Let’s Talk with Terry Odell

Talking Traditions
By Terry Odell

TurkeyThanksgiving is right around the corner. It used to be the signal for the beginning of the Christmas/Holiday season, but now we’re lucky if merchants wait until Halloween.

For many of us, reading gets put on hold. For others, it’s a way to escape the pressures of the season. For those who keep up with their reading, many will switch genres and seek out holiday-themed books.

DeadlyPuzzles_200x300Of course, for the authors, they’re probably writing these books way out of season so they can hit the shelves (real and virtual) around the proper holiday times. When I was writing a blizzard scene for Deadly Puzzles, it was August. Hard to get inspired by the weather for that one! And “Romancing the Geek”, my Valentine’s Day themed short romance (part of the free Second Chance Rose collection), it was Halloween.

But I digress. On to holiday traditions.

When our kids were young, it was just the two adults and three little ones for Thanksgiving. I’d found a recipe for a stuffing that sounded interesting. It was seasoned with curry and contained peaches. Although it was supposed to go into a goose, I saw no reason to let that stop me from serving it with turkey. I gave it a try and it became a Thanksgiving fixture. In fact, when my son went off to college, he was close to his grandparents, and he insisted that his grandmother make this stuffing (although I think the correct term is now ‘dressing’ since it’s not considered safe to roast it inside the bird anymore.) In fact, if I ever made anything that used curry as a seasoning, my kids would say, “It smells like Thanksgiving.”

Rose_200x300Another ‘shortcut’ we used came about because there were never enough of us to warrant two pies. I make a Pumpkin Apple Pie which combines 2 favorites. It’s super easy. A store-bought crust, a can of apple pie filling and half a pumpkin pie recipe from the label on a can of pumpkin.

What about you? Do your reading habits change? Do you have any “must have” dishes for Thanksgiving, or can you try new ones? What are some favorites?

If anyone’s interested in my stuffing/dressing and pie recipes, I posted them on my blog a while back. You can find the dressing recipe here. The pumpkin pie recipe is here. And the links to Second Chance Rose, which is a free download are here.

Comments

  1. Our kids like the traditional turkey with gravy but no dressing; cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, and sweet potatoes with marshmallows. We get creative with appetizers. Pumpkin pie for dessert. It’s my favorite feast of the year.

    • My kids would have disowned me if I didn’t make the dressing. They’d skip the vegetables in a heartbeat, though. One daughter insisted on the jellied cranberry sauce with the marks from the can clearly visible. I made my own whole berry sauce with oranges for the rest of us.

  2. tinawhittle says

    My favorite is my Mom-in-law’s sweet potato casserole with a praline topping (none of that marshmallow stuff on our table). She got it from the Carter family cookbook (Jimmy Carter, that is, who used to be a relative — long story).

  3. maggietoussaint says

    I love your idea of a pumpkin apple pie! It sounds so much healthier than my fav, pecan pie.

    • Pumpkins and apples are a great combo. I’ve always found pecan pie to be too cloyingly sweet for my taste, which might be a good thing, health-wise. But who thinks about health at Thanksgiving!

  4. I do like to switch to holiday themed reads in December (and often into January). When I was writing my “winter” book with Christmas wrapped inside (Mist on the Meadow), I went researching recipes for my characters and in the process found a new Christmas tradition for my family with Ofenschlupfer! (recipe can be found here http://karlabrandenburg.blogspot.com/2012/12/tradition-and-my-recipe-for.html)