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More Than Just a Bowl of Cranberries & Happy Thanksgiving!

Do you have special Thanksgiving traditions you follow in your family? Like most, perhaps you always have turkey and all the trimmings. Or perhaps yours is a ham sort of family. Maybe you always watch football, or heck, maybe you’re one of those families who plays a friendly game of touch/flag-football yourselves after the big meal.

Maybe you simply must put up your tree the day after Thanksgiving and not a day before. Maybe your house is decorated top to bottom for Christmas before Thanksgiving Day even arrives. Maybe you always get together with family. Maybe you never do.

Perhaps you try to honor a whole list of family traditions, or perhaps you’re a bit of a rebel and say, screw that; I’m doing this my way.

Without a doubt, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Always has been. I mean, there’s all that food, right? And no guilt about overindulging in any or all of it, well, less guilt than usual anyway. But it’s more than the food. It’s about family, traditions and whatever that means (or doesn’t mean) for you and your dear ones.

As far as Thanksgiving traditions go, I wait to put the tree up until after Turkey Day. As for the meal, I always cook the same things:  turkey, stuffing (my mother always called it dressing, so sometimes I call it that), mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, a couple of miscellaneous side dishes, pumpkin pie and always – cranberries.

There must be cranberries. Always.

And the cranberries cannot come from a can, although come to think of it, usually I have a can of the weird jellied sort, too, for those family members who prefer that. No, cranberry sauce at my house must be made from fresh cranberries and when the big day arrives, served up in a lovely glass bowl of some sort.

More than just a bowl of cranberries


Because my dad loved cranberries. He always made his own special cranberry sauce. Every single Thanksgiving. His cranberry sauce is one of my favorite childhood memories of Thanksgiving. It’s one of my favorite Thanksgiving memories, period.

And the thing is, how many kids actually like cranberries?

I’m pretty sure I didn’t like them as a kid. Did you? The consistency is sort of weird. And the taste is tart. But gosh, they’re pretty!

Somewhere along the line, I did develop a taste for cranberries. And now, I can’t imagine a proper Thanksgiving turkey dinner without them.

They are not my favorite part of the meal, taste-wise, that is.

But they are my favorite part of the meal, nonetheless. A must-have Thanksgiving holiday tradition menu item.

I buy them, cook them, serve them and eat them while thinking about you, Dad, and all the wonderful Thanksgiving meals we shared that always included your home-made cranberry sauce.

Just a simple thing. Just a simple memory.

But my, what a wonderful one it is and always will be.

To those who celebrate this holiday, Happy Thanksgiving!

Share one of your Thanksgiving traditions or memories.

Do you like cranberries?

What’s your favorite thing to eat on Thanksgiving?

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More than Just a Bowl of #Cranberries #Thanksgiving #family #holidays #grief #holidayfoods

Featured image by Pen Weggener via Flickr

8 thoughts to “More Than Just a Bowl of Cranberries & Happy Thanksgiving!”

  1. Happy Thanksgiving, Nancy!

    I make my own cranberry sauce, as well and can’t imagine Thanksgiving without them. I love their tartness. Ari, on the other hand, can’t stand them. Oh well, more for me!

    Have a lovely holiday.

    — Beth

    1. Beth, I have a feeling not that many kids like cranberries; they are sort of an acquired taste. Hope you and Ari had a lovely holiday, Beth. Thank you for sharing.

  2. My favorite thing to eat is stuffing smothered with turkey gravy….I was tempted to say the wine, but thought better of it. I have over the years, however, decided that I wouldn’t care what food was served. Thanksgiving is about the people and/or family with whom you share the meal. The turkey and trimmings are secondary.
    Wishing all a very blessed Thanksgiving holiday !!


    1. Alix, I love stuffing smothered in gravy too! You’re so right, it’s not about the food so much though, is it? But it is a nice secondary. Hope you had a wonderful TG. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I love cranberries! I always make my own. I replace some of the water for orange juice and cut back on the sugar. I also add chopped up walnuts. I like it on the tart size and add jam if it needs to be sweeter. My uncle always brought some of his homemade sauce on Thanksgiving day when i was growing up.

  4. I make my own cranberry sauce, which are far better than canned, of course. The whole family loves it. I also make Walnut Pie rather than pumpkin. The recipe has become a tradition in our family. Happy Thanksgiving, Nancy! xo

    1. Eileen, My whole family does not love “real” cranberries. In fact, not that many of us eat them, but I will always include them on the menu at my house. I think they taste pretty great. I have never had walnut pie. Sounds like a tasty tradition. Hope your first TG holiday in Hawaii was wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

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