My Traditional Thanksgiving Recipes (As requested) :)

Last week, my friend (Kyla P.) asked me to post some of the recipes I use for Thanksgiving…being that it would be easier to have them all in one place, instead of rooting through my books looking for them!  (Good idea!)  So, in case anyone else is interested, I figure this is the most accessible place to post them, right?  So here goes!

Keep in mind that these are all based on my mom’s original recipes.  I just added to them and changed things per my own preferences.  AND I totally believe in sharing old-fashioned recipes…otherwise they end up lost to the ravages of time and technology.First of all is one of my favorites (and my kids wouldn’t know what to do if it wasn’t on the table at Thanksgiving)…Cornbread Stuffing!

Cornbread Stuffing

2 c. Cornmeal
2 c. Flour
½ c. Sugar
2 t. Salt
6 t. Baking Powder
1 t. Black Pepper
4 Fresh Sage Leaves (finely chopped)
1 t. Rubbed Sage
2 Eggs
½ c. Oil
2 c. Milk
*Note:  If fresh sage is unavailable, use 2 t. of rubbed sage.

Combine ingredients and bake in greased 9×13 glass baking dish at 400 for 20-30 minutes.  Allow to cool and then crumble cornbread into large bowl and set aside.

1 Onion (Finely Chopped)
5 Celery Stalks (Finely Chopped)
Leaves stripped from 15-20 Fresh Thyme Branches (or 2-3 t. dried Thyme)
Leaves stripped and chopped from 15-20 Fresh Rosemary Branches (or 2-3 t. dried Thyme)
10-16 Fresh Sage Leaves (Finely chopped) (or 1-2 t. Rubbed Sage)
1-2 t. Dried Marjoram
Water or Warm Turkey Broth to consistency desired.  (*I prefer water.)
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Add Marjoram into crumbled cornbread.  Next, sauté onion and celery in butter.  When onion and celery have sautéed a little, add the fresh herbs and finish sautéing.  (If using dried herbs, do not sauté them.  Instead, add dried herbs directly into crumbled cornbread with marjoram.)   Once vegetables and herbs are finished sautéing, mix them into crumbled cornbread.
(If necessary, add salt and pepper to taste—but be careful with the salt.  The herbs are strong enough to add flavor and it’s easy to over-salt.)  Mix in add ½–1 cup of water (my preference) or turkey broth until stuffing is moist but not soggy.  (I find turkey broth can cause the stuffing to taste too strong and overpowers the flavor of the cornbread and herbs.)

Place stuffing in glass baking dish or bowl, cover and heat thoroughly before serving.

Note:  My mom (Patsy C. States Reed) always made cornbread stuffing at Thanksgiving.  I’m not exactly sure what her original recipe was, but it was very similar to this.  I think I just add a lot more herbs (specifically fresh ones).

*Second we have what my mom always called, “Candied Yams!”

Marcia’s Candied Yams

3-5 Yams (parboiled, with skins removed) *Note:  I boil my yams until they are softened, but not overly soft.  Then I dump the water out of the pan, let the yams sweat in the pan for a while, then just peel off the skins with a butter knife.
¼ to ½ c. Butter
1 c. Water
½ to 1 c. Brown Sugar
A pinch to ¼ t. of Ground Cloves

Slice parboiled and peeled yams into sliced and or pieced at least 1 inch thick.  Melt butter in large electric skillet.  Add water, brown sugar and cloves.  Heat mixture until bubbling, and then place yams into skillet.  Simmer yams and syrup for about 15 minutes, gently moving yams around occasionally.  Turn yams after 15 minutes and cook at a low simmer for another 15 minutes.  (Syrup will be really thick by the time they are finished.)  Keep yams warm until ready to serve.

*Note:  My mom (Patsy C. States Reed) makes Candies Yams this way.  I’m not even sure how anyone else even makes them, since these are so good that I’ve never tried anything different!

*Mmmmm!  The most important recipe of all…Pumpkin Pie!  (Thanks to my daughter, Sandy…because I didn’t have this one typed up in my computer, but she did!)  Also, if you have a really delicious pie crust of your own, us it!  Mine is VERY basic!

Marcia’s Pumpkin Pie

Pie Crust Ingredients:
2 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
2/3 cup Butter
7 tablespoons Ice Water

Pie Filling Ingredients:
1 large can Libby’s Pumpkin
3 Eggs
1 cup Sugar
½ cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
5 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 ½ cans Evaporated Milk (Equals 2 ¼ cups.  I finally measured it one year!)

4 tablespoons Flour

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Mix dry dough ingredients together well then cut in butter.  Add water, one table spoon at a time until dough leaves sides of bowl easily.  Separate into two equal balls.  Roll out each one until two inches larger than an upside down 9inch pie pan.  Carefully put rolled out pie dough into 2 (9 inch) pie pans, cut extra dough off, then fold edges under to form a smooth crust.  Style as desired.

In a new bowl, mix pumpkin, eggs, and sugars well.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Separate equally into the two pie pans. Cover with foil tents and bake for 15 minutes. Lower temperature to 350 and bake for 45-60 minutes or until knife comes out of the middle of pie clean.

*I prefer my pumpkin pie cold and served with fresh-whipped whipping cream (I add sugar and vanilla extract to mine when it starts to whip up) OR the kind that comes in the can that you can spray right into your mouth!

*Note:  I am VERY persnickety about pumpkin pie!  In the end, that’s why I fiddled around until I came up with one that was as close to my mom’s recipe as possible, but measured up to my persnickety-ness.  Hope you like this!  I’m always nervous when I share it…just in case someone else is as persnickety about pumpkin pie as I am!

*And finally…if you need a snack later Thanksgiving night, here’s our families favorite…Nacho Cheese Doritos with my infamous Sixty Dollar Avocado Dip!

Sixty Dollar Avocado Dip

1 8oz. Package of Cream Cheese (softened)
4-6 Medium Avocados (peeled and mashed)
½ c. Finely Chopped Onion
2 T. Lemon Juice
½ – 1 t. Garlic Powder
½ – 1 t. Salt
2 c. Diced Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
1 – 3 t. Tabasco Sauce (basically “to taste”)

Combine softened cream cheese and avocados and mix well (sometimes I use an electric mixer).  Stir in lemon juice, onion, garlic powder, salt and Tabasco Sauce.  Gently fold in tomatoes.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Serve with Nacho Cheese Doritos.

*Note:  The original recipe for this family favorite of ours came from a guy in the neighborhood we lived in while I was growing up in the North Valley.  His name was Paul Lopez.  The recipe as it stands now includes some subtle changes I made over the years.  It has endured as a family tradition and holiday favorite since before I was married.  *In the summer of 2011, my friends Danielle Jessen and Lesa “Weezy” O’Driscoll came to visit.  Danielle wanted me to make my “famous avocado dip”—and so we went to the store to purchase the ingredients.  Danielle insisted on paying for the ingredients, and when we got to the register, her total was over $60 because we’d bought so many other things as well.  Thus, my avocado dip became known to Danielle and Weezy as “The $60 Avocado Dip.”  I think it makes a much more interesting title than just plain ol’, “Avocado Dip” so I’m titling it “The $60 Avocado Dip” from here on out!

Hope these are the ones Kyla wanted!  I do have a few more…my Mom’s delicious dinner rolls, etc…but these are the things that probably make our traditional Thanksgiving dinner truly ours!  Hope you enjoy them!

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2 Responses to My Traditional Thanksgiving Recipes (As requested) :)

  1. Teya says:

    Thanks for the request that’s my Thankgiving right there.

  2. danielle says:


    Your Avocado dip sounds way beyond yummy-licious! I will make it this week.

    You tell funny stories. And knowing the sensitivity of Mr. George’s olfactory lobes…this was truly a side-stitcher! Thanks for sharing. Truth be told, Mr. George forwarded your post to me. He’s quite the story-teller, too, as you well know! I guess it’s a gene thing…

    So enjoyed your post, Marcia.


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