Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Not Your Ordinary Thanksgiving Meals

One day, my older son and I got into a discussion about how food-centric our family gatherings tend to be. We don't just gather to hang out - when we gather, we're always cooking and eating. Is your family food-centric?

I asked a friend to share one of her Thanksgiving food memories, and we'd love to hear yours, too. Our two memories ended up qualifying in the "not so ordinary" category for Thanksgiving meals. Do yours?

From author Peggy Cunningham:

Cucumber Salad Surprise

My grandmother was Italian, so we had two meals for Thanksgiving dinner—the Italian version and the Pilgrim version. Yes, lasagna, meatballs, and everything else Italian. Also on the table, the traditional turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and all the trimmings.

My first Thanksgiving at my mother-in-law’s house was quite different with no Italians––and no surprise, but no Italian meal, either! Oh, but all the turkey you could eat with all its trimmings and a cucumber salad that quickly found a place in my heart (and on my table) forever.

Cucumber Salad with Mayo Dressing


  • 4 cucumbers, washed and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 Vidalia sweet onions, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • salt to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine cucumbers and sweet onions.
  2. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and salt to taste. Whisk until smooth and sugar is dissolved. 
  3. Add the dressing to the cucumbers and onions. Gently toss to combine. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for a few minutes. 

One of my own Thanksgiving food memories:

One year when the boys were teens, I got a huge bargain on a chalet in a Virginia ski resort because it was still the shoulder season. Budget-conscious as always, I planned to cook most of our meals at the chalet, but I didn't want to do anything ordinary, of course.

The boys were huge fans of professional wrestling during that time, and one of the wrestling federations released a new cookbook featuring recipes from all the celebrity wrestlers. To the boys' delight, I bought the cookbook and planned the whole week's menu from it. Everything was great, but the two hits were The Rock's Chocolate Chip Cookies and Vince McMahon's Millionaire Pie. Those recipes still find their way onto our menu occasionally.

We'd love to hear about your own Thanksgiving food memories. Feel free to share recipes, too!

Peggy Cunningham is author extraordinaire. She and her husband Chuck have served as missionaries in Bolivia, South America, since 1981. They work with the Quechua people and have a children's ministry. She is the author of the newly released Hooray for Holidays series for children, the Really Rare Rabbits series for children, and two devotionals for adults, Shape Your Soul and Dancing Like Bees.

Be sure to read Peggy's latest posts about Veterans Day on her blog:

Peggy and I are both guests over at Fay Lamb's Inner Source blog this week, too, so come on over to read Three Gals and Their Thanksgiving Memories.

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