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Ok this is a bit embarrasing.. Since I'm not American I didn't grow up on Thanksgiving dinners. And the previous years we've either not cooked a meal or have been to MIL's for dinner and I just haven't paid enough attention to the food. This year my FIL is going to join us for a few days and we're supposed to cook this big Thanksgiving meal. I know about turkey (duh) w/stuffing and green bean casserole but what else is usually served? I'm not so worried about dessert since I'll just make pumpkin or apple pie but what goes with turkey and green beans? I'd like to make it special and traditional since it will be DS's first Thanksgiving where he can actually eat the food with us.
 

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We do:
Cranberries, mashed potatoes, biscuits, stuffing, turkey, ham , corn, green bean casserole, salad, veggie tray, pumpkin pie, apple pie.

Good luck! Have fun with it. There is no set meal I dont think. Whatever you like!
 

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At our house we do:

Turkey/Dressing
Green Salad
Pinto Beans
Mashed Potatoes
Gravy
Pea Salad
Pink Jello Salad
Cranberry Sauce
Pumpkin Pie
A cake of your choice (for non pie eaters)
Whipped cream
Iced Tea
 

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Our Thanksgiving menu:

Turkey with cornbread dressing
giblet gravy
hash brown casserole
green beans
sweet potatoes
7 layer salad
brocolli casserole
relish tray
rolls
pumpkin pie
pecan pie
coconut cake
ice tea
coffee
 

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Dixie--would you be willing to share your coconut cake recipe??

Thanks
 

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Just want to say, don't be embarrassed! We're German so we never did the Thanksgiving thing either. If I had to do it I'd really have no idea either. Start something new!
 

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Thanksgiving is a great meal to make yours ~ make it what you want :)

Our meal:

Two turkeys ~ one in the smoker, one in the oven
Make ahead holiday mashed potatoes
Sweet potatoes in the crockpot
green bean casserole
corn
stuffing
gravy
cranberry sauce
cranberry dipping sauce
cinnamon pears
pumpkin pie
apple pie
chocolate pie
 

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I do the Turkey and stuffing
gravy
mashed potatoes
yams
homemade bread
tossed salad
pumpkin cake
mincemeat pie
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wow, thanks guys! Sounds good, there are definetly a few items I'd like to try from the lists you wrote. But yeah, maybe I'll start something new too, like a new tradition. :D
 

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As you are learning the Thanksgiving meal varies greatly from family to family as well as across different regions of the country. Growing up in my family we had the standard turkey and dressing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie -- but the two big things that we all looked forward to were the relish tray (we're big pickle and olive people) and Mom's buttery, flakey homemade rolls.

My DH's family on the other hand always had potato salad and baked beans. That seems more like picnic food to me, but I always make potato salad for him. I know families that skip the turkey, etc. all together and serve foods more in keeping with their own cultural heritage.

We used to attend a church that had a dinner on Thanksgiving evening. Many of the members are vegetarians, so we had both turkey and "tofurki" as well as a wonderful array of different fruits and veggeis and other types of side dishes and of course desserts.

Have you asked your DH what his family ate for Thanksgiving when he was growing up? Perhaps you MIL could give you some ideas. You might want to include a dish or two from your country to help your son learn about his heritage from both countries.

It's not unusual for many American couples to have to combine rather different holiday traditions from two families when they first marry. It can be difficult at first, but many times evolves into wonderful new traditions. Whatever you do, I'm sure it will be wonderful. Most of all, relax and enjoy the day.
 

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We always have: Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing (called dressing in the south lol), green bean casserole, corn, rice pudding, cranberry sauce, rolls, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, this cran-raspberry jello cool whip thing everyone always asks me to bring, and my favorite... the appetizers... crackers w/ ham & cream cheese dip, olives, pickles, veggies, etc. I munch so much that I'm rarely able to eat turkey dinner :blush:
 

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We keep it simple, since I do all the cooking myself, and it is only DH, dd, my mom and step-dad, and myself for dinner. This is what I usually prepare:

Turkey and gravy
cornbread stuffing
mashed sweet potatoes
homemade cranberry sauce
green bean casserole
crescent rolls (Pillsbury, we love them!)
pumpkin pie w/ whipped cream
 

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We have dinner at my grandparents' house and this is what we usually have:

Turkey
Gravy
Stuffing
Small ham (for non-turkey eating people)
Rice pudding
Cranberry sauce
Rolls
Mashed taters
Creamed corn casserole (made w/ cornbread mix, creamed corn, etc.)
Black olives
Pumpkin pie
Apple Pie
Somethin' green (asparagus, green beens, etc.)

For snacking on during the day, we usually have chips/cheese dip (nachos) and fresh veggies w/ dip.

Making me hungry... :hungry:
 

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I think what these posts are showing you is that for the most part traditionally you're looking at:

Turkey
stuffing
bread
mashed potatoes
gravey
sweet potaotoes
cranberry sauce
pumpkin pie

after covering most of that list everything else is just family preference/tradition

I don't even cook a whole turkey every year. I get two large turkeybreasts.

We always have a cheese tray with pepperoni, pickles, and crackers out before dinner is served along with a couple of bowls of nuts and chips.

Our desserts are family cookie reciepes and several types of pies.

We generally have have salad, corn, green beans, stuffed artichokes, and stuffed mushrooms.

Depending on how large the gathering I sometimes make a ham as well.
 

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My inlaws are visiting us this year and MIL doesn't eat turkey. So, the current plan is:

fried turkey (husbands choice and chore)
either ham or beef or venison
roasted root veggies (potato, sweet potato, rutabega, turnip, carrot, parsnip)
green veggies either broc or greenbeans
waldorf salad with fennel and a little bit of curry
stuffing/dressing (depending on where you are brought up)
I have Jiffy corn muffin mix so that may be on the table as well

For dessert I am considering a steamed pudding but haven't decided yet.
 

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... the appetizers... crackers w/ ham & cream cheese dip, olives, pickles, veggies, etc. I munch so much that I'm rarely able to eat turkey dinner :blush:
Here I thought I was the only one...:toothy:
The holiday dinners just aren't complete without all the 'crap' to eat.... green onions wrapped in cream cheese and meat (Polish roses), pickle spears with cream cheese/meat, crackers and cheese, chips and/or Chex mix, nuts, homemade fudge and candies, pies, cake, finger jello (cut out into festive shapes), cookies (especially pumpkin-raisin, and decorated molasses or sugar cookies in festive shapes)... the list goes on.

As far as the dinner.... just go with the basics .....

Turkey
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Dressing
Green veggie (usually green bean casserole, but last year I made a cheezy Spinach 'souffle' in the crockpot that went ok)
Sweet potatoes or other yellow/orange veggie like carrots
Corn (this crowd has to have corn at 99% of all meals)
Salad (I prefer a 24-hour layered salad and I can share a recipe if you need one)
Rolls of some kind (this crowd likes brown and serve -- YUCKY!!)
Pies (gotta have at least 1 pumpkin)
 

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Our is your typical dinner

Turkey We tried frying one a few years ago. Ds #1 missed the smell of turkey cooking, so we don't fry one on Thanks giving anymore. We usually do one at Christmas or New years.

Stove top stuffing.
Green bean casserole
Mandarine orange salad
rolls
celery stuffed with Kraft pineapple cheese
olives
mashed potatoes.

We usually don't have gravy, since no one here is a gravy eater.

Pumpkin pie, ice cream & whipped cream for dessert.
 

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I'd suggest doing an internet search for menus for Thanksgiving dinner - there are a lot of regional and family differences in tradition. My own family always had cranberry relish, mashed potatoes, a pickle/olive tray, and dinner rolls. My ex's had sweet potatoes with marshmallows, green peas, and cranberry jelly. I pretty much developed a habit of doing it all, plus any other recipes that sound fun to try out (like Walkdorf salad), and we end up with leftovers for days.
 

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I forgot to add, I always make "Watergate Salad". It has pistachio pudding mix, Cool Whip, pineapple tidbits, and pecans. My DH always just calls it "green fluff".
 
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