My grandma loved to cook. In fact, she famously said the only thing she liked more than cooking was eating the food she had cooked. I never remember her using recipes—especially for the big holidays like Thanksgiving.
She simply bustled around her modest kitchen, adding a shake of spice here, a splash of milk there and a pat of butter to everything. Occasionally, she would delegate something to one of her many sous chefs (i.e. kids or grandkids) and that was the highest honor. When she finally called the family for dinner, it was a mad dash to the table for all the classics: turkey, roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, creamed corn, green bean casserole.
And when we were done… homemade ice cream, pies, and more pies. She was famous for her pies. Pecan was my favorite. People had requested that recipe for decades without luck. In her final years, she finally relented with a hearty laugh: “It’s on the back of the Karo Syrup bottle.” What?!?
Cooking was her joy and she made it look easy and fun.
My other grandma didn’t enjoy cooking much. She liked the social part of it, but not the cooking. So, when we had Thanksgiving her, the meals were simpler. Or we went out. She didn’t want to spend all day cooking for 20 minutes of eating. Can anyone relate?
Whether you love to host a huge Thanksgiving at your home or take a simple side dish to a friend or family member’s home, we have lots of tried-and-true recipes for you below.
1. Family Recipes for the Whole Meal
I am always looking for THE fabulous recipe of the season to wow my Thanksgiving table and guests. In the past, I have turned to magazines, foodies, Martha, and well, Southern Living, of course. I must say, I have cooked some pretty incredible dishes . . . and some pretty not-so-incredible ones, too. But what I have found that trumps all, are the down-home, made-for-decades, mouth-watering, begged-for-yearly, and taste-tested-by-all family Thanksgiving recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. That is the magic I have for you today from Birmingham Mom Collective.
2. Instant Pot + Crock Pot Recipes
I couldn’t care less about the turkey on Thanksgiving. For me, it’s all about the SIDES. But the problem with sides on Thanksgiving is that your oven is usually pretty occupied. Trying to time the turkey AND all the sides in one oven can cause a lot of stress. So why not bust out some of your other kitchen gadgets to help out with the sides with these Crock-Pot and Instant Pot recipes from Cincinnati Mom Collective.
3. Jalapeño Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip, Roasted Butternut and Bacon Soup + More
How can any other holiday compare to this amazing yearly food extravaganza? I am an avid collector of recipes and my virtual Thanksgiving “file folder” is basically bursting at the seams. Here, Houston Moms has laid out some trusty tried-and-true recipes for your Thanksgiving table this year.
4. 10 Easy Recipes with Leftover Turkey
The aroma and taste of a holiday tradition are what make it so special. But I also love that I can throw together easy dinners for at least a week after the holiday. With a flexible protein that is already prepped and cooked, just waiting to be transformed into a meal, dinner is simple and fast.
5. 5 Fun, Easy Thanksgiving Treats to Make With Your Kids
In the spirit of the holidays and spending quality time with our families, here are 5 fun, easy treats to make with your kids this Thanksgiving from Miami Mom Collective. And remember, it’s not about slaving away in the kitchen all day or ensuring perfection, it’s about cherishing the moment and having fun — Pinterest fails and all!
And… a bonus: Thanksgiving eggrolls!
Our Favorite Thanksgiving Tablecloth!
Our favorite Thanksgiving tablecloth is back! Perfect for kids AND adults, this re-usable tablecloth will be a family favorite for years to come!
Thankful Tree Decor Idea:
Practice gratitude as a family with this cute Thankful Tree that can be used as a table centerpiece. Each family member can add leaves to the tree that describe what they are thankful for.