Happy Thanksgiving 2022!
28 Heartwarming Thanksgiving Vignettes
Introduction to The Best Thanksgiving Podcast Ever
Hi Listeners! So excited to release my FAVORITE episode EVER again this year! The Storied Recipe is a community and it means the world to me that you came together to share your Thanksgiving stories with all of us.
Welcome and Happy Thanksgiving!!! This is a very special episode of The Storied Recipe podcast. Rather than diving deep into one story, we’re diving deep into one holiday - telling the story of Thanksgiving from the perspective of almost 30 families. I want to personally thank every single contributor for taking their time to make this episode for us.
These vignettes, sometimes funny, often poignant, and so very relatable have cheered my Thanksgiving season and helped me slow down and remember, reflect, and above all choose gratitude this season. In fact, my original plan was to cram this episode in, almost as a bonus or extra episode, but the more I listened to your stories, the more I realized I wanted to lengthen this Thanksgiving season.
We begin, surprisingly enough, not with an American, but with a Greek-Australian who reminds us that far, far from being a national holiday belonging to one or two countries, Thanksgiving is an ancient tradition. Practicing gratitude is a tenant, teaching, and calling of every religion, it is, in fact, a need of the human heart.
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Full Transcript of Episode
I'm from Melbourne, Australia and I wanted to talk a little bit about the festival of Thanksgiving that traditionally was called says Thesmophoria, which is the ancient Greek festival of giving. Living in Australia, we don't particularly follow the Thanksgiving tradition. But we do have the elements of Thanksgiving in the time leading up to Christmas, so the weeks before Christmas beginning in the 1st of December, which is our Advent period.
But in ancient Greece it is believed that the underworld God Hades. He's abducted a young maiden called Persephone. Some of you will know Persephone and the pomegranate. While there, she tasted the fruit of of the underworld, which was a pomegranate, and unknowingly, she binded herself to hate us forever in under her mother Dimitra, sometimes called Dimiter, refused to feed the world, casting a harsh winter. Upon the lane and when Persephone returned after Zeus agreed to let Persephone return to her mother. Of course he decreed that she spent part of her time. Each year in the underworld with her husband Hadees, Dimitri was overjoyed that she was able to see her daughter and she gave the gift of agriculture to mankind and the Greeks are on a Dimitra with offerings and ceremonies, believing that she would provide a bountiful harvest each year.
So the holiday was called Thesmophoria and was held in the fall during October and November. Thesmophoria means the bringer of treasure or wealth, honoring the earth with offerings and ceremonies would promise a new and fresh harvest each year. Thanksgiving today is called F. Christia meaning thanks.
Even in our Eucharist, liturgy where we give thanks and praise to God. However, in Australia we did not celebrate Thanksgiving in the same way as America. We do, however, have Thanksgiving season. During the Advent period, which is the week preceding Christmas Day. In my home, Thanksgiving is a period set aside for us to reflect on the meaning and purpose in our lives. And it's an opportunity to be grateful for all that we have, it begins the first day of December and focusing on faith, love, peace, joy and good health, Thanksgiving enables us to be generous and to recognize the blessings in our lives. It reminds us that every gift is also a debt, as the gifts were given must be shared.
The feast during this time to my household are usually related to the Orthodox tradition, fasting from meat and dairy products. We have a feast of wild green pies called bitters, including quad opus including stinging nettles, which we followed during this time and seafood caviar dips, Octopus and Callum.
Desserts in Australia at this time are usually summer desserts. Pavlova are very common and summer fruits such as watermelon and grapes, but at this time during reflection, the best Thanksgiving gifts that we can give to each other is togetherness and hope that we have good health and strong faith.
When Helen says that Thanksgiving invites us to be generous I had to think of the next two guests that I'm going to share.
Shakila of Adventures of Flour talks about how one person generosity on Thanksgiving Day is something that she still remembers decades later.
And when I think of generosity in the food community, I have to think, of course, of Cosette of Cosette’s Kitchen and she talks about how she has turned that generosity into a warm place for her friends.
Hi Becky, this is Shakila.
I just wanted to tell you about my first memory of Thanksgiving in the United States. We had just arrived and I had takena sign language class. There was a young lady; all I remember about her is that she had this beautiful curly hair and such a vivacious personality. She invited us to Thanksgiving dinner.
We've never done it before, we got to Hoboken from Manhattan. Her family picked us up, drove us to the house, welcomed us.
And we were strangers. But they welcomed us, made us feel at home. We enjoyed a fantastic meal. It truly was something incredible and it's something I remember.
It's been at least two decades now, but that's what Thanksgiving was all about. It was, you know, as American as apple pie and will always be my lasting memory.
Hi, this is Cosette from Cosette’s Kitchen sharing a little bit about my Thanksgiving traditions.
Growing up in a Lebanese household, we celebrated Thanksgiving as my family was definitely immersed in the culture here in the states, but we always had specialty items on the table besides just the Turkey and stuffing.
My father would make sure to make spinach pies and meat pies and we'd have Lebanon hummers and Gibbon, Gibbon. Oh yes we always incorporate all of our own special dishes to our Thanksgiving traditions.
Now as an adult with a family of my own living 3000 miles away, unfortunately I do not get to see my immediate family for Thanksgiving.
We reserved that for the Christmas season and so over the last 15 or so years, our Thanksgiving has been centered around friends and and every year I've hosted an incredible spread with lots of friends coming to join us, especially those who don't have family in the area.
And so this year being vastly different, I will be missing our large friendsgiving event with, you know, 25-30 people, especially as we're settling into our new home it would have been a lovely event. So whatever you do this year, I hope it is enjoyable and safe and you enjoy the new tradition that 2020 brings.
Thank you to Shakila and Cosette for sharing those stories about looking outside our families on Thanksgiving Day. Incidentally, Shakila was my guest for Episode 23, where she discussed growing up in a large multi family home in Singapore and the many memories she associates with Roti Canai, also known as Roti Paratha. This recipe elicited the hugest outpouring of responses that I received all year as families on literally every continent except Antarctica shared stories of their versions of the spread. You can find a link to that episode in the show notes for this episode on www.thestoriedrecipe.com.
When it comes to food, friends and family, I think a lot of Americans agree that family can be the most complicated part of Thanksgiving Day and I want to kick off this section with a story that was sent in to me by a listener named Lauren who wanted to talk about the complexity and the hardship and the joy that is involved when you bring new families together to create Thanksgiving traditions.
Lauren writes, “My mom is one of nine and I have 31 first cousins. Thanksgiving was always a blast. Hands down my favorite holiday we would have a giant meal together and everyone would grab a seat wherever they could find one in the house.
After everyone ate dinner, all the cousins would go out and play football, and if the weather was bad we would watch The Mighty Ducks.
I didn't realize how completely different people celebrate Thanksgiving when I married my husband Derek, we started going to New York for Thanksgiving every year.
Turns out they eat super weird (to me at least) foods on Thanksgiving.
One year I decided to make a whole bunch of dishes that my family does and take them so they could try them. And everyone hated it. I haven't been able to go to my mom's for Thanksgiving for the past 12 years and for a long time I didn't like Thanksgiving anymore because it just didn't feel the same. But now that I'm 12 years into going to my in-laws every Thanksgiving, I can say I like this holiday again.
My sister-in-law, Jess, is one of my best friends and Thanksgiving week is our time now. We plan projects and outings and photo sessions and it's just a really fun time. We talk every day and I love her as much as I do my sisters by blood. We've been on the phone crying actual tears over not being able to see each other this year for Thanksgiving.
If I could have the Thanksgiving of my dreams, I would not go to New York. My sister-in-law would come here.
My mom would cook a big dinner and all of my siblings would celebrate together.
Thank you so much to Lauren for emailing in that story.
Next up we have a somewhat similar story from Anela of Feed the Malik talking about how food was the ties that bound her to her husband's new family on Thanksgiving.
So my name is anella and I'm from a very multicultural family, which is amazing, but that means that sometimes we don't have the strongest tradition.
Because everyone comes from a different, you know, cultural heritage in a way, though, when I was growing up, holidays were always important, just as a time for us to be together as a family and enjoy good food and every single person in my family loves food. So I've carried this love with me throughout my life, and in particular I adore Thanksgiving.
It's my favorite holiday.
I love making a Turkey.
I love cooking all day. I love the way it makes the house smell and the anticipation of the meal and one of my happiest more recent memories is of Thanksgiving in Portland OR where my husband grew up with his family and in particular with his dad and his cousins who are Iraqi, American, and.
Arabs don't particularly eat Turkey. It's not one of their traditional dishes, so this was a real test for me. As you know, the new wife where his father was like, “I don't like Turkey. I don't cook this, it's dry.” So I cooked all day.
I cooked for the whole family and we start eating and I hear his dad say, “...” which in Arabic means “She's an artist” like “She's an artist in the kitchen”.
And it was just this moment where you know, I realized that good food is universal and something flavorful and delicious. It's such a nice moment to share with others.
Well done Anela for winning over the in-laws. In episode 24 of this podcast, titled Food is Political, Anela talks about how she started her food blog while living in Jordan, and she wanted to share the incredible experiences she was having in the Middle East by writing about her food experiences. Since our interview and Ella's work, supporting and promoting black and marginalized food based businesses here in the Washington DC area has grown so successful and appreciated by so many that she's been able to take the work full-time. You can find her episode, Food is Political and also her contact information in the show notes for this episode.
Our next story comes from Eva Reutinger and like Lauren mentioned, it kind of picks up on the fact that sometimes families can be a little territorial about their Thanksgiving dishes.
And I just smiled wide at this story because I so appreciate the way that Eva's mom has chosen to deal with her limitations with grace.
Every year we go to my aunts for Thanksgiving. They're very traditional and they like having all the dishes the same. So the only thing they allow our family to bring is cranberry sauce. So my mom takes this very seriously and we have to think of the craziest cranberry recipe every year. So one year we did cranberries with pineapple and cilantro and jalapenos which is marvelous.
Another year we made tapenade with pomegranates and cranberries and walnuts, so every year it's expected that we bring a crazy cranberry sauce to accompany the very traditional food that is served at Thanksgiving.
I know Thanksgiving will be different this year, but I'll be sure to still make a crazy cranberry sauce.
As we move on in this section about family, we have two stories, one from Melissa of the Seven Bears family and one from Monique of Peaches to Peaches, just reminding us it's the people we spend Thanksgiving Day with that makes it truly significant.
Hi Becky, this is Alyssa. So, I grew up in Japan and my mom did her very best to provide the traditional Thanksgiving meal while living there. But that's not actually what I remember most or treasure about the day. My parents would typically invite other singles over to enjoy the holiday with us. Sometimes they would spend the night, but either way we'd always laugh a lot and play games and that still is such a treasured memory and even my sister. I still joke about all the dishes we had to do afterwards.
Another story I wanted to share. My husband came back from a deployment and arrived the day before Thanksgiving. I was so excited about him coming back, I hadn't even thought about the holiday. So on Thanksgiving in our little apartment, my husband and I just fixed a simple pasta dish for the holiday.
It's one of my most treasured Thanksgiving memories, and so as much as food is important, for Thanksgiving I've found throughout the years it's more of the company I'm with that makes the day so special
OK, thanks for including me in this. My favorite Thanksgiving dish has always been my family's cornbread dressing. And yes, I try to remember to say dressing instead of stuffing, since we don't put it in a bird anymore. But I still like to say stuffing better just sounds better.
And my grandfather used to make it the best. He was a cook in restaurant since he was 18 years old until he retired. He used to always... with us early Thanksgiving morning. He'd be up at 6:00 AM chopping away at the vegetables for the stuffing.
He was the best.
I miss him.
So for me my family made it special. I had a very small family growing up. We ate Thanksgiving with my great Aunt Gladys who was my grandfather’s sister. She always holds Thanksgiving dinner at her brownstone in Brooklyn. So it was me, my mom, my mom, my brother, was my uncle, my grandparents, my great aunt and uncle and my godmother would celebrate. My Aunt Gladys was a great cook.
We had the best time ever, but after I reached adulthood, my aunts and uncles and grandparents started to pass on. Gladys was the last one to go nine years ago. Our Brooklyn tradition ended there.
Now I go to my in-laws on Thanksgiving. Of course, it's nice, but it doesn't compare to my family. Every year I get a little sad at Thanksgiving, remembering what it was. I miss them more than I could say.
Thank you so much to Alyssa and Monique for those stories.
I know a lot of listeners are joining me in thanking Alyssa and her husband for their service and sacrifice and I'm glad to be reminded that this season can be particularly difficult for families that are sacrificing so much for our country.
And thank you Monique for sharing so vulnerably and again reminding us to savor the moments that we have with the people that we love and cherish.
And just as Monique treasured the act of making the meal together, making the dressing together with her grandfather, our next guest also focused not so much on the outcome of the meal, but the time that they spent with their family in the kitchen as they made it.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
My name is Kendra and I'm with The Rose Wife bakes.
So picture this:
You're a young woman in your 20s and you just somehow survived World War Two in England. You fall in love with a very handsome American soldier and you marry him. He tells you that if you take the brave journey to sail across the ocean in over a month’s treacherous journey, you could start a new life in California.
Would you go?
Well, that's exactly what my grandmother did. She had to teach herself everything there is to know about Thanksgiving. She always talks about what a feat that was, but she did a hell of a job. She's no longer with us, and she's the bravest person I've ever known.
When I mashed the potatoes, cut the green beans, peel the apples, I can feel her hands guiding me.
She is the meaning of Thanksgiving.
I named my daughter after her: Edith.
I miss her everyday, but she's with me every year at the Thanksgiving table.
I hope you all have a blessed day. Happy Thanksgiving.
Hi Becky, it's Lisa from A Menu for You and I just wanna say I think this is an amazing thing that you're doing to collect Thanksgiving stories. So, my favorite Thanksgiving memory is growing up. We always went to my uncle's ranch. And I love being in the kitchen and everyone contributes.
Everyone would be in the kitchen cooking and baking. We’d arrive early and bring all of our special dishes. And my aunt would always make the best chess pie which is sort of a her riff on a pecan pie that I still make every single Thanksgiving because it is so good and brings a little bit of my family and my childhood memories to my own Thanksgiving.
Thank you to Kindra and Lisa for sharing how Thanksgiving deepened and strengthened those family roots for them. Next, we're going to hear from Jessica with a similar story, and hers involves the most unusual Thanksgiving dessert I've ever heard of. But I looked it up on Pinterest and it's actually very common. So excited to share this one with you. Here’s Jess.
My favorite Thanksgiving tradition as a child was after dinner my grandmother would help all of the grandkids make potato candy with all of the leftover mashed potatoes.
So we mixed mashed potatoes with a stick of bloom, temperature, butter, confectioners sugar, and a little bit of vanilla extract and mix it all together. We pop it in the fridge for a little bit, come back to it, roll it out into a flat rectangle, and scrub some peanut butter over it, and then literally roll it up almost like a pumpkin roll or something and then start slicing.
And everybody got a slice of potato candy. It was a great way to use up the leftover mashed potatoes, but it was also such a fun bonding time with my grandmother and between the grandkids and so much fun.
So if you've never made potato and peanut butter candy like Jessica has, she let me know that that you can even dye the potatoes and they would do that some years. So just like Jessica's family had an after meal tradition, our next three guests talk about the way that Thanksgiving, at least traditionally, really ushered in the Christmas season. And was the signal that it was time to start preparing for that holiday.
Hi, this is Krissy with Eating with Krissy and my favorite Thanksgiving memory is definitely hands down when my great-grandmother would cook – well, would have her daughter cook for the entire family so she legit would go over to her daughters house. She'd make her cook everything and she'd sit there and bask and all the family coming together. Surrounding her with love. It was always a great experience.
We always did Secret Santa while she was living. And so every Thanksgiving we picked names and everyone would get their name. And then Christmas Day we would all sit around and pass out Secret Santa gifts and it was just amazing. Some of my fondest memories stem from Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday. It continues to be my favorite holiday, even now that we have little ones around.
My grandmothers are the ones who gave me my culinary skills and I am forever indebted and I truly am so grateful for Thanksgiving and all that it brings when it brings my family together.
So that was Krissy with Eating with Krissy, one of the most encouraging and uplifting people I've come across since starting the podcast.
And can't you just imagine the fun and the laughter that she shared with her family when they finally did exchange those Secret Santa?
Next up we have two stories, one from Kate and another from Helen of A Stepful of You about shopping Black Friday sales, which is a very common tradition for many, many people on the day after Thanksgiving. Kate's going to talk about the era before sales were online and Helen's talking about how she had to swoop in and help the older members of her family when the sales switched to online.
Over the years, one of my favorite traditions after the Thanksgiving meal was to start going through the sale ads in the newspapers to plan out our Black Friday route for the next morning. My mom and I loved getting up early to go to the mall and we will plan out all of the stores that we're going to hit in and the sales that we go to.
So we tried to go on the very early side just to beat the crowds and to get the best deals, especially the early bird specials. And then we would have a special breakfast together afterwards. Over the last few years, that tradition started to wane as online shopping became more convenient, and also as I became a mother who valued my early morning sleep. But I have great memories of that this year I have moved to my shopping already done and I won't be partaking, but I do have special memories of doing that with my mom.
One of the earliest Thanksgiving memories I have is when Black Friday Deals were starting to be more popular online versus being in person and getting in line buying everything. I remember there was... I was probably in elementary school when my sister and I actually stayed up way past midnight just because we wanted to get all the stuff that my parents needed and also my uncles who asked us to get some stuff with them as well. And we stayed past midnight whenever the online doors open for like laptops and TV's and I really both don't really know what to do.
Both are first time when I remember us each taking a computer and trying to get everything at our cart at once and just hoping that we get it right and next day we're sleeping and my uncles would come over asking if we were able to get this stuff and then we just tell them that they they did and that they're little tired. It's because we were so tired we didn't want to talk. They love saying, like seeing how thankful they are, but also that they're sorry that we had to stay up.
So that was one of the fun memories that I had.
I just loved that story from Helen again of a step full with you because it does demonstrate how Thanksgiving and the traditions around it bring together entire families.
And I love that Helen and her sister were able to help the older members of her family that probably cooked for them that day.
So what about if you're out of the country? And Thanksgiving is special and important to you, but you just can't celebrate the way you normally would. Here's two really fun stories about.
When I was a kid, we moved out every two to three years for my dad's job, so our holiday traditions really depended on where we were living at the time, and if we're able to travel to be with extended family or if it was just us. From 2000 to 2002, we lived in Jakarta, Indonesia and we weren't able to go back to the states for Thanksgiving. It's too long of a flight.
And as you can imagine, Thanksgiving in Indonesia is pretty different from celebrating in the US, but we spent it in a very special way all three years that we lived there because every year on that weekend there's this really big swimming meet in Singapore, which is only about a 90 minute flight from Jakarta, where a bunch of schools in Asia band together to be one swim team and they compete against a bunch of schools from Australia which have band together in their own team.
Coincidentally in those three years, Thanksgiving weekend was also when the new Harry Potter movie would come out in theaters, and that was really special because movies took forever to make it to theaters in Jakarta, if they ever came at all. So for three years, my family spent Thanksgiving weekend not having Thanksgiving dinner, we would do that some random day ahead of Thanksgiving before Thanksgiving, and then we would go to Singapore and spend Thanksgiving weekend there.
The three of us doing this big swim meet and seeing the new Harry Potter movie and for me, that's just such a fun memory to look back on, even now that we celebrate Thanksgiving a little bit more traditionally.
Hi Becky, it's Kathy Kuhl with a Thanksgiving food memory for my junior year of College in England. I was studying at the University of Exeter in Devon, England, home of rolling hills and scones, served with strawberries and clotted cream. Two other American students, Diane and Dan, decided they would cook a Thanksgiving feast for us Americans and our British friends.
Everyone was excited about it, but cooking Thanksgiving dinner in a small under equipped kitchen and the dorm was challenging. I remember we rolled out pie crust using a pint sized milk bottle because we didn't have a rolling pin.
In those days it was hard to find a pumpkin in England, but one of our British friends weren't home to London for the weekend and found one for us in Covent Garden.
With all this help Diane and Dan pulled off a very good Thanksgiving dinner, a spot of home for us and a new experience for our British friends.
When it was time for dessert, Diane and Dan brought out the pumpkin pie, one of our British friends was quite surprised to see it.
“It's a custard” she said. She'd always assumed that a pumpkin pie would be like an apple pie with upper and lower crust filled with chunks of pumpkin.
When you're exploring new cultures, there's not only things you don't know.... But also you don't know what you don't know.
It was a lovely dinner.
You don't know what you don't know wise words from Kathy Kuhl who is a very wise woman and applies that wisdom to helping parents teach their own children that learn differently.
You can find her resources at learndifferently.com or you can look her up at Kathy with a K and then Kuhl - That's K-U-H-L - on Instagram.
So we've heard from two Americans that celebrated Thanksgiving out of the country.
Now we're going to hear from 2 guests about their first couple of Thanksgivings in this country.
Hello, my name is Mo Decker and I wasn't born or raised United States.
My first impression about Thanksgiving was that: “Boy, Americans really pretty really love Thanksgiving.”
I think it's much more important than any other holiday. In America its much more important than Christmas.
Yeah, my first Thanksgiving wasn't really memorable.
The second I was in bed, we had Turkey, mashed potatoes and collard greens and because our family came together and we celebrated Thanksgiving, I just love that it's a holiday and I don't have to go to work and I just have to chill and relax.
Hi, I'm Naomi Mansoor, Egyptian American food writer and food photographer. I hosted my first Thanksgiving as an American citizen at the age of 33. My signature Thanksgiving dishes are southern Turkey with chapati, gravy, and mocha baby start.
In 2020, I'm so grateful that I came to know Becky, her big talent and authenticity make all the difference. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
Thank you to Mo and Nermine.
Yes, I'm already looking forward to relaxing on Thanksgiving Day and for Nermine you can find her at Chez Nermine. Her story was one of the most remarkable that I’ve had the privilege on the podcast. Nermine was one of the first female Egyptian diplomats. After serving her home country of Egypt for about 10 years, she met and married an American, became an American citizen, and joined the foreign service here.
And now she uses cooking as a way to forge bonds all over the world as their posts change. Normane actually contributed 2 episodes, a full episode, and then a bonus episode particularly about her work with Syrian refugees.
As Nermine mentioned, almost every Thanksgiving table in America will be centered around a Turkey. Here are a few of my favorite Turkey memories that were submitted.
Planning for our Thanksgiving usually started in the spring when my parents would bring home five chicks from the feed store in Ellsworth, ME. The turkeys were so cute growing up. After six months or so, about two days before Thanksgiving, one turkey would get selected to be the centerpiece for the Thanksgiving table.
My father would chop off his head and then usually I would pluck and gut the bird.
That is one way to be thankful for where your food comes from and may explain why Turkey is not my favorite today. My favorite part of their Thanksgiving meal is the cranberry sauce.
Hey Becky, this is my favorite Thanksgiving dish. It might sound super conceited to say this, but it is a dish that I made, not my own recipe. It is still a key for it's pumpkin pie was probably one of the most delicious things in this world, and in one tradition every year that I look forward to.
Every year my family watches The Thanksgiving Day makes you still parade and I love it so much. I look forward to it every single year, just piling up on the couch, kind of half asleep, drinking the first cup of coffee and watching the parade.
And then one of my favorite cooking disaster stories is one year my dad got really excited and ordered a Turkey like a fancy heritage Turkey, and somehow it ended up going to his friend who lived in California, which I'm really not sure how that happened, but it's one thing we joke about every single day.
And then the people, a person who makes Thanksgiving special, you know, I come from a really big family. Lots of brothers and sisters, and so any chance I get to spend with them is just such a blessing.
So those are some of my favorite Thanksgiving memories.
I loved these fun stories from Megan and Isabel and I clarified with Isabel the Turkey that went to California was supposed to go to Georgia, so that really was quite a difference. Also, she says that her family just went to Kroger the day before and it still remains the best Turkey they've ever had for Thanksgiving.
So again, thanks to Isabel for that story and you can find her at @thebalancedapron. The @_balanced apron.
So along with the Turkey on just about every table, there will be stuffing or dressing, which traditionally of course was cooked inside the Turkey. and not quite so many families do that as far as I know anymore, but this can be one of the most hotly contested and debated dishes among families and Brenda is going to talk about her grandmother's version.
In the South we make dressing, cornbread dressing, and my grandmother made the best that I've ever tasted to be honest with you. And when I make it, I approach it with a good deal of respect for my ancestors. I make it with cornbread and bread, but I always spot a fresh can of sage, even though I grow sage, I would not dare use anything but the type of sage that my grandmother used, and that's because she remembered someone making dressing and they mixed up putting oregano in for the sage.
And every Thanksgiving, every time she made dressing and she would go, “Can you believe that Chester's wife put oregano in that dressing?”
And so I'm very careful about what I put in. I put sage and celery and onion.
Oh, poor Chester's wife to live on and infamy For herb mistake after all these years I can't help but feel sorry for her. And thanks again to Brenda, you can find her at Brenda Wyatt for sharing that story.
Well after the dinner is on the table, this is when we gather around and start customary conversations, and I'd like to share an e-mail from Samira, who shared her favorite. Memory which actually happens to be my favorite thing about Thanksgiving Day also.
The first time I ever even heard of Thanksgiving was when I moved to America. I was staying with my sister in Kansas City and had a gorgeous party at her house with the most delicious foods that were not useful to me. One of the foods that really stuck in my memory was her cranberry marshmallow salad.
One kitchen success story is my very first thanksgiving dinner I hosted after I got married. I was so excited. This was one of my childhood dreams I was about to live. I made the whole week a week before to make sure I didn't mess up and when it turned out exactly how I envisioned, I went ahead and remade it the following week for our Thanksgiving dinner. And it was everything I had hoped for. I made the cranberry marshmallow salad too.
We never really had any traditions growing up. It was a different time and my childhood was anything but usual. I always remember thinking that when I grow up and have my own family, I will have a ton of traditions for every holiday. I made this image in my head of what family traditions would be like now?
One of the most beloved traditions that I have made for my family is that every year we go around the table and say one thing each that we are most thankful for and one thing we can do to become a blessing for someone else.
And again, I want to thank Samira for sharing that, because that's a tradition that we do often, If we don't have two too many people in our home for Thanksgiving dinner, that's a tradition that we try to follow every year. And it is one of my favorites as well.
Here are some more fun stories about some things that have happened around the dinner table at Thanksgiving for my next guests.
BECKY FISHER (not Becky Hadeed, the host)
Hello Becky, this is Becky.
I wanted to give you one of my favorite memories of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, probably is my favorite holiday. And every year my parents host at their farm. And my entire family extended family gets together and my mother makes the Turkey and her famous dressing and all the sides and my aunt makes pie and my other aunt makes homemade cranberry sauce.
And every year before we eat, we gather around the buffet in the kitchen and we say grace and before my grandfather passed away he used to lead the grace and one year he went into his grace and then somehow so he just started to sing God Bless America and everyone just kind of rolled with it and joined in and we all sang God Bless America together around our Thanksgiving buffet and that to this day is one of my favorite memories of thanks. Happy Thanksgiving.
BECKY (Hadeed, the host)
Becky, I just love this story because it reminds us that you know, you can plan ahead and try to do everything perfectly, but it's always going to be those unscripted moments that just happen because we're together that are the things we remember most fondly. Thank you for sharing that.
Karen now is going to share the way that her mother expressed love to them at the table, which was less through cooking because she was prevented from doing that in many ways and more by decorating.
KAREN of Karen’s Kindred Spirit
My mom has always taken great pride in how she decorates for the holidays. It was always very difficult because my dad is kind of a hoarder, and he would use the dining room table as his space until the very last minute. But for Thanksgiving she would decorate the table and display the bottle dolls that she had.
Maybe she had started making them when she was much younger when her aunt Jean introduced them too through her and they would they would use glass soda bottles back then to make them, but there's a sock and a Styrofoam ball and lots of felt felt eyes, no nose or mouth felt fabric was made into, um, dresses and my mom would sew beautiful aprons on them.
She used yarn that she would break down the length of the bottle dolls back for her and for the male Pilgrim she even has a gold buckle on his felt hat and his felt buckle belt.
But she's always taken great pride in them and she's kind of passed the tradition on to me I asked like, “Can I please have those so I can display them on my table?”
It'll kind of help me remember and be with you in spirit because I now live in a different space, a different state. Rather, every time I take them out, I think about the love that she put into making them and how difficult it was kind of doing everything wrong for us, but that's it. My mom's battle dolls.
Thank you Karen, for sharing that recipe. I like that because not everyone who listens to this podcast really loves to cook. And I just think that whether Karen’s Mom loved to cook or not, that is a reminder that there's a lot of ways to celebrate this holiday and to make meaningful memories for our families even if you are not someone who loves to cook.
So thank you for that, again, that was Karen of Karen Kindred Spirit, and I didn't mention but Becky, you can find her at suburban E Baker.
Next, I have just a very fun sweet memory from Kimberly and Kimberly is going to lead us into our very last section with some real words of wisdom at the end of her memory.
Well, I would love Thanksgiving, Miss Becky. This is Kimberly from Minnesota and the reason I love Thanksgiving is because it always conjures up wonderful memories of travelling down the East Coast from Pennsylvania to Virginia for Thanksgiving with all the cousins in town on my mother's side and she comes from a very large family. And it was always grand, just hanging out with the cousins because I was on the younger side of the list of 27 cousins. And so I always was enchanted by them.
And even when we moved to Minnesota from Pennsylvania, we still went back to Thanksgiving on the East Coast and it was a great time of farm food, Mennonite food, Uhm, Amish food and I really think that my favorite memory is the matching pajamas that the cousin the girl cousins and I would wear so Happy Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving.
However, to anyone is celebrating it most importantly, eat the pie first.
And with that bright idea from Kimberly of @hopefully_Kimberly, we are going to lead right into our very last section, which is a discussion of desserts.
As you can tell from the memories that my guests have already shared, we just love our pies here in America. So here are some very very sweet memories.
I grew up in rural Maine. Our Thanksgivings were never fancy, they were homey with lots of casseroles and comfort food. But the one tradition that we still have is my grandmother's pumpkin pie. The thing about this pumpkin pie is that it really - it is the best and everyone will say that their grandmother's pie is the best. But I have actually yet to find a pumpkin pie recipe that balances the spices quite as well as this one.
And when I was in college, this was the first year that I couldn't ever go home for Thanksgiving. So I I remember calling my grandmother up and asking for her recipe for this heirloom pumpkin pie recipe that I was going to make and take to my friends Thanksgiving dinner and really impress them with this family history of a pie goodness.
Yes, and I remember my grandmother, she's like, “Oh Julie. Just go to the grocery store, pick up the Libby's pumpkin - has to be Libby's pumpkin - and look for the recipe on the side of that can. That's the recipe I have always used.”
And my heart was broken 'cause I had thought that my grandmother had this recipe passed down from generation to generation but here it was on the side of the pumpkin can. I will say that it is an amazing pie recipe. So if you're looking for a pumpkin pie, you really can't go wrong with Libby's.
HANNAH & GRACE
Hi, my name is Hannah - and I'm her sister Grace - and our great thing about Thanksgiving is the cooking and the food.
So I like cooking on Thanksgiving and apple pie.
I like apple because it's a classic too. It's both a delicious dessert but also a a piece of art because you get to do the lattice on the top and I will make that super fancy.
I like making a pumpkin pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting because I enjoy the making of the batter and do it pumpkin flavored things and I think you only eat them during the fall. And I just enjoy making it and I love decorating the top, like last year I made a leaf design with Hannah's help. But I think we definitely agree that the cooking is only fun because we get to do it with our family.
And I think, yeah, that's true. We get to eat it with them. I think definitely one of the greatest things about Thanksgiving is how it's fun with the family, yeah?
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I think the reason why it's my favorite holiday is because of pie, really. There's nothing I like more than your choice of five or six different pies.
I also really love waking up super early in the morning to bake pie.
I love my kids waking up to the smell of pie in the house and I especially love pie the day after Thanksgiving for breakfast.
Meringue pie that is odd, isn't it?
Just as odd as Thanksgiving was to me the first time it happened for me in this country? Having been born in Greece grown up in Australia, it was something quite new and exciting with my husband.
Family of about 30 of us at a gathering. My husband, father and mother would go to the mountains. We live in South Carolina and they would come back with what they called an old fashioned pumpkin.
And they would go through this whole process where they ended up with a made from scratch truly made from scratch, pumpkin pie and my mother-in-law, after she had baked the pie would put him meringue on it and put it back in the oven to toast it up.
My husband still gets this pie on Thanksgiving every year because I love him very much.
I don't care for the meringue, but I love him, so I put a meringue on that pumpkin pie every year we've been married for 27 years, so I think that speaks pretty well of me and of him. This is Despina AKA desperate Doodle in South Carolina and I love your podcast, Becky.
I don't love the meringue, but I love the man.
Could we end this Thanksgiving episode of the Storied Recipe podcast on a more perfect or fitting note than that? I just don't think we could.
So as we wrap up this crowdsourced Thanksgiving episode, whoever you are, I have a few messages just for you. So hang on just another minute first.
I had this idea as I was cleaning my bathroom when Saturday morning and I loved it. I wanted to hear this episode but I was really nervous to take on an approach that depended so heavily on you, the community, but as usual, you outdid yourselves and you came through. I want everyone listening to know that this podcast is special precisely because it does not depend on me. It is entirely guest based and it's dependent on you, the community.
Thank you so much for those of you who came to the storied recipe podcast just today to hear this episode welcome.
I really do hope you'll take a moment to subscribe as we have fascinating and inspiring stories coming up over the next two months from a priest who beat Bobby Flay to one of the current Bake Off guests who's still in the game to a young widow whose cooking helped her family through the grieving process.
And if you want to get to know the podcast a little.
But I'd suggest starting with one of the episodes from guests that contributed today.
Shakila, Anella, Nermine or Lauren, who shared all about making home intention for Purim a tradition that she has in common with many Jewish families.
If you go to my website thestoriedrecipe.com, you can easily access links to those episodes.
In the show notes for today's episode, and in fact, you can find contact information for all of the guests who shared today in the same show notes.
Finally, as we are moving into the holiday season, I'd like to invite you to shop in my brand new Print Shop, which you can also find over at the storied recipe.
The prints and digital downloads that I offer are the favorites of the community and of course every single one tells the story of a guest, a story of culture, history and those that loved us through their cooking.
Once again thank you for listening to this episode.
Please take a moment to subscribe, to share, and finally - Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!