ideas for Thanksgiving dinner.

The good little librarian that I am, I began my search for ideas for Thanksgiving dinner with the library catalog. I began requesting holiday cookbooks left and right from libraries throughout my state. (Thank goodness for the books available freely through interlibrary loan!) I also began compiling all of my magazines from October, November, and December that contained holiday recipes: Good Housekeeping, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Better Homes and Gardens.

With my pile of potential recipe ideas for Thanksgiving dinner in hand, my husband began planning the food that we would cook and serve. Turkey is a must for Thanksgiving Day dinner, so we decided on a baked turkey with a cranberry-maple glaze. To complement the sweet tartness of the turkey, we chose an apple-raisin bread stuffing. Keeping with the sweet-tart theme of our Thanksgiving Day dinner, I have also decided to make orange cranberry sauce by hand. Even the sweet potatoes, which I will serve with an applesauce, marshmallow, and pineapple topping, are keeping with our sweet-tart ideas for Thanksgiving dinner.

My husband and I, however, are not throwing out all the old favorites. At the request of my husband, I will be making my very first green bean casserole. I will also be making southern-style biscuits and corn casserole by hand. (Mom usually serves prepackaged crescent rolls and corn.) Finally, Thanksgiving Day dinner would not be Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie. Although my pumpkin patch was ravished by squirrels this year, forcing me to used canned pumpkin, I will be making my own pumpkin pie by scratch as always. No frozen pies for me! And so conclude our ideas for Thanksgiving dinner. Perhaps our new menu will make for some new Thanksgiving Day dinner traditions.

My Thanksgiving Dinner

Roasted Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey

Seasoned Stuffing

Seasoned Stuffing

Mashed Potatoes

Grandma Nordine's Mashed Potatoes

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

Macaroni and Cheese

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Corn Casserole

Corn Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Finished Green Bean Casserole

Orange Cranberry Sauce

Finished Orange Cranberry Sauce

Pumpkin Pie

Baked Pumpkin Pie

Pecan Pie

Baked Pecan Pie

Image Credits

Ideas for Thanksgiving Dinner: Starting New Traditions © 2010 James Johnson
Thanksgiving Dinner © 2010 James Johnson
Thanksgiving Turkey © 2012 Heather Johnson
Seasoned Stuffing © 2011 Heather Johnson
Grandma Nordine’s Mashed Potatoes © 2011 Heather Johnson
Sweet Potato Casserole © 2010 James Johnson
Baked Macaroni and Cheese © 2011 James Johnson
Corn Casserole © 2013 Heather Johnson
Finished Green Bean Casserole © 2011 Heather Johnson
Finished Orange Cranberry Sauce © 2011 Heather Johnson
Baked Pumpkin Pie © 2012 Heather Johnson
Baked Pecan Pie © 2014 Heather Johnson

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