One of my favorite, if not my absolute favorite, holiday is coming up next week, and I don’t know what I’m most excited for: pulling out the old stretchy pants after over-indulging, Campbell's Classic Green Bean Casserole or watching football in the man cave.
Thanksgiving is a highly celebrated and attended holiday in my family, and each year it gets better and better. I don’t know if it gets better because maybe my mom’s cooking improves or if it’s because I’m getting older and appreciate the little things more, but given it’s so close and my mom will probably read this, I’ll go with the getting older one.
I know growing up, we’re constantly reminded about what Thanksgiving truly signifies, and I don’t think we are ever too old to hear it again. During the week leading up to Thanksgiving, most of the classroom time is spent cutting, gluing, coloring, rehearsing and learning about the first harvest feast between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Native Americans in 1621.
It’s kind of funny how the story can change its meaning as you get older though, you know like your family is the Pilgrims and your in-laws are the Native Americans- all coming together to share different traditions and learn more about one another. And okay, so maybe the Native Americans didn’t have that crazy aunt or weird cousin, but I’m sure it wasn’t all cream corn. (Okay, I get an A for effort, right?)
Besides the feeling of true bliss when starring at all the delectable dishes, I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because before we eat, we all go around and say what we are thankful for. I know, sounds so generic, but I can really see the sincerity and love in everyone’s face and hear it in their tone of voice. It just seems like whatever your problems may be, or whatever hardships you’re going through, on this particular day, it leaves you and you’re filled with happiness: you’re thankful for everything good or bad that has happened.
On that note of being full, here are 10 Classic Thanksgiving Recipes, done the right way, that will have your taste buds literally shouting from the rooftops.
1. Campbell’s Classic Green Bean Casserole- My Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be complete without this classic dish. Now I know this has been reinvented a hundred different ways, but personally, I think it’s best without all the bells and whistles. You can’t get much better than the classic Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup, topped with French’s French Fried Onions.
2. Perfect Mashed Potatoes- And yes, this means homemade. I know it might be a little labor intense to have to boil the potatoes and then physically mash them, but it is so worth it. Once again, you can elaborate with this and add garlic, shredded cheese, sour cream or just stick to the regular salt and pepper. (I think you know what my vote is.)
3. Broccoli Casserole- A lot like green bean casserole, broccoli casserole can be classic, but the shredded cheddar cheese, onions and crushed buttery round crackers makes this casserole irresistible.
4. Dinner Rolls- Okay, so I’m going to use this term very loosely, because there are so many delicious options for bread rolls! There’s buttery crescent rolls, no-knead dinner rolls, cheddar and sage biscuits, braided rolls and the list continues. It doesn’t matter which type of roll you have, as long as you have this exquisite carbohydrate on the table.
5. Grandma’s Cornbread Stuffing- I know this gave away what region of the country I’m from, and I mine as well have said hey y’all…but yes, Cornbread Stuffing. There a tons of different stuffing recipes, but why not combine two delicious side dishes to make one heavenly dish?
6. Sweet Potato Casserole- I know, enough with the casseroles already, but this is so easy and so yummy! Brown sugar, melted butter, sweet potatoes, pecans…I’m there!
7. Honey Glazed Ham- The honey ham is almost as important as the turkey! This can either be store bought at your local grocery store or you can make your own following this easy recipe! All you need is the ready to eat ham, honey, corn syrup, butter, cloves and pineapple (optional) and you’ve got this warm, melt-in-your-mouth honey glazed ham.
8. The Turkey- This is crucial. It can really be a task to make sure you have allotted enough time for the turkey to cook just right while not drying it out or burning it. This link lists 10 Best Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes, so I’m sure you’ll find one that makes your mouth water.
9. Creamy Pumpkin Pie with Cranberry Topping- Enough said. This layered pie serves up a deliciously unique combination, bringing together two classic fall flavors in one creamy sweet-and-tart dessert.
10. Triple-layer Chocolate Pumpkin Pie- This will be the treat to beat for years to come. With layers of plain and chocolate-flavored pumpkin filling plus a sweet sour-cream topping, it takes a bit longer to make--but it's well worth it.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are plenty more holiday classics to include on this delightful day of stuffing your face, but these are just 10 of my favorite. Just remember, you know you’ve succeeded when there aren’t any leftovers!
**Disclaimer: Eat at your own risk. Can’t guarantee you won’t pop the button off your jeans or fall asleep at the table.