Thanksgiving Eve

It’s deliciously cloudy out–and suitably chilly–and I’m relishing to the prospect of a day in my kitchen full of happy bustle and preparation for Thanksgiving. We’ll be going to my parents’ tomorrow, and we’re looking forward to a day on the farm with Philip’s family on Friday. But today is ‘at home’ day and I have a lovely list of rituals to set my hands to, not to mention the delight of a precious friend on her way over for tea. 🙂

There’s a stock pot of sweet potatoes simmering on the stove and soon my religiously traditional cranberry conserve will be filling the kitchen with its loved tang. And Katie and I will sip orange rooibus tea by the fire and catch up on several month’s worth of news…and hopefully I will remember to stir the conserve so that it doesn’t burn! 😉

The thing that I absolutely love about Thanksgiving Eve is that it’s always the same. Even after I married I continued to be responsible for the same dishes for our family feed: the aforementioned cranberry sauce, pecan pie (though it’s simply called ‘nut pie’ in my family, owing to a long-standing feud over the pronunciation of that offending word…those of you beneath the Mason-Dixon line may comprehend the seriousness of this dispute) and sweet potato casserole (and if there’s anything we know in the South it’s sweet potatoes…loaded with butter and brown sugar and those divisive nuts!)

Here’s a little piece I wrote on this day a year ago:

I love Thanksgiving. Such a simple holiday, so unassuming and amazingly free of the mercantile trappings of other celebrations. As much as I yearn towards the Christmas season each year, I am always sad that a day set aside for no other reason than to say ‘Thank You’ to God is often overshadowed, if not shoved impatiently aside by a culture obsessed with getting and spending…

Read more…

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!! 🙂

Yield: 3 pints

Cranberry Conserve


  • 4 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 Tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 2 oranges, peeled, sliced and quartered
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar


In a large saucepan, combine cranberries, orange peel, oranges, raisins and water.

Cover and simmer over medium heat until cranberries are soft.

Add pecans and sugar; stir well.

Simmer, uncovered, 15-20 minutes, stirring often.

Cool and spoon into covered containers.

Serve as a relish wih poultry or pork, or spread on biscuits or rolls.


Alternately, you can put up the hot conserve in jars and process them in a canner. (If you don't have any experience with canning, track down someone who does that can give you some tips...canning can be dangerous if the strictest guidelines are not followed.) I like to do it in 1/2 pint jars with pretty lids...makes for a few lovely little Christmas presents! 🙂


  1. Anonymous says:

    YUM, YUMMMM! I am going to have to try this one out! Thanks! 🙂

  2. Sounds delicious, thank you for sharing!

  3. Happy Thanksgiving!
    Sounds like you have a happy kitchen. The mention of your “cranberry conserve” is making me hungry!!

    For the record (as a fellow Dixie girl), in our family it’s PEE-con : ) How ’bout y’all?

  4. It sounds delightful…I love “puttering” in the kitchen and it’s even better if you have a friend there! Could you, by chance, share your recipes for the conserve, pie and casserole?

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!


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