What’s Your Thanksgiving Specialty? | Cup of Jo

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What’s Your Thanksgiving Specialty? | Cup of Jo


Chai Masala Pumpkin Pie Tara O'Brady

For the past five years, I’ve rolled up to my parents’ house on Thanksgiving with my specialty: a chai masala pumpkin pie. Velvety with the perfect sweet-to-spice ratio, the pie makes the whole house smell like a mug of chai. Every time, at least one family member declares it “the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever had.”

This year, however, my mom, who usually cooks most of the meal, said she wanted to cut back and focus on just the turkey, stuffing, and gravy, and would everyone please show up with a side? So, in addition to pie, I offered to make the mashed potatoes.

But then.

Somehow, I let it slip during a family brunch that I had never made mashed potatoes. And the whole table lost it. “What?!” “You’ve never made mashed potatoes?!” “How?” “We need good mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving!” “Maybe she shouldn’t make them??”

After lots of badgering, I rolled my eyes and warded them off by reminding them: a) I’ve cooked almost every day of my adult life, and b) I would do a trial run.

special Thanksgiving recipes

My younger brother’s texts the next day

So, this weekend, my husband Max and I invited my family over for dinner, and I made Jenny’s classic mashed potatoes. As he served himself a spoonful, my brother looked over, raised his eyebrows, and said, “I don’t know, Jannelle, we will see…”

But, dear reader, I killed it. They were fluffy and buttery and everything we wanted. By the end of the night the vote was unanimous: I could be trusted with potatoes.

Today, I now have eight pounds of russets on my kitchen counter and a new recipe added to my Thanksgiving specialities. While getting ready for the busiest-time-in-the-kitchen season, I’d love to know: what’s your specialty? Turkey with a twist? A vegetarian entrée? A bottle of really good wine? Or maybe you bring something other than food, like fun games or conversation starters. Please share your trademarks below…

P.S. Bonding with family, and 21 family board games that are actually fun.

(Photo by Nikole Herriott.)





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