Remembering Thanksgiving

Posted | 5 Comment(s)

Thanksgiving is some three weeks away and most people I know don’t even have it on their radar yet. And truth be told, that Norman Rockwell painting of grandma smiling with the bronzed to perfection turkey while the whole family sits around the dining room table and beams in admiration, is a fantasy.

Today’s family is very different than in our grandmother’s day. We are the digitally and technically savvy generation. You need a recipe for turkey stuffing? We used to call up grandma and connect with her about holiday traditions, ask about her life and tell her about ours;  now we call up apps on our phones to get the latest and greatest stuffing and talk to no one.

We used to start preparations for Thanksgiving a couple weeks ahead of time, designing a menu, shopping for staples and making cranberry sauce.

Now we don’t have to do any of this as our local grocery store will prepare and cook an entire meal for you and even deliver it for a price. So personal.

We used to sit around the table with uncle Joe and aunt Jane and crack open hot chestnuts and laugh and tell stories.

Now we sit around the television and watch the endless football games and eat from TV trays and paper plates.

On a day when we should all be together in the comfort of our own homes and grateful for all that the Divine has given us, we crowd into restaurants and all eat the same placid turkey dinner “with all the trimmings” with a bunch of strangers. So personal.

My wish to you is for a truly memorable Thanksgiving shared with your family and friends and one that has come from your own hands.

This cranberry cornbread recipe has been in my family for generations and I am happy to share it with you.

Thanksgiving Cranberry Cornbread

Serves 8

½ cup unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup sugar

2 large eggs at room temperature

1 cup buttermilk

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup  fine grind cornmeal

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup fresh cranberries or ½ cup dried cranberries


Preheat oven to 375F

Line the bottom and sides of an 8 inch square pan with foil and butter the foil. Set aside.

In a large bowl beat the butter with the sugar until creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well blended.

In a small bowl combine the buttermilk and baking soda. Set aside.

Place the cornmeal in a food processor and pulse to grind it until it is fine. Add the flour and salt and pulse a few times.

Add half the flour mixture to the bowl with the butter mixture and beat in. Add half the buttermilk and blend in. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat in. Add the remaining buttermilk and blend in. Stir in the cranberries.

Pour into pan and bake 35-40 minutes until set and cake tester comes out clean. Cool. Serve warm cut into squares.

User Comments

lucille's avatar

lucille said on November 07, 2012

I too remember those days, we always sat aroung the table with family not just on thanksgiving, but every sunday, macaroni with sunday gravy, roasted meat, pork, beef, etc. We still have a big family Thanksgiving. This year I have alot to be thankful for. I live in Breezy Point, NY, Our community was destroyed by "Sandy" We cannot live in our house, as it was flooded, I have been watching your show for 20 yrs. Have your cookbooks, nella cucina celebrations iitalian style, etc. you name it i had it, they were all washed away in the storm, still floating around in my basement. But we are safe, and this year I am thankful for that
lucille's avatar

lucille said on November 07, 2012

I too remember those days, we always sat aroung the table with family not just on thanksgiving, but every sunday, macaroni with sunday gravy, roasted meat, pork, beef, etc. We still have a big family Thanksgiving. This year I have alot to be thankful for. I live in Breezy Point, NY, Our community was destroyed by "Sandy" We cannot live in our house, as it was flooded, I have been watching your show for 20 yrs. Have your cookbooks, nella cucina celebrations iitalian style, etc. you name it i had it, they were all washed away in the storm, still floating around in my basement. But we are safe, and this year I am thankful for that
mary ann esposito's avatar

mary ann esposito said on November 18, 2012

Lucille, I am so sorry that your life has been turned upside down; I can not imagine the loss and grief this has caused so many. I would like to send you an autographed cookbook if you can provide an address.

And yes, you are safe and that is cause to give thanks.
lucille's avatar

lucille said on December 30, 2012

THANK YOU SO MUCH, i WOULD LOVE A COPY OF YOUR BOOK, mY ADRESS IS lUCILLE Peres 983 1/2 Bayside, Breezy Point New York 11697 God Bless You
lucille's avatar

lucille said on December 30, 2012

THANK YOU SO MUCH, i WOULD LOVE A COPY OF YOUR BOOK, mY ADRESS IS lUCILLE Peres 983 1/2 Bayside, Breezy Point New York 11697 God Bless You