One Idea to Preserve Family Traditions

// November 18th, 2012 // Uncategorized

Thanksgiving…my favorite day. From autumn’s first flirty nip in the August twilight, I look forward to the cooking, the fun, and a house full of family in late November. It’s been a few years since Papa Dave and I have spent the holiday with our entire family. This year we’ll have a nearly complete set of offspring. (Tho we’re bummed grandson Nic can’t make it.) That’s 26 of us, plus another 15 extended family. I’m praying it doesn’t rain. But Dave and I love filling the Haasienda* with family and friends. {*We call our vaguely Spanish style home “the Haasienda”, replacing first part of the Spanish word for estate (hacienda) with our last name.}

As per our tradition, the day before Thanksgiving, my girls and the kids are coming to cook. We’ll make rolls, pies {chocolate, pumpkin, my mom’s secret-recipe cherry pie}, and fudge. Lots and lots of fudge. We’ll get a jump-start on the next day’s meal by chopping and cooking some of the veggies, setting out bowls and platters, and rearranging furniture.

Last November our family lived in three different states. But, Amy and Jae were able to make our traditional dinner without Mom. Five years ago, I made Thanksgiving cookbooks—with recipes, pictures from Thanksgivings past, the menu, shopping list, a time line, and family quotes.

Making the nine copies took about a week. I already had most of the supplies and I found the 8×8-inch photo albums on clearance at Target. Each page of the book came together as I approached it with stamps, stickers, printed recipes, and not a clue how to put it together.

My girls turn to these books often {not only on Thanksgiving} for recipes and hints. Each of them has told me that this idea, that came unexpectedly, is one of their favorite gifts from me. Long after I’m gone, {maybe I’ll retire in Fiji. You never know…} my daughters and granddaughters will have Thanksgiving at their fingertips, complete with memories and a grocery list.

If you want to know more about the cookbook, or have ideas to share, I’d love to hear them!
Pssst…Mom’s secret recipe is on the far right of the page….

In 1979, my son Steve could really put away the pie…

…so could his little sister and brother (Amy and Nick).


A Thanksgiving cookbook wouldn’t be complete without a few ideas for the leftovers.

My mom with her feet up after a long-ago, long Thanksgiving day. Miss her…


No matter how you spend the day, I hope you feel the blessings of the past year, and stay open to many more in the coming year.


One Response to “One Idea to Preserve Family Traditions”

  1. Debbie Haas says:

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