In the South for example, cornbread dressing, greens and more. In our neck of the woods, the upper Midwest, the dressing is a traditional stuffing seasoned with saqe, and we all seem to also add some form of yams or sweet potatoes as well. Our family also holds to a pretty common tradition of the classic green bean casserole: French cut canned green beans mixed with Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup and topped with Durkee’s fried onions.
Many families, ours included, like to add some of their own special dishes. My wife’s family is Swedish, so we always have Swedish potato sausage (if you’ve never had it, it is very good) and the classic Swedish protein, Swedish meatballs. Too many cooks? Not with a menu as large as ours, not at all. We have always followed the American tradition of Pot-Luck style. Now for Thanksgiving, pot luck is a bit of a misnomer; for most families, as with ours, this is a regimented attack on the menu as planned. All duties are doled out, such that the complete meal comes from far and wide with MANY cooks, and no duplicated dishes. One special item on our menu, a perennial favorite is corn pudding. Corn pudding? What the heck is that? Well, I had never heard of it let alone tried it until my first Thanksgiving with my wife’s family 25 years ago. Think cream corn; pudding style. Rich, warm, silky smooth and very, very tasty. Aunt Ollie was the designated cook for corn pudding for decades before I joined the clan, and she continued her duties perfectly, well into her eighties. After her passing, the corn pudding faltered a bit. A few took a stab at it, and at times the no duplicate dishes rule was violated. After a time, our niece Jenny took over and mastered this unique dish. Firm yet smooth and creamy, with the top browned just so. Perfection in every bite. For all the plenty of this traditional day; food, family and football, it is that first mouthful of corn pudding that defines the day; the holidays are here at last. Yummmmm.