It is November

It is November – my favorite month of the year! Maybe it’s because I love the cooler temperatures - I definitely love the fall colors, but it is probably mostly because Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

Growing up, my mom always made sure that no one was alone for the holiday. If you didn’t have family nearby, you were promptly adopted into our family and welcomed for any and all holidays, and actually, anything at all – my mom would turn the evening meal into a party and invite everyone.

Thanksgiving always included lots of amazing food as she would try and have everyone’s favorites. And of course, in addition to a sumptuous feast for dinner, there was always pie for dessert. My mom didn’t make pies a lot – perhaps because they are a little more labor intensive – it was a lot easier to throw together a pan of brownies, (and she had a great brownie recipe) but at Thanksgiving we had pie. Apple, pumpkin, and pecan were the staples and were rounded out by whatever else sounded good to her or was requested by one of us kids: chocolate cream, mincemeat, cherry, and lemon meringue were some that I remember making the pie list.

Here is what I find interesting – food is different for Thanksgiving from the big city in Massachusetts where I grew up, to the small town in North Carolina where I now live. One of my northern friends put a “you have to eliminate one food” meme on social media asking everyone which food they wouldn’t want at their holiday celebration, and I was surprised by the number of people that commented that macaroni and cheese isn’t a Thanksgiving dish, because down south, a good mac-n-cheese makes every holiday menu. So, what are some of the other differences?

  • Growing up pumpkin pie was a staple, but my southern gentleman husband turns up his nose at pumpkin pie and insists on sweet potato pie – something I had never had until I moved south.
  • Greens are not a thing up north, (at least my family never had them) but most holiday celebrations in the south include some kind of greens. In fact, superstition holds that to have good luck and prosperity in the new year, you must eat collard greens and black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. When my husband informed me that this was a thing, I told him I was “fixin” to have another bad year then… I am not a fan of greens.
  • Up north we always ate cornbread with chili – down south, they eat cornbread with everything and make their stuffing with it. While I still prefer traditional bread stuffing with sausage, cornbread stuffing is pretty tasty.
  • Southerners take sweet potato casserole to a whole ‘nother level. Seriously.
  • Pimento cheese dip – again a southern thing that this northern girl didn’t understand and wasn’t too excited about. Then I had my daughter-in-law’s homemade pimento cheese dip, promptly asked for the recipe, and became a believer. The homemade stuff is amazing! 

Whatever you choose to eat this Thanksgiving and however you decide to spend the day, may you feast on food you love, may you share laughter around the table, whether with family or friends, and may you look upon life with grateful eyes.

Happy Thanksgiving!