Gobble – gobble – gobble! :)
I love Thanksgiving. As I mentioned before, Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. We’ll be celebrating Bebe E’s second Thanksgiving this week and I am ecstatic because this year she’ll get to try turkey, stuffing, creamed corn, garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potato souffle, likely a few other side dishes, and of course, pumpkin pie!
As a child, we celebrated Thanksgiving with my paternal grandparents at their home in South Pasadena. We often had turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, a few Japanese dishes, and of course rice and tsukemono. After my grandparents moved to Japan we often celebrated this holiday with distant relatives that invited us annually. However, only in the past 10 years has our family celebrated on our own, with our adopted relatives, the ‘Tree Villagers’. Around the same time, my mom suffered a mild illness and I became the primary chef of our family’s Thanksgiving meal. At first, I was overwhelmed by all that I wanted to cook but with planning and preparation (up to three days in advance), over the years I learned to enjoy the Thanksgiving kitchen frenzy AND the fruits of my labor, but things keep changing.
Two years ago, I decided it would be fun (and easier on me) if we made our Thanksgiving meal a potluck. Today, my parents make the turkey and stuffing, I make the sweet potato souffle, cream corn and usually another side dish, dessert of appetizer. I taught my brother how to make garlic mashed potatoes that I learned from, I think it was, Emeril, so now he brings the mashed potatoes and a few other items and our family friends the ‘Tree Villagers’ bring the remainder of dishes to round out our holiday feast. Potlucks are fabulous!
Every year I make the same family favorite side dishes, but I also enjoy presenting something new too. This year, I’m thinking of trying an easy appetizer I recently saw on Food TV and for dessert I’m thinking about an easy kid-friendly apples and caramel dish, but I’m also going to make pumpkin mochi since it was a hit when I made this for the first time a few weeks ago.
I am planning to post some of my traditional Thanksgiving dishes at some point. Unfortunately, this will be after the holiday since I likely will not make these until Thanksgiving or the day before and won’t be posting over the holiday, but I wanted to share last year’s “new” Thanksgiving side dish, cornbread casserole, that I made not too long ago to eat with our NOT Zippy’s Chili and a side salad.
The first time I ate cornbread casserole was last December at our friend’s potluck. I tracked down the guest who made it, and she mentioned Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. I found the recipe below on Jiffy’s website. The addition of cream corn and whole corn kernels sweetens the casserole and its sweetness complimented the spices of our chili dinner. Big Onechan and Bebe E love this casserole, likely because it is sweet. It was also a hit at my family’s Thanksgiving last year and I will likely make this for my in-laws Thanksgiving dinner this year. It’s an easy, no-frills, super simple side dish.
- 1 can (8 oz) cream corn
- 1 can (8 oz) whole corn kernels
- 8 1/2 ounces corn bread mix (I used half a box of Trader Joe’s mix)
- 8 ounces light sour cream
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Cooking spray
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 1.5 quart square baking dish with Pam (or other cooking spray).
2. Combine all ingredients and gently mix with a wooden spoon. Pour mixture into greased baking dish and bake uncovered for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes (depending on your oven). Check for doneness. The casserole will be soft and very, very moist. (NOTE: The texture will not be dry like cornbread.)
Out of sheer laziness, I didn’t cut the casserole into squares, encouraged my family to “dig in”, and as a result you see the glob of casserole on my plate above. It was still delicious despite its messiness. :)
For Thanksgiving last year, I doubled the above recipe baked it in a 9 x 13 baking dish and cut the casserole into pretty little squares.
I am relieved that after being sick with bronchitis all last week (it turned out that I didn’t have a chest cold) that I am finally feeling well enough to cook… just in time for Thanksgiving! May you and your family enjoy a safe, thoughtful, warm and loving Happy Thanksgiving.