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Thanksgiving: Absolutely Necessary? Answered

Every year we throw a huge Thanksgiving dinner for dozens of our friends. Everyone has a different idea of what must be included; there are usually serious regional variations in food choices, and even variations on a single dish. We generally get around this problem by having everything.

What do you need to see on a dinner table for it to be a "proper" Thanksgiving?

Are you planning to have anything new or weird this year?


Pumpkin ice cream. Edy's. Go get it. Now. Other than that, good turkey, good stuffing, good pie, good gravy!

We had some of that last year, but nobody really touched it. We probably had too many pies, and pumpkin ice cream isn't such a good match with non-pumpkin pie. Besides pumpkin, what qualifies as good pie? We've got coconut cream and key lime on the list for this year.

mince pie. this is made with apples & raisins & ... stuff ... the mince is short for mincemeat but there is no actual meat in it. I don't know how to make it, though. I think there are soda crackers in it.

Mincemeat is a very old way to preserve meat. The idea is to cook it to kill any bacteria, and chop or grind it up and then infuse it with enough acidic ingredients to preserve it. There's also sometimes a secondary effort by adding spirits (brandy, etc) My mincemeat has beef in it, and I use butter rather than the optional beef suit. There's tart apples, orange juice, cranberries, several types of raisins, and other high acid stuff. Once I'm done cooking it, however, it goes right in the pie. I don't try to preserve it. The kind my dad likes is out of a jar. We dice up a few tart apples and just dump the gunk into a pie crust. This turns out a pie that is much more sour than I prefer. This type out of the jar is actually vegan. There's something wrong with that. I'm the only one who likes my style, and he's the only one who will eat the prepared store-bought filling baked into a pie, so somethng else always gets made too.

Pecan, sour cream and raisen, and Chess Pie are some good faves.

I haven't had sour cream and raisin- sounds good. Our standards are of course pumpkin, apple, and pecan, but the rest are usually up for grabs. If you put up the sour cream and raisin in time we'll give it a go.

Coldstone has awesome pumpkin ice cream, my sister works there so I get it free.


11 years ago

Sweet potatoes. Candied. With marshmallows. One year we had a tasting. "Sweet potatoes" vs "beauegard yams" vs "jewel yams"; the ones labeled "sweet potatoes" were a rather ugly yellow instead of the bright orange, but they tasted best. Since then I mix them up. Cranberry sauce. The kind that looks like a can, even when served. We've had more authentic cranberry sauces, but they're not as good.

We've ended up with as many as four types of sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving: the traditional casserole with and without marshmallows, a casserole with a brown sugar/nut crumble on top, sliced and roasted with onions (coming soon to and Instructable near you). I'm a sucker for sweet potatoes of all sorts. The jellied cranberry sauce is awesome- a friend refers to the intact shape as the cranberry sauce "crystal". I've got a fine recipe for fresh cranberry relish. It's quite good, but clearly in a different category altogether.

As long as I have my momma's Cheese-it casserole, I am blissful. I would even pick that over the turkey.

I don't know that one; sounds like another entry in the "disturbing ingredients but REALLY GOOD" category. I presume it'll make Instructables at some point? I'm definitely curious.

Oh it's the YUM. Totally trailer park, but made of brocolli colored love. I'll get the recipe from my mom and put up an instructable with it.

Those little brown and serve rolls in the aluminum tray for my infamous turkey, gravey, mashed potato, cranberry sauce sandwiches. And to answer the question as i originally read it, no thanksgiving is not necessary.

Fractal pie :)


11 years ago

We do mashed potatoes, but they must be garlic mashed potatoes. Heavy garlic.

I could take or leave peas, but require some form of green bean casserole.

Other must-haves that probably aren't on your list:
cornbread dressing
oyster dressing
giblet gravy

That's easy, although a bit boring according to my wife. Turkey with gravy (I can go either way on having stuffing or not) Mashed potatoes Peas Pumkin pie with fresh whip cream Lots of really good wine. I think this year I'll open one of my favorites, BV Tapestry from 1999, which I got on sale at safeway a few years ago.