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Thanksgiving Traditions

My family celebrates Thanksgiving with a feast that has a traditional New England flavor. The menu includes root vegetables and thick skinned ‘winter’ squash that, in days of old, would have been stored in a cool root cellar.

Turkey with gravy
Bread stuffing
Mashed potato
Butternut squash
Creamed onions
Cranberry sauce
Rolls and butter

With family members marrying, moving away or returning home, the mix of people may not be the same every year. Occasionally the venue changes, and appetizers are now served before hand. But the main meal menu remains the same. It’s traditional. This is the holiday my family gathers for fellowship and feasting.

After the turkey, we feel like this:

A nice long walk is the cure.

If someone wants to gather greens for Christmas wreaths, we’ll walk in the forest crisscrossed with old stone walls and a tumbling stream.

Other years we’ll walk on the beach. The waves boom as they come ashore and the blustery wind tugs at our clothes. We’ll come home with bits of sea glass, pretty rocks, and sand in our pockets.

All the walking helps settle that large noontime dinner. So once we’re back indoors, it’s time for a turkey sandwich and pie. Actually, I just go for the pie! Half slices of several different kinds, because they are all favorites and I love homemade pie.

I love Thanksgiving.
Family, Fellowship and Food.
I have so much for which to be thankful.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

A friend’s mother passed away this weekend. The local tradition is to take food to the grieving family so I baked a Sour Cream Coffee Cake. For years, this heavy moist cake has been my family’s traditional Christmas morning breakfast. The last two years, it has also become my go-to recipe when someone is in need of sympathy and comfort. This saves me from looking through recipes, trying to decide what to make, how much to make, and then shopping for ingredients. The process was too cumbersome. With this coffee cake, the only ingredient I have to run out for is the sour cream. All the dry ingredients are in my cupboard and the milk and eggs are in the fridge. When butter is on sale, I purchase extra and freeze it.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

1 cup walnuts (optional – I don’t usually include them as some people can not have nuts)
1 & 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups flour
3/4 cup butter – softened
1/4 cup milk
1 & 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 & 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
8 oz. container sour cream
3 eggs
Mix walnuts (if desired), cinnamon and 3/4 cup of sugar and set aside.
Grease and flour a (angel food cake) tube pan.
In a large bowl with mixer on low speed, beat flour, butter, milk, baking powder, baking soda, sour cream, eggs and 1 & 1/4 cups of sugar till blended. Increase speed to medium. Beat 2 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spoon half the batter into the pan and sprinkle with half the cinnamon, sugar and nut mix.
Spread remaining batter and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon, sugar and nut mix.
Bake 60 minutes.

Don’t forget that 1 & 1/4 cup of sugar in the batter. (I did that once – never made that mistake again!)
This cake freezes well. I make it before Thanksgiving, pop it in the freezer then pull it out Christmas Eve to serve the next morning.

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