BiltmoreThanksgivingBy: Chrysa Smith

How strongly do you hold to your Thanksgiving traditions?

I must admit, that since I enjoy cooking, I play around each year. Usually the recipe comes from Ina Garten–aka The Barefoot Contessa, which can be found on the Food Network’s website. Her recipes never disappoint. And I mean never.

So this year, I’m not brining the turkey. I’m taking her tips and just massaging it with butter and some herbs, stuffing it with lemon and onion and giving it a good roast for a few hours. I’m also making roasted carrots with turnips.  And I would consider her mashed potatoes, though that requires a ricer—something I’m not willing to buy and store for only one use. So, I’m doing what I usually do—mashing them senseless with some heavy cream, butter and salt.

But the stuffing is sacrosanct. It’s my grandmother’s method which has been made for years now. And although I might tweak it a bit, I never make something too different. Because food and scent all relate to memories. And these memories bring back a time when the family was so much larger. My hair longer and my body thinner. She would brush my hair, make me hot dogs and a Tom Collins–not at the same time. So it’s sausage stuffing again, this time with challah bread and loose sausage from the butcher. I might sauté a little apple and onion to add to the celery, before combining the whole thing and putting it in the oven.

Canned cranberry sauce is actually liked best by my son, so that wins out every time. Creamed pearl onions round out the meal—another throwback to my childhood.

So whatever you’re having, have yourself a Happy Little Thanksgiving. And if you’ve got a special recipe to share, please do comment. Would love to add something new sometime to the menu (except for stuffing and creamed onions!)

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