Family Traditions: Memories of Thanksgiving Dinner with recipes - Believe in the Basics
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Family Traditions: Memories of Thanksgiving Dinner with recipes

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Thanksgiving Memories

Thanksgiving Memories and Family Traditions

As we rapidly approach Thanksgiving, childhood memories have flooded my mind. Every year, my mom would start preparing Thanksgiving Dinner early in the morning so it would be ready to eat that afternoon. While dinner was cooking, we would watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. We loved to watch the parade, however my dad preferred watching football! Nevertheless, my sister and I couldn’t wait to hear all the music and see all the floats roll down the street. During that time, as each float passed on our television screen, the anticipation to see Santa Claus and his reindeer was rapidly growing. After all for us that meant Christmas was just around the corner and aside from birthdays, for most kids, Christmas was the ultimate holiday. As a matter of fact, what kid didn’t want a visit from Santa Claus and a some Christmas presents under the tree!

A Family Tradition, the Christmas Tree

In addition, we would decorate the Christmas tree. My sister and I, mostly me, would decorate the tree. While we were decorating the tree the smell of Thanksgiving Dinner filled the air. My mother always put so much time and effort into preparing a BIG Thanksgiving dinner for us that I honestly believe this was her favorite holiday. As a result, our thanksgiving dinner was always delicious!

Back to My Mom’s Dinner

My mom always prepared a Traditional Southern Thanksgiving Dinner that included Turkey, Cornbread dressing and giblet gravy. Of course there were other sides but none that were as delicious to me as Cornbread Dressing and Giblet Gravy. To this day, those two dishes are my personal favorites that I always crave during the holidays. Unfortunately and to my surprise my husband and children do not have the same love for giblet gravy that I do! 🙁

As I get older I have noticed that family recipes are getting harder and harder to find. Consequently, I find it disheartening that many family recipes have been lost because they just are not being passed down through the generations as often as they used to be!

As a result, if you love or have been searching for Cornbread Dressing and/or Giblet Gravy, I have include the recipes are listed below!

Cornbread Dressing with Giblet Gravy

Basic Cornbread

  • 1 cup Self-Rising Cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup Self-Rising Flour
  • 3/4 cup Buttermilk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil

Dressing

  • 4 cups Turkey or Chicken Broth (for Turkey Broth boil three turkey necks until the meat falls off the bone & save the meat and broth)
  • Basic Cornbread (broken up into large pieces and dried out overnight at room temp) See recipe above!
  • 1 cup Onion (diced)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cup Celery (diced)
  • A pound Turkey Sausage (optional or  chicken can be substituted)
  • 2 Eggs
  • Black Pepper
  • Sea Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Dry Sage
  • Poultry Seasoning to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder

Giblet Gravy

  • A pack Livers
  • A pack Gizzards
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • A Celery Stalk (diced)
  • 1 small Sweet Vidalia Onion
  • Quart of Water
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 cup Half and Half
  • 3 Chicken bouillon
  • 2 Smoked Turkey Necks
  • 1 Clove Garlic (diced)
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions

Cornbread:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix together Corn Meal and Flour. Add Buttermilk, Eggs and Oil.
  • Pour into greased baking dish or cast iron skillet and bake 20-25 min.
  • Cool down, then break up Cornbread into large pieces and let it sit overnight to dry out.

Dressing:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Cook the Sausage in a sauté pan over medium-high heat until well browned and cooked through. Remove to a bowl and set aside. Sauté Onions and Celery in Butter until translucent. Combine the cooked vegetables with the Sausage, Shredded Turkey Neck Meat, Spices and Crumbled Cornbread. Stir to combine.
  • Add enough Broth to make it thick and soupy. Mix well and adjust flavor with more Spices and Sage to taste, flavor should be rich and bold. Add Eggs.
  • Pour into a Buttered 9 x 13 casserole pan and bake for 45 minutes. Serve Cornbread Dressing with Hot Gravy.

Gravy:

  • In a large pot, boil Water, add Eggs and Turkey Necks.
  • Sauté Onions, Celery, Livers, Garlic and Gizzards in Butter.
  • Remove Eggs and Turkey Necks and add sautéed Giblets and Veggies.
  • Add Salt and Pepper to taste, add Bouillon, pull turkey and add half and half and bring to a boil.
  • Combine Butter and Flour and cook until it starts to brown, add to Gravy. Add diced Egg and cook on low until thick. Adjust seasoning.

Other Recipes:

 

What are your family’s Thanksgiving traditions? What recipes have been passed down through your family? Share your favorite recipes with me.

 

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