Adjusting Thanksgiving Traditions

This past year my family moved from New England to Texas. This will be our first holiday season in our new home, in a new state, so very far away from where the Pilgrims celebrated their first Thanksgiving. All of us have been wondering how it is going to feel to celebrate the holidays without the snow and cold weather.

We have decided that the way to get over our sadness of what is going to be different is to begin some new traditions, beginning with our menu. This year our Thanksgiving table is going to have a Tex-Mex flair. Goodbye, hasty pudding and potato chowder. Hello, cornbread stuffing and stuffed chili peppers.

I have been telling my kids about all the positives, really trying to talk myself into believing it also. While the move has been a positive thing, it is hard to let go of those holiday traditions that you have held dear since you were a child. Somehow being able to leave your pumpkins outside as decorations without worrying about sub zero temperatures causing them to freeze to your front porch doesn’t compare to hiking through the snowy woods to cut down your own Christmas tree.

This year I am making a Mexican Cornbread Stuffing. Bob’s Red Mill makes a gluten free cornbread stuffing mix that I will be using for the recipe.

5 cups cornbread, crumbled
15 oz can creamed corn
3/4 cup diced onion
3/4 cup diced red pepper
4 oz can diced green chiles
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
1 large egg lightly beaten
2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoons ancho chile powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake the crumbled cornbread on a baking sheet for 20 minutes or until lightly toasted. This helps the crumbled pieces retain their shape.

Combine all of the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.

Add the toasted crumbled cornbread.

Gently toss to mix evenly. Transfer to a lightly buttered baking dish.
Bake 35-40 minutes.

There will be new traditions. Some will be better and replace the old ones. Some of the old ones we will remember wistfully. Some we will forget until someone pulls out old photographs. We will forge ahead– a new life, a new set of traditions awaiting our discovery.



  1. jenni
    Posted October 27, 2009 at 10:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This sounds delicious. What a great recipe for Texas Thanksgiving.

  2. Posted October 29, 2009 at 2:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I love the gluten free ideas!

  3. txhorns
    Posted October 29, 2009 at 4:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    You have to try tamale stuffing- it is a Central market recipe. Get it, make it, be the hero!

  4. Posted October 29, 2009 at 7:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    It is so fun to read your writing at another blog. I will send this gluten free recipe to my sister in law, whose young daughter was recently diagnosed with Celiac’s and is struggling to find ways to make their cooking fun for all of them.

  5. Mary
    Posted November 18, 2009 at 12:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Not sure where in Texas you are – there are some nice cut it tree farms in the Hill Country that are about an hour drive from Austin or San Antonio. There is a nice U dig it farm out that way as well. You dig your tee and put it in a container with soil for the season and then replant it outdoors as well. If you are closer to dallas there are some nice farms out I-20 on the way to Terrell. east Texas has quite a few including some.native trees.

    We may not have snow at christmas but the kids enjoy riding their Christmas bikes the day of rather than putting them in the garage until April 😉

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