Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thanksgiving Traditions

Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday. I love to cook the traditional favorites. I adore having everyone over, sitting at the table hours after the meal is done, just talking. I even love the left-overs.

Each family has it's own traditions and stories about how they got started. For my family, each Thanksgiving dinner must include ham and turkey, cornbread dressing, sweet-potato casserole, green beans, and a Jello salad. Also present will be cranberry sauce, potato salad, Waldorf salad, squash casserole, and Bird's Nest slaw. Noticeably missing? Pumpkin anything. We are not pumpkin people. Apple dumplings? Yes! Pecan pie? Yes! Chocolate? Well, DUH! But there will be no pumpkin.

And, there will be spiced peaches.

You see, my Aunt Ruth hated to cook so she never really excelled at it. She was in charge of potato salad and green beans for each holiday meal. At Christmas, she would make a fresh apple cake. These were her strong suits.

But she would always bring a jar of Osage Spiced Peaches to the Thanksgiving dinner.

She has been dead for almost twenty years now, but it just doesn't seem right to set the Thanksgiving table without them. Every year, a jar is opened and the peaches are plated near the cranberry sauce and pickle tray.

This year there will be a slight variation. I made the spiced peaches myself.

peaches jarred 2

I found this recipe in the BH&G cookbook.

5 lbs peaches
5 cups sugar
1 cup white vinegar
2 cups water
2 tsp whole cloves
12 cinnamon sticks

Cut an x in the end of each peach and place in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove to an ice bath.

spiced peaches

Place sugar, vinegar, water, and spices in a large pot and bring to a boil. Peel peaches and place in syrup as peeling to prevent browning.

peaches 3

Simmer for five minutes and place in sterilized jars. Place in BWB for 20 minutes.

peaches jarred

* I made sure that each jar had cinnamon sticks and cloves floating in them. I also halved and pitted the peaches. My peaches were rather large, so I would up with six pints containing 4 peach halves each.

Other recipes use far less cinnamon, but I really liked the punch of the vinegar and cinnamon together. And since I used flaming fury peaches, the color is fabulous!

I plan on serving these to my book group on Monday evening, with a few other Thanksgiving favorites.

Is there some mysterious item that always winds up on your holiday table?


Erica said...

Brenda.... I loved reading your Thanksgiving family traditions. It's so nice that you will carry the tradition of those spiced peaches that your Aunt Ruth use to bring to the table.....they sound delicious, I just might give them a try myself.

Erica [teacup]

Becky said...

Your peaches look so good. Those were always on the table at Thanksgiving when I was growing up, too. But do you know, I have never made them myself. You've inspired me to do that next summer when the peaches are ripe.

Thanks for sharing your Thanksgiving story with us. I love reading about everyone's traditions.