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Traditional Thanksgiving fare

Jim and I won’t be traveling for Thanksgiving this year, so we will share the cooking responsibilities. We have decided on a traditional Thanksgiving meal to include roast turkey with herb dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream. We try a different vegetable dish every year. I made the traditional 1950s green bean casserole when the boys were young, but they have developed more discerning palates as they have grown older. Our younger son, Joe, a fantastic cook, has often provided the vegetable. We have enjoyed creamed spinach, collards, Brussels sprouts in balsamic vinegar with bacon, and other tasty dishes. This year the vegetable is up to me, and I have to make a decision very soon. I’m leaning toward a cauliflower recipe I recently saw.

How did turkey become the meat of choice to serve on Thanksgiving? As a matter of fact, how did the other aforementioned dishes become associated with this holiday of abundance and ...

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