Why Yes, it IS Thanksgiving time again. Is it your turn to host this year?

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving in My Sister's Kitchen

Yes, it’s that time of year again. I think that Thanksgiving Day is probably the biggest food holiday of the year for me and this year will be no different. I’m hosting Thanksgiving dinner here this week and I’m already feeling a little bit behind. Thankfully, I’ve got my Thanksgiving menu down to a science (or as much of a science as luscious food CAN be!) and I’ll be drawing from our old favorite, traditional recipes. We haven’t added much to our repertoire here for awhile because we really have settled in to our favorite holiday foods.

Therefore, I STILL can recommend all the recipes that we’ve posted over the last 8 years. If you click on the Thanksgiving tag, you’ll find every post that relates to this holiday of thankfulness. Please enjoy! As always, if you find links that are broken or recipes that are unclear, please let us know and we’ll fix those right away!

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving this year!

Barb and Laura


Thanksgiving Dinner: Panic and Frenzy

Okay, not ACTUALLY panic and frenzy yet….but it could happen. Most years we try to spend most of the month of November sharing our favorite recipes and tips for Thanksgiving holiday food. This year…evidently not so much!

For a couple of reasons, our posting has been sparse this month. Laura is working and managing a busy chaotic household. I, Barb, have been inundated with guests, events, and crises. Most recently, our dad had a heart attack while visiting us. He will be having bypass surgery tomorrow, Friday, at a hospital about 2 hours from my house. Needless to say, our plans for a lavish Thanksgiving dinner have been put on hold as wait for things to develop here.

Good thing we have all our favorite recipes and foods well-documented here! There will be no new, inventive, innovative recipes this year but all our old favorite standbys are here.

We don’t want to leave y’all in the lurch for Thanksgiving-Dinner-like-grandma-used-to-make so here are some suggestions as you plan your Thanksgiving feast.

To start with, we recommend that you click on the category link for Thanksgiving holiday foods. There are SIX pages of links to all our favorites so check it out!

Onions for Thanksgiving turkey stuffing

I’ll try to get back here to share a little more on the topic of Thanksgiving but I’m not making any promises.


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Still Looking for Thanksgiving Recipes?

Are you still looking for the perfect Thanksgiving recipes to serve up for Thanksgiving Dinner? We used to search our cookbooks for recipes; now, we google for new recipes! Then the question is: is this recipe tried and true? Does it actually turn out as promised? Will my family like it?

cookbook libraryWe’d love to help. Here at My Sister’s Kitchen, we’ve written exhaustively about our family homemade traditional holiday recipes. Are you having trouble locating a specific favorite? Ask us! We’d love to assist you in your search. Most of our favorites are already on this site but we realize that the bigger the site gets, the harder it becomes to search. We also both have stacks and stacks of cookbooks that we can search as well.

Here are three ways to ask your questions:

We’re not camped at our computers today but we’ll keep checking back regularly until roughly 11 PM, EST tonight. Hope we can share the wealth!

Grandma's recipe box   Barb and Laura

It’s time to plan for Thanksgiving!

It’s November 1 today and last night’s Halloween party food is already a thing of the past. It’s time to start looking ahead to the Next Big Food Event. (Does it sometimes seem like we live from one Big Food Event to the next?) It’s time to start collecting Thanksgiving recipes and even start shopping for the Homemade Thanksgiving Feast.

I start by brainstorming a list of all the must-haves for our traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. My list looks like this:

Bowl of Thanksgiving Pumpkins, squash and gourds

I’m sure that Laura’s list looks a little different as will yours. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be sharing the specifics and the recipes for the dishes on The List. I also plan to add to the list. For example, I just learned how to make Italian refrigerator pickles. They’ll be a perfect addition to our Thanksgiving table.

After I’ve made my list, I start looking for recipes. (You can browse through the Holiday Recipe category here in the Kitchen where you’ll find a lot of favorites. Like I said, I’ll be adding a few new ones this year, but the ones listed are definitely my family favorites.)

After I find my recipes, I make my shopping list. I like to start early so that I can spread the expense of a large special meal over several weeks. More important, there are some stores that start putting sale prices on the key components of Thanksgiving dinner early. I try to keep my Master List in my wallet so that I’m ready to jump on the great deals whenever I see them.

If you plan to buy a turkey, check out your local grocery stores for specials. All the stores have them. In some parts of the country, turkeys are loss-leaders. I don’t quite understand why this is different in different parts of the country, but I sure do miss living in CO and getting their $4 turkeys. (When we lived there, I’d have a dozen turkeys in my freezer by the end of November! Stocking up on sale birds is a great way to save money over the winter months if you can do it.)

I also try to buy 80 to 120 pounds of sweet potatoes each year from a local grower. These sweet potatoes will debut in our Thanksgiving dinner and then go on to get top billing in a lot of other meals over the next year.

Boxes of Saura Pride sweet potatoes

Right now is still a good time to buy a pie pumpkin. Halloween may be over but many stores still have pumpkins. Fresh pumpkin for your pumpkin pie can make a world of difference. There are a lot of other goodies you can make with pumpkin too, so don’t let this season pass without grabbing a couple of these orange beauties.

It’s also a good time to be shopping around for Thanksgiving table decorations. I like to keep my decorating simple and basic; it’s not too early to shop for gourds, squash, and pumpkins if you decide to go that direction. Add a splash of color and some nature to your table decorations by sending your kids out to collect pretty fall leaves whenever the color is at its peak. If you press the leaves in a big heavy book like a dictionary, they’ll still be useable by Thanksgiving (in case your leaves peak earlier than late November.)

All the actual work of Thanksgiving dinner still lies ahead, but having a plan can make this Big Food Event entirely do-able. Having a plan also helps me deal with the stress of a big holiday meal and lots of guests.

So woohoo! It’s November 1 and today, I get to start planing for Thanksgiving Dinner!



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Excellent Victorian Stuffing

I found a recipe for Victorian stuffing in my Rodale Basic Natural Foods Cookbook, which I received as a wedding present 18 years ago. I was looking for a recipe that was slightly different than the usual stuffing, and this was lovely. I did make a few modifications, though. I still love it–the chestnuts and mushrooms add a lot to the texture, and the nuts are GREAT. And by the way, I can’t say enough good things about the Rodale book–I’ve worn it out over the years, and some of my family’s favorite recipes come from it. Continue reading