Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving traditions

By now you know that I'm all about traditions.  Each and every holiday has a tradition and sometimes I make up special things for those poor months that kind of got jipped in the holiday department.  When I was growing up, we did the same thing.  My mom made a cherry pie on Washington's birthday!  I always think that traditions are what keep a family together even if they are physically far apart.

Years ago, when I first got married and moved 750 miles away from my parents, brother, sister and all other family members, that first Thanksgiving was hard.  My parents and siblings even came to visit, but it wasn't the same.  The only thing that was the same were the dishes that we made for Thanksgiving.  We all went to my new in-laws house and although it was a wonderful dinner, it wasn't the dinner I wanted.  I wanted my momma's dressing, my momma's turkey and all the stuff that went with it. 

The day after Thanksgiving, we traveled back to our little apartment and as we went in the place, my mom stayed back and told the guys that we were going to go grocery shopping and would be back soon.  We shopped that night for all the 'stuff' that I craved.  The cornbread dressing with lots of onion and celery and sage, the jalapeno-corn casserole that was so tasty as a leftover....all of it! The next day, we ate leftover turkey with my families traditional dishes.  It didn't make them leaving in a few days any easier but it sure filled a empty spot in the old heart!

I dug out my mom's jalapeno corn casserole yesterday so I could make sure that I had all the ingredients for next week.  I ususally bring that now over to the family gathering.  The card is looking kind of bad, it's covered with over 20 years of making it splashes and smears but it's written in my moms handwriting.  Along with making the recipe that first Thanksgiving, she also left me the recipe!

Jalapeno-corn casserole

1 C uncooked long grain rice, this can be brown rice
1 green pepper chopped, optional
1 cup chopped celery
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup melted margarine or butter
1 Tablespoon sugar
1-2 jalepano peppers, chopped
2 (17 oz.) cans cream-style corn
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
pepper rings, cherry tomato slices for garnish, if desired.

Cook rice according to directions and set aside.
Saute onion, celery and green pepper in margarine until veggies are tender.
Combine rice, sauteed veggies and next four ingredients, stirring well.
Spoon mixture into a lightly greased, 13x9 inch baking dish.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes.
Garnish with pepper rings and cherry tomato slices.

I hope you have your own Thanksgiving recipes to share in your family this year!

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