Thanksgiving is a time of traditions: Food, Family, Friends, Fellowship. At least in my family, Thanksgiving traditions abound and are adhered to. Some years we follow a few of the traditions, other years we follow all of them. I think it depends on the amount of prep time we have and the amount of stress we are under.
Most Americans follow a tradition of a family meal based around a turkey. Some families have traditions that include watching a football game, making crafts or going for a long walk through the woods. Other traditions surround who hosts the gathering, what side dishes are served and who does the dishes.
My family traditions that we always follow: dad is in charge of the turkey while mom makes pies. The rest of us bring side dishes. After dinner, a football game may not be on the living room TV, but there is always a hardy group that takes about a five mile hike along the back roads.
Over the years the side dishes have changed as a reflection of our tastes and the folks present. We’ve learned that if we are going to have a lot of children, the more simple dishes we offer the better. Those are the years we’ve had peas, corn, carrots and white potatoes.
If the ratio includes more adults, we’ve had broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and yams, all fixed in more complicated recipes. There are two dishes that invariably appear on the table though, one from each of my grandmothers: Green Bean Casserole and Corn Pudding.
While these are not complicated, and clearly retain the original vegetable in toddler recognition levels … they are popular with the entire family.
Grandma’s Corn Pudding
1 can (14 oz) Whole Kernel Corn, drained
1 can (14 oz) Cream Style Corn
1 box (8 oz) Corn Muffin Mix
8 ounce Sour Cream
1 stick (8 T) butter or margarine
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Spray a glass casserole dish to minimize sticking. Pour corn mixture into casserole and bake for 1 hour.
Approximate Nutritional Value per serving: Servings per Recipe: 8, Calories: 330, Fat: 20g, Cholesterol: 44mg, Sodium: 565mg, Total Carbs: 36g, Protein: 5g.
Variations: I like to sprinkle the top liberally with black pepper, however, other families use red pepper or paprika for a dash of color. Some families toss in some diced ham, jalapeno peppers or shredded cheddar cheese.
Apparently, this recipe that my Grandma Chase brought with her to Ohio from New England is similar to others that people have adapted to their regions. I’ve had a chance to talk to people from all parts of the country and they have a similar dish they serve.
My family tradition is part of a larger tradition, it seems. That shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me, considering we include the Corn Pudding with our Thanksgiving dinner. What meal is more traditional in this country than Thanksgiving Dinner?
Whether your family serves turkey or lasagna, white or sweet potatoes, eats dinner at home or in a restaurant, the basic tradition is a gathering of friends and family to share a meal. That’s what’s important about Thanksgiving and the foods on the table are the means by which we celebrate our relationships.
I invite you to use my grandma’s recipe along with your family’s traditional menu. Take a moment to talk about your traditions with your family and enjoy the time together.
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