By November 24, 2006Recipes



For most it is Christmas, but Thanksgiving has always been my personal favorite holiday.  It’s low key, it’s a celebration of blessings & family and of course great food! We have a few traditions that I love referring back to each year.  They help make the day so special…
-my antique Liberty Blue China set out to use at the holiday table
-the kids Thanksgiving projects from school as our centerpiece
-watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade while dinner is cooking
-crescent rolls from Pillsbury, hot out of the oven
-homemade gingersnaps and pumpkin dip
-jellied cranberry sauce (WITHOUT the whole berries!)
-The kids unique version of grace before dinner
And we added a new tradition this year, and that is deep-frying the turkey!  We had never tried this before and it was delicious!  It is something we will be sure to repeat in the future.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of blessings, family and fun.  What traditions do you celebrate with year after year?  I am always interested to hear what others do, and perhaps pick up a new tradition or to to add to our holiday festivities.  I found a few interesting ideas online that I might add to our list in the coming years.  I have listed them below so perhaps they can inspire you as well. My notes are italicized in brown.

  • Cath Edvalson’s blog post on her use of a Thanksgiving journal is truly inspiring.
  • "Food traditions are always favorites when new tasty recipes are discovered. Get the cooks of the family to look through cookbooks and try new ideas and recipes for side dishes. Put together a holiday cookbook containing all of the successful recipes after they pass the family test." What a fun paper crafting project that could be!
  • "If your child can write, have him write the names of family members on
    place cards. Even if she can’t write, she can decorate the cards you
    write with crayons and stickers and decide who gets to sit where."  These place cards could be saved every year in a special scrapbook entitled "Places Please"; it would document the development of your child’s handwriting and who your guests were each year.
  •  This article from the Dallas Morning News has some really great ideas.  My favorite is the turkey hunt.  I wonder if there is a turkey print rubber stamp some where out there?!?!
  • From Tea Time Traditions, I found this: "When my 4 boys were young,
    they found many of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes to be not to
    their liking. We broke with tradition and let each one pick his
    favorite dish. One picked macaroni and cheese, one corn-on-the-cob,
    another loved artichokes, and finally brownies for dessert. We still
    follow this practice now when they come over with their young girls. It
    wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without their favorites. Of course, we still
    have the traditional turkey, ham and have to have stuffing! But no
    pumpkin or mincemeat pie."  How fun would it be to document what the "favorite dishes" are from year to year.

And last but not least, here is my recipe for gingersnaps & pumpkin dip…
Cream together:
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
(I use my Kitchen Aid and allow it to beat for about five minutes to get lots of air into the mixture)
In a separate bowl, combine:
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt.
Add flour mixture gradually to batter in mixture.  Beat until thoroughly combined.  Wrap dough in wax paper and refrigerate for at least one hour. 
After chilling is complete, preheat oven to 375-degrees.  Shape dough by rounded teaspoonful balls.  Dip tops in granulated sugar.  Place balls, sugar side up, about three inches apart on pre-heated baking stone (such as Pampered Chef).  Bake 10-12 minutes or until JUSt set.  Remove from stone immediately and cool on wire rack.

Pumpkin Dip
In large mixing bowl, cream together:
4 cups powdered sugar
two 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened

(I use my Kitchen Aid and allow it to beat for about five minutes to get lots of air into the mixture)

In separate bowl, combine:
30 oz. can pumpkin pie filling mix
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Add pumpkin mixture gradually to cream cheese.  Beat until thoroughly combined.  Refrigerate and store in airtight container.


Nichole Heady

Author Nichole Heady

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • 1
    Renee C says:

    As I was reading your menu, I was thinking, “Wow, those Gingersnaps and Pumpkin Dip sound like something we would love!” Thank you for including the recipe and for sharing sweet photos of your family celebration! Love this blog!

  • 2
    Melissa says:

    What a sweet family photo! ANd you know I will be making those gingersnaps! Those were some of the best cookies I ever had!

  • 3
    Jessica Witty says:

    Just wanted to thank you for posting this recipe! I made it for a family party on Christmas Eve and everyone loved it! It’s soon to make an appearance at a baby shower as well. There is still some in my fridge, I get to snack on it later today, too!

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