RSS Feed

Our Thanksgiving Menu


Mabry's Mill, Virginia

Mabry’s Mill, Virginia

After much contemplation, I have finalized my Thanksgiving Menu and I am sharing it with you:

Hen ( Our family just doesn’t like turkey so we bake a Perdue Oven Roaster Hen)

Gravy  – Herb Dressing – Sweet Potato Casserole   Green Beans (I changed from collard greens as I realized my grandson loved green beans so this is especially for him)

Deviled Eggs – Potato Salad – Pickled Beets

Luncheon Muffins

Pumpkin Pie – Pecan Mystery Pie – Black bottom Cupcakes

History Museum, Old Fort, NC

History Museum, Old Fort, NC

I think our menu is very Southern and hopefully will be enjoyed by all.

Concordia Lutheran Church, Conover NC

Concordia Lutheran Church, Conover NC


As Thanksgiving Day approaches, I am so thankful for so many blessings.  I wish for you and your family a bountiful table and bountiful blessings.

Pisgah Covered Bridge, Asheboro, NC

Pisgah Covered Bridge, Asheboro, NC

Thanks for stopping by.

Old Salem, Winston Salem NC

Old Salem, Winston Salem NC


Thanksgiving Dessert – At Our House It Will Be Pecan Surprise Pie

I honestly believe dessert is my favorite meal.  I know it isn’t really a meal but I am a sweet freak and have just learned to accept it.  Many times I have eaten a meal with my total focus on saving room for the luscious dessert.

Even though the name of this recipe is Pecan Surprise Pie, it is no surprise to have pecan pie for dessert in the South. I think it is an absolute favorite along with the traditional pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie.  I have never made a sweet potato pie because I always make candied yams or sweet potato casserole and I want to have something different for dessert. This year I will make a diabetic version of pumpkin pie for Mr. D and here is a link to that recipe:  I will make the black bottom cupcakes for our grandchildren and here is a link to that post:

I decided to make a pecan pie too because it is relatively easy to make and when I saw this recipe that included a middle layer of cream cheese, I knew it was going to be my choice.This recipe is from Christmas with Southern Living the 2004 edition.  I think the note at the top of the recipe that describes it as a decadent dessert is absolutely right.

pecan cc pie


Many times I have prepared special holiday meals and realized that I did not make one dish that I especially wanted as I was trying to please all of my guests.  So this year, I am rewarding myself and making one of my favorites, pecan pie. Thanks for stopping by and I wish for you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Vegetables: Greens or Rutabaga

As I am planning our Thanksgiving meal, I have been contemplating what type of vegetables I will serve.  I think the vegetables on this special day are overshadowed with the Turkey, Dressing, Yams and of course, dessert.  I do want to keep with the Southern traditions this year and I have decided that I will prepare rutabaga and probably collard greens. When thinking of a great source for these vegetables prepared the Southern way, I immediately thought of the Favorite Recipes from Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House Cookbook from Savannah, Georgia. I love visiting her restaurant and the vegetables are superb.  They are prepared in the Southern style but they aren’t greasy or mushy.  They always have a wonderful flavor.

I will probably use Mrs. Wilkes rutabaga recipe and the most difficult part of preparing the vegetable is the difficulty in peeling and cutting them. Mrs. Wilkes includes a small amount of sugar in her recipe for cooked rutabaga and I always thought her version was so good and never bitter and that is probably the reason for that.

Mrs wilkes rutabaga

Until I read the above recipe in Mrs. Wilkes cookbook, I had never heard rutabaga referred to as Northern turnips.  I will tell you that I absolutely love the flavor and taste of turnips too.

Below is Mrs. Wilkes version of cooked greens. She refers to turnip greens in the recipe but has a note that you would prepare collard or mustard greens the same way.  She includes a piece of salt pork in her recipe and I remember my mother would fry the salt pork and use the drippings from it in her greens.  I will probably use frozen collard greens and the pict-sweet brand is my favorite.  I actually cook my greens and drain them and add a small amount of olive oil to my collards.  I don’t think my Southern ancestors would agree with that choice but we like them that way.

Mrs wilkes greens


I can imagine that many Southern tables will include Broccoli with cheese sauce or even asparagus as part of their meal.  Of course, to be perfectly honest, I hope you realize that in the South Macaroni and Cheese is considered a vegetable.

Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for stopping by.

A Southern Thanksgiving Includes Sweet Potatoes

In the South, sweet potatoes are a favorite but they are absolutely necessary for a traditional Thanksgiving meal.  I have two favorite Thanksgiving recipes that I love for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I absolutely love the candied yams from The Pirate House Restaurant in Savannah, Georgia.  I honestly can’t think of any other recipe for candied yams that I love anymore than those.  Today I am sharing that recipe with you below and it really is true that you can make the sauce and it will keep in the fridge indefinitely.  I have frozen it before and it freezes well. By the way, it is delicious on a hot biscuit.  YUM!

PH Sweet Potatoes

Below I am sharing my Mother’s recipe for sweet potato casserole.  It is very good and I love the topping that gives the casserole a good texture. This is a great recipe for Thanksgiving and I plan to make it this year for my family.  You can make it ahead of time so it is a good time saver.

Mother’s Sweet Potato Casserole

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir together the following:

3 cups of cooked mashed sweet potatoes

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1/3 cup milk

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Put in two quart ovenproof casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Topping:   Mix the following together with a spoon

1/3 cup of flour

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

1/3 stick margarine

½ teaspoon cinnamon   -

Sprinkle over potato mixture in the casserole dish.  Bake at 400 degrees for one hour.

These are two great options to make your Thanksgiving meal extra special and I can just imagine how many different ways sweet potatoes will be served all over the South.

Recently I was thumbing through one of my Ina Garten cookbooks and she was sharing a sweet potato recipe from Paris (that would be France) and said it was the best she had ever eaten.  I love you Ina but you need to go to Pirate House and have some of theirs and you would say they are the best.  Come on down, Ina and see for yourself.

Thanks for stopping by.


Preparing for a Traditional Thanksgiving Holiday – Stuffing or Dressing

As I was preparing for my posts for Thanksgiving, I wondered how I would approach the holiday this year.  I have prepared many Thanksgiving meals and that can become very routine and monotonous. However, I truly had a light bulb moment realizing that the dishes I prepare for Thanksgiving are dishes my family looks forward to each year.  I have made them many times so I will truly enjoy making them again this year.

I have new neighbors that just moved to the area from Boston, MA and with that in mind, I am going to share recipes on my blog as if I was sharing them with my new neighbors so they would know about our southern traditional Thanksgiving meal.  Today, I am sharing dressing or stuffing recipes. Growing up I always knew it as dressing and as an adult I heard it referred to as stuffing.  In the South cornbread is usually a big part of the stuffing/dressing recipes.  However, if you live near the coastal areas of the South, oysters are included in stuffing/dressing recipes.

This recipe is Mr D’s favorite and the combination of the corn bread and the sausage makes the stuffing moist and flavorful.  He told me that I did not have to make it this year but I still plan to make it for Thanksgiving or Christmas.  It does freeze well so you could make it now for Thanksgiving ( I think you could easily double the recipe) and save a portion of it for your Christmas holiday meals.

Rudy’s Farm Sausage Stuffing

1 lb.  Rudy’s farm or Jimmy Dean sausage if available (mild or hot)

2 1/2 cups (8 oz bag) corn bread stuffing mix or crumbled corn bread

2 1/2 cups (8 oz bag) herb seasoned stuffing or4 bread crumbs

2 cans (14 1/2 oz) chicken broth or turkey broth

1 large onion chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 tbsp. poultry  seasoning

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper.

Brown sausage, drain.  Cook onion, celery in butter until tender.  Mix stuffing, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.  Stir in broth, celery, onion, butter and sausage.  Mix well.  Bake in 9 x 13 inch pan for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.   This recipe freezes well.

I don’t remember how my Mother made dressing but I don’t recall having cornbread in it.  The recipe below reminds me of her dressing and it was so good when it was served warm right out of the over.  My Mother’s kitchen was extremely small so she made lots of things ahead of time and I always knew when the dressing was freshly made or served cold.  Yes, I did say served cold.  In my Mother’s day the meal was prepared at midday and after eating, was covered on the table with a tablecloth and then served for supper that night.  They never reheated anything and and I really think they never gave it a second thought. That is just a glimpse of living on a farm in the 40’s and 50’s.



I haven’t decided which recipe I will use this year but I do know that I am going to look forward to every minute of my Thanksgiving meal preparation.  I hope you are looking forward to this very special American holiday and thanks for stopping by.

Muscadine or Scuppernong Grapes

I know Thanksgiving Day will soon be here.  It is my absolutely my favorite holiday and I am looking forward to it.  I think this year my meal will be very traditional with candied yams, cornbread dressing and cranberry relish.  I will talk more about that later.

Today, I want to share with you two carolina classic grapes, muscadine and scuppenong.  Growing up in North Carolina, I only remember picking these grapes in fields near a friend’s house or at a distant relative’s farm.  I don’t remember any one doing very much with them. As children we would pick them and learned not to eat the hull but only the inside of the grape.  If I remember correctly, the ripe ones were very soft on the outside and juicy and sweet.  I also remember the horrible bitter taste of one of the grapes when it was not completely ripe.  Yuck!!! That was a horrible taste.

The scuppenong grape was named for a river here in North Carolina and makes good wine.  According to a this quote in the October 2014 issue of Our State magazine, ” Muscadine grapes range in color from black to bronze.  Scuppernongs are a bronze variety of muscadine.  So although scuppernong has become a catchall term for the bronze grapes, not all muscadines are scuppernongs.”  I never really saw a difference in them either and the main thing I do remember is how much I enjoyed eating them.

I wanted to share a recipe using one or both of these varieties of grapes and thought it would be a snap to go to my collection of local cookbooks and whip out a couple of recipes to share.  It wasn’t that easy.  In fact, I did not see any recipes for the use of the grapes.  I was actually surprised at that but I do believe the grapes are more prevalent in the piedmont area of the state.

I was reading the October issue of The Local Palate magazine that is based out of Charleston SC and they also featured the muscadine grape. There are dozens of wineries in the Piedmont area of North Carolina that make muscadine wine.  The Yadkin Valley Wine Festival is held annually in Elkin NC.  Christian Froelich, a native North Carolinian, is the executive chef at Sanders Ridge Winery and Restaurant in Boonville, NC and a connoisseur of local Piedmont muscadines.  Here are his recipes for muscadine glazed chicken and white muscadine wine beurre blanc that he prefers over seared scallops.  This is a link to The Local Palate website and I really love the site and the magazine:



Here is a link to the Sanders Ridge Winery and Restaurant website: I know this will be a road trip for Mr. D and I sometime in the future.

I could not complete a post about these luscious grapes without including Duplin Winery that is located on the coast of North Carolina.  They have been making muscadine and scuppernong wine for many years and I do enjoy the fruity taste of the wines, especially in the warmer months of the year. Here is a link to their website:

Muscadines and Scuppernong are so tasty and a huge North Carolina fall tradition.  When I see them, I know that winter is approaching.   Thanks for stopping by.


Geri’s Czechoslovakian Cookies

This must be friendship week at our house.  I shared a recipe from a friend, Geri, on Monday and she gave me the recipe I am sharing with you today.  I am sharing her comments concerning the recipe and she said it is a Christmas favorite at her house.  As I was reading the recipe, I remembered eating these bar cookies when Geri shared them with our family.  I remember the consistency of the cookie portion to be the same as shortbread.  Geri’s cookies were light and the jam added just enough sweetness to make them extra tasty.

Geri's cookies 2


Geri shared with me that her Aunt Lora and her grandmother married brothers so they had the same maiden name and married name.

Geri is such a dedicated homemaker that does so much to enrich the lives of her family.  I know that she is older than me and probably in her 70’s but she is very active and contributes in so many different ways.  She takes care of her home, is involved in her church and is part of the local Quilter’s guild.

I do want to share a funny story she told me.  As we are in the same age group, we discussed how many people are on special diets right now.  She told me her son that is a nurse had a test done and he is allergic to yeast.  Then she said her husband, Harry, that is 81 decided to have a test done to see if there was anything that he might need to stay away from.  The test results showed he is allergic to eggs even though he has eaten them his whole life and does not have any type of digestive problem at all.  She said now when she cooks for her family including her son and husband she just puts the food on the table and says, “Here is what I fixed, just do the best you can.”  That made me laugh out loud and I think she just put the ball in their court so they could deal with their digestive problems.  Geri is a very concerned caring person but if you are in your 70’s and prepare a meal for your family, that is an accomplishment in itself and should be appreciated.  I know her family and I am sure she is loved and appreciated.

Yesterday, I had lunch with another friend and there we were sitting in Cracker Barrel just having the best time and laughing out loud at so many different things.  Friendship and laughter are two great combinations.  I hope you are able to spend time with a very special friend soon.  Thanks for stopping by.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 286 other followers

%d bloggers like this: