Thankful Traditions

In this season of approaching holidays, I have been reminiscing on those memories from the season that stir fond recollections of the past, but far too often induce the painful remembrance of empty seats at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

Recently, the topic of family holiday traditions has been discussed at my dinner table and the options of ham or turkey were presented as possible dinner choices. Growing up it was always a tradition of the Thanksgiving Turkey and a Christmas Ham. I offered to change it up this time with a catered meal with a barbecue option but also considered smoked or deep fried turkey so that she did not have to spend three days of prep work in the kitchen. She offered to make the traditional turkey for our Thanksgiving feast.

Another surprise came when my wife offered to make some of the delicious desserts I have been deprived of for more than a decade since my mother’s passing, among which is my mother’s pumpkin pie recipe. My grandmother made a version of the pie she called a “black-faced pumpkin pie” which I recalled to be heavy on the molasses.


While my wife and I have been making new memories together as a blended family, such as visiting the pumpkin patch for our prized orange orb, we also cling to some of the many traditions which we each grew up with, like the annual ritual of watching the Macy’s Parade and eagerly awaiting the Snoopy float.

By now I hope you have been able to obtain your own copy of the Conner Cousins Family Cookbook that was put together for the reunion over Labor Day.  As I understand, it sold out and orders were continuing to pour in through online ordering.

The spiral-bound cookbook is available at The Book Patch for $10 each plus shipping. All proceeds go to The Conner Cousins Committee who put together the annual reunions for the descendants of Willie and Laura Conner as well as the many related branches.

Since working on the cookbook, I have decided to conduct a similar project next year for my mother’s recipes. What family traditions do you plan to keep alive in your annual holiday gatherings?