Thanksgiving Family Favorites


We all anticipate our annual Thanksgiving feast each November. My family members can each recite all their favorites from years’ past. Memories are made with good food and family around the holiday table each year.


My grown children all agreed that Sausage and Cheese Grabbies were their fondest memory at Thanksgiving gatherings at my mother’s house. She served them warm, cut into triangles as an appetizer. Some of the younger ones would “grab” a whole one as they ran out the door.


Another memory for them was yeast rolls—hot and buttery. Turkey and dressing weren’t complete without a yeast roll!


And the older adults in my family enjoy fresh Cranberry Orange Relish. This is a fragrant memory as well as a tasty one. The sauce lasts for days so it can be enjoyed after the holiday as well.




  • 1 package English muffins
  • 1 pound pork sausage (spicy, hot, mild or regular)
  • 2 jars Old English Cheese
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Fry pork sausage. Pour off excess fat.

Stir in cheese, melted butter, and seasonings.

Cut English muffins in half and layer on a cookie sheet.

Spread sausage/cheese mixture on English muffin halves.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes.

Serve whole for breakfast, or cut in triangles to serve as an appetizer.

For freezing ahead, blend sausage/cheese mixture on each muffin half. Place on a cookie sheet and freeze. After they are frozen, take out and place them in a large re-sealable plastic bag and freeze until ready to use. When ready to serve, take the muffins from freezer and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Serves 12.



Yeast Rolls

  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 packages active yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 7 1/2 cups plain flour

Combine shortening and boiling water. Stir until shortening is melted.

Combine eggs, sugar, and salt. Beat in cold water.

Soften yeast in lukewarm water.

Combine the three mixes and add flour. Mix together until blended.

Cover and chill in refrigerator overnight.

Shape into rolls and place in several greased round pans or 9 by 13 dishes.

Let rolls rise in a warm place about 2 hours.

Before baking, brush each roll with melted butter.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

Makes about 3 dozen.

These are “Mimi’s Rolls” as shared by Lila Bickerstaff with my family.




Cranberry Orange Relish

  • 1 bag of fresh cranberries (12-ounce size)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1 medium seedless orange, all peel and pith cut away, fruit diced
  • 3/4 cup pecans, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and toasted

Combine first 4 ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.

Cook until cranberries are tender and mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes.

Mix in orange pieces and pecans.

Transfer to a bowl. Cover and chill until cold at least 2 hours and even up to 3 days.

Makes 4 cups.