Memories are made with a shared meal at the dinner table. We reached out to our community on social media to share their favorite Thanksgiving dish and stories. Get ready to expand that belt buckle a couple of notches because leftovers will be limited after you try these three tasty Thanksgiving recipes from our very own shoppers and members.
Pineapple Cheese Casserole
with Christina, mom & family
With a football game playing in the background, laughter and chatter flows from the kitchen and throughout Christina’s mother’s home. The family of 40+ gathers every Thanksgiving to enjoy a home-cooked meal and share stories around a VERY large dinner table. Multiple burners and ovens are going at once and it’s a mad dash to get everything prepared and arranged in the right sections with the massive assortment of food. “We have a dessert table just as big as the regular food table!” says Christina.
Great meals come with great responsibility and Christina’s mom is notorious for reminding others to be cautious with their plasticware, because a lack of utensils can become an issue especially when feeding a family of 40. “My cousin accidentally broke his plastic fork during the meal one year, and my other cousin quickly spoke up saying, ‘Dude, you better go bury that thing and not let Aunt Susan know you’re throwing it out!’ Everyone in the room laughed!” When the fork breaks, that is a sign the meal is made with love, so we asked Christina to share a dish she would break a fork for.
“My grandmother found this recipe (Pineapple Cheese Casserole) in her church congregation’s cookbook back in the 1980s, so she began making it. Around the 1990s, my mom took it upon herself to make it, since my grandmother was getting older. My mom, Jinnee (my older sister), and I have been making it ever since for every holiday gathering. I have even introduced it to work parties, recipe exchanges, etc.”
- 2 (15 oz.) cans chunk pineapple, drained
- 2 cups fresh grated sharp cheese
- ¾ cup sugar
- 6 Tbsp. flour
- 1 stick margarine
- Crushed unsalted Ritz crackers or corn flakes
Mix drained pineapple chunks, fresh grated sharp cheese, sugar and flour together. Put in greased casserole dish. Melt margarine; pour over crushed unsalted Ritz crackers or corn flakes. Put on top of casserole. Bake 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.
Photo Below: The original recipe found in church congregation’s cookbook back in the 1980’s!
Puerto Rican Turkey
with Mayra & family
Zing and zest come to mind when learning about Mayra’s Puerto Rican Thanksgiving! Moving from New York to Puerto Rico when she was 11, Mayra noted to always mix tradition with culture in her meals. “When I turned 16, we moved to Florida and met our current friends from Honduras. We all had different plates. Now at my house, I do a combination of all three!”
Mayra’s Thanksgiving is a time for friends and family to come over and enjoy one another’s company while eating, listening to good music and playing games such as Dominoes. The day begins at 7 am with food preparation along with a little music and wine tasting. “I have to enjoy myself!” She says laughing. Dinner kicks off at 4 pm with an opening prayer which then leads into conversation revolving around the food and its special flavors, along with tons laughs. Mayra’s favorite part of the day is praying together and seeing everyone enjoy the meal. Check out how Mayra prepares her Puerto Rican turkey for her loved ones.
CAUTION: The combination of herbs and spices behind Mayra’s Puerto Rican Thanksgiving will make your mouth water.
- 9-10 cloves of garlic (depending on turkey size)
- Handful of cilantro
- Handful of culantro
- 2 Tbsp. of orégano
- 2-3 Green peppers
- 1 Yellow onion
- Dash of salt & pepper
- Tbsp. of cumin
- Olive oil
- Cooked bacon bits
Mix all (except garlic and bacon) with olive oil until it is thoroughly combined. Separately, crush garlic and mix with a dash of olive oil (avoids garlic turning green while cooking). Mix garlic and olive oil into a paste. Add in bacon bites to the paste. Poke holes into the turkey and fill with paste. Mayra says, “The bacon fat while cooking is what makes the turkey juicy and moist.” Then you take the combined spices and pour/rub it over the turkey until it is fully covered. Wrap in aluminium foil and refrigerate until morning. Once ready to begin, cook turkey to preferred length and enjoy!
Homemade Sweet Cinnamon Rolls for breadmaker
with Carol & Great Aunt Viola
Every Thanksgiving, a group of over 65 German descendants meet at a small Methodist church in Bracken, Texas, to hold hands in prayer and enjoy a meal together. Carol says the meal is huge. “There is so much variety from turkey to brisket to venison to german sausage, etc. Everyone brings food and it is delicious. The dessert table alone is incredible,” Carol says.
Although Carol doesn’t get to join in every Thanksgiving due to travel reasons, she shares vivid memories with her family. After her cousin says a prayer, the eldest member gets to go first for food. “There are always many jokes about who is considered the elder in our family!”
We asked Carol to share her favorite dish with us and it is quite a sweet one.
“My Great Aunt Viola always made homemade cinnamon rolls. Right before I got married, I asked her for the recipe. She did not have a recipe written down, so I went to her house and we made cinnamon rolls together while we recorded the recipe. It means a lot to me that she entrusted me with the recipe and took the time to teach me to make them.”
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 stick margarine softened
- 1 egg beaten
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 4 cups flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 1/4 tsp. yeast
Place liquid ingredients first, then dry into breadmaker. Set machine to “Dough Setting”. Once dough has risen (could take longer than dough setting) remove cooked dough from maker and roll out 1⁄2 inch thick long rectangle shape. Spread with melted margarine and sprinkle 1/4 C sugar : 1 tsp cinnamon mixture. Roll up tightly into a roll and cut into 1⁄2 to 3/4 inch slices. Place in greased pan close together. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Turn out onto foil and then flip right side up. When cool put icing on top made of powdered sugar, milk, (1 Tbsp) margarine and (1/2 tsp) vanilla.
Make memories this Thanksgiving, We’ll get the groceries.