My Thanksgiving menu

Vintage Thanksgiving postcardDid you know that I started This Mama Cooks! as a way to document my Thanksgiving menu plans? That was nine years ago and I’m still very passionate about cooking for Thanksgiving and making the meal extra special. This year I’ve decided to cook up a southern meal since it’s our first year in Georgia. So I’ve scoured the magazines and found some terrific southern-inspired recipes that will work with my food sensitivities and Lucie’s nut allergies with a few simple substitutions.

I’m even more excited to cook this year as my mom’s coming out from San Diego. It’s been over 10 years since we’ve spent Thanksgiving together and I’m excited to cook for her. My mom is an excellent cook herself, but I’m not intimidated in the slightest. I know she’ll enjoy watching me cook and hanging out with the kids and her son-in-law just as much as I’ll enjoy cooking the meal for everyone.

Thanksgiving menu 2012

Unlike other bloggers, I don’t have the time and energy to cook and photograph everything before Thanksgiving, especially since my arm and shoulder are still sore from having surgery last month. Instead, I’m listing links to the recipes I’ll be cooking up along with some tips below. I’ll also be posting pictures live on Thanksgiving day on Instagram and Flickr and posting the recipes here at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet with the revised recipes later as well.


  • Okra Pickles – originally from Saveur magazine, I posted this recipe a few weeks ago.
  • Fresh Cranberry Relish – also from Saveur. I’ll be using sorghum instead of sugar to give the relish a southern twist.
  • Butternut Squash Mash – from Martha Stewart as an alternative to regular mashed potatoes. It’s already super healthy, so I won’t be making any substitutes.
  • Sorghum Glazed Parsnips – from The Local Palate magazine, which highlights southern regional cooking. Sorghum is going to be a big theme for me this year!
  • Collard Greens – also from The Local Palate magazine. It contains a pound of bacon to six pounds of greens, so I’ll be using the leanest bacon I can find. I’ll also need to make some broth from the leftover bits and pieces of pig that I have from our open house last month that I’ve been storing in the freezer.
  • Cornbread, Sausage and Pecan Dressing – from Bon Appetit. I’ll be substituting pine nuts for the pecans so Lucie can have some stuffing, too. I’ll also be using my gluten free, Moist Tofu Cornbread, buttery spread, and a lean chicken or turkey sausage instead of breakfast sausage.

Main dishes:

  • Turkey - I’ll be brining and smoking our turkey like I do every year.
  • Pork – since my kids don’t like turkey, my husband suggested I heat up some of the leftover pig for the kids. We have a bunch in the freezer, so why not? I have to come up with a sweet glaze for it – maybe something with pomegranate juice and sorghum.



  • Wine for the grownups and sparkling cider for the kids.

Here’s to a wonderful, busy, healthy and delicious Thanksgiving!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *