Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving is next weekend in Canada.  The day we give thanks.  For food.

Seriously.  That’s what Thanksgiving is all about in Canada.  It has nothing to do with pilgrams.  It has to do with the harvest.  We, in this great land of ours, are giving thanks for turnips.




And because Thanksgiving in Canada is all about celebrating the summer’s harvest I thought it would make sense to USE my summer’s harvest to feed my family for Thanksgiving Dinner.

At least that’s what the plan is.  Although once in high school the plan was to look just like Julia Roberts by getting a spiral perm.   That plan didn’t work out.  Well, it did actually if by Julia Roberts I actually meant the guy from Twisted Sister.

So who knows whether this whole dinner will go as planned.

We normally have the exact same Thanksgiving dinner every, SINGLE year. That’s just the way it is. We have Turkey, stuffing, broccoli casserole (fella’s recipe), mashed turnip, green beans, white trash salad.

And that’s exactly what I planned to have this year because … it’s tradition. And I like tradition. Except when it comes to marriage and, in which case I am untraditional. Much to my mother’s chagrin.

But this year what with the front yard vegetable garden and all, I thought it would be stupid not to use what I’ve grown. The garden will be supplying the heirloom tomatoes,  beets and swiss chard portion of the dinner.

And if those squawking chickens don’t shut up outside the garden will be responsible for Thanksgiving’s four very tiny “turkeys” too.



  1. Aimee says:

    Sounds amazing! What’s white trash salad? 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Oops. Meant to link to it in my post … ~ karen!

      • Pat says:

        I made (yum) white trash salad (aka marshmallow salad at our house) for this past Easter because of it’s lovely pastel Easterish colours. At the end of the large supper, my sister-in-law looked at me curiously and said, straight faced, “Didn’t you forget something?” I looked at her blankly and then squealed in despair; I’d forgotten the marshmallow salad in the downstairs fridge. HOWEVER, marshmallow salad lends itself wonderfully to the dessert table and everyone happily had a scoop next to their pie. Mmmmmmm ….

  2. AnnW says:

    Looks good to me! Will they all object to the new dishes? Are you going to make a “tablescape” to show us? It kills me when some of those bloggers stack up a table with layers of dishes that don’t go together and add so many ceramic animals or fake greens that you don’t have room for food, and can’t see the person across from you. I have a yen for jello pretzel salad. I’ve never had it, but I want some. Tell the fella that I was so inspired by his Tough Mudder performance that I am working out. Please, please send him to the Vail Tough Mudder in June! Ann

  3. Jan says:

    Broccoli casserole recipe? Or is it a secret? And how do you prepare the roasted beets?

  4. Debbie says:

    Are the canned peaches, peaches from a can (as in those disgusting things you get at the grocery store covered in yucky syrop?) or peaches that you canned? I’m guessing the latter since you’re kinda thrifty like that! Sounds delish!!

    • Karen says:

      Debbie – You’re right, they’re peaches I canned. But I don’t know if they were any cheaper to make, LOL. Just better. ~ karen

  5. Sherry (BTLover2) says:

    Oh boy! Canned peaches!!

  6. Monica says:

    Hi Karen! I’m a fairly new reader; my sister forwarded your site to me. Love it! So when you say you are not traditional about marriage – are you married to the fella? Did you blog about this at some point? I’d love to see your take on a wedding ceremony/reception.


    • Karen says:

      Hi Monica – Well, thank your sister for me! I need all the readers I can get. The fella and I are not married. We are common law and have been for 10 years. We’re like Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. But I always said if I had a wedding, it would either be super, super traditional or … circus themed. ~ karen

  7. Monica says:

    Karen, that’s brilliant! I give thanks for your blog! And for Canada in general!

  8. Debbie says:

    ooo I would love the beet recipe – that sounds yummy.

  9. Jasmine says:

    For God’s sake Karen, if you’re going to tell us about the bounty meal, can you at least tell us the recipe for the beets? Sheesh.
    Or do we just make beets, add goat cheese an walnuts?

  10. Bonnie says:

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Is there at least a Harvest Parade with Great Pumpkin balloons walked down a major Canadian street?

  11. lisa says:

    What a delicious menu! I’m hoping the chickens behave though and turkey stays on the menu! I’m with a bunch of other commenters here, I’d LOVE the recipe for the Roasted Beets with Candied Walnuts and Goat Cheese. OK–sounds easy enough to figure out, but please, save me the frustration! ☺

  12. marilyn says:

    i had a laugh reading about the canned peaches..we used to have them for dessert all the time when i was a kid.there were 7 of us and so money was always tight but dinner wasn’t dinner without dessert so mom would often resort to canned fruit and if there was extra $ it would have cool whip on it! its long been a family joke, and every year for christmas my best friend would buy my dad a can of peaches.i am sure yours taste better..but then again maybe not.i give thanks everyday for the bounty in my life and thanksgiving is my favourite holiday but its a great time to be especially thanks karen for all the laughs, recipes, tips, fella sightings and all round joie de vivre you bring to our lives everyday, happy thanksgiving to you and your family..xo

  13. Jane says:

    Ambrosia is what we called that salad. The recipe said ‘Good Eating!’ , beside it. Hmmmmm

  14. Denise says:

    Karen already posted the recipe back in 2010. July, 29, 2010. Sure sounds yummy!! 🙂

  15. Barbie says:

    ….can I come? I’m hungry now!

  16. karenagain says:

    OMG! Me and the Parents and my daughter are totally shunning wheat. My Mom is cheating and has lost no weight. My father’s clothes are falling off him. I have lost a pound a day for the past seven. I was at my Mom’s all day canning antipasta or something…I am so tired. We talked about Thanksgiving. I convinced her to make gravy with corn starch instead of flour. It’s still shit, but at least I’ll eat it. Mmmmmm turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, carrots, salad… No stuffing or buns or pie crust.

  17. Chas Beeson says:

    You always make me laugh! Your menu is beautiful and I think you rock for growing your own ingredients.

  18. Patricia Jaroslawski says:

    Thanksgovong menu sounds awesome! I want to be a guest at your dinner. What really got me was the white trash salad thpough. I have a similar story about a favourite called Confetti bars by some, but Trailer Park Squares in our house. You know those squares made of peanut butter, margarine, butterscotch and, of course, coloured mini marshmallows…so good, so low rent.

  19. Yola says:

    I have 10 lbs of beets in my fridge just dying for that recipe. It sounds delicious. i can hardly wait.

  20. Jacqueline says:

    Please let us know how the menu changes go over with your family. Every holiday, I plan to incorporate a couple of new dishes, and someone (usually my mom) has a fit. Also, can you share the stuffing recipe? I’m searching for one a little lighter than my grandmother’s recipe, just don’t tell my mom.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jacqueline – I don’t really have a recipe for stuffing … I just make it. Dice 1-2 loaves of bread. Saute 1-2 onions and 4-5 stalks of celery in a whack of butter until soft. Add a couple of teaspoons of poultry seasoning and stir. Cook around 30 seconds. Add a few Tablespoons of water or chicken broth. Mix with cubed bread. Give it a smell. If you think it needs it, shake in a bit more poultry seasoning. Stuffing should be slightly damp. If it isn’t, add water by the tablespoon and mix until it’s damp. ~ karen!

  21. Gayla T says:

    I noticed immediately that there was something amiss with the marshmallow salad recipe. Where’s the whipped topping? Ours has a carton of it added in to make it really gooey and good. We also have had to make the one with pistachio pudding every year as it was my youngest sister’s fav and she is gone now. Do I dare not make it? Will she send a curse on our dinner? Will the turkey blow up or something? Believe me if she can she will and then be rolling on her cloud about how funny it was. I’m glad we have another couple of months to prepare for it, anyway.

  22. TulumChica says:

    Hi Karen,
    I was wondering, with your bountiful garden, if you use or have used a food saver and, especially, with your love of Mason jars, do you also use the jar savers? If you have used them, what do you think? I don’t have a wonderful garden like you, but, in this tropical climate, and with a very small household, I have a lot of food storage issues.

    • Karen says:

      Hi TulumChica! What tropical climate do you speak of? Just curious. I do as a matter of fact have a food saver and I use it all the time. I just did a post last week or the week before actually on how to freeze your greens by using a Foodsaver. The trick is to freeze the greens (or anything with a lot of moisture) before Foodsavering them. Whenever I can I always either water bath or pressure can. I’d only use the Foodsaver canning method for things like brown sugar that won’t go bad. ~ karen!

  23. Dixie Zizek says:

    Karen, I make my dressing like yours except I don’t precook onions or celery. I also add some sage. I just throw it all together and mush up with my hands until it sticks together good.

  24. TulumChica says:

    I am in Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico, about two hours south of Cancun. Very warm all year round and humidity is a great problem. The curses of paradise! I water bath can what I CAN. I don’t have a pressure canner, yet. I keep most everything (including flours, pasta, baking soda, dried fruits, grains, legumes, etc.) in screw top jars, but I am still losing a lot to humidity and bugs. I recently saw that there are attachments for vacuum sealers for regular and wide mouth jars that allow you to vacuum seal these dry type things. Any help from up there in the north? And, when you are freezing your ass off up there, let me know, my guest room might be available!

    • Karen says:

      Ah! I do have the attachment for the Foodsaver and the mason jars. I was really excited to get it, but it’s actually a pain. If you’re sealing anything you use often, like flour or sugar, you always have to have your Foodsaver out so you can reseal the jar after using the ingredient. I’ll keep the guest room in mind! 🙂 ~ k

  25. Lex says:

    Recipes please! I may be cooking my first Thanksgiving this year! I was debating doing stuff in the crockpot..

  26. Nikki F. says:

    I have a great recipe for stuffing if you’d like. It involves sausage. It’s a little different, but it’s been a hit with my family for generations.

  27. Hi – just found you on Facebook. Coldwell Banker had a link to your blog.

    You have such neat handwriting – and with chalk no less. Very jealous. I can’t even be that neat with my favorite oen.

    I have to check out your White Trash Salad – sound like something I’d like to make!! Great name!

    Checking out your other posts. Come and visit me as well.


  28. taria says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Karen and family. Here in So. Cal. we are just closing pools and winding down warm weather. I am with you mom on the marriage stuff. Go for it. Make an honest man out of the fella. The whole trick in a good marriage is picking the right fella. You probably have that accomplished already. That is the work!

  29. Maria says:

    I love the The Art of Doing Stuff #2, white trash salad…what a hoot! 🙂

  30. Vanessa says:

    Um, where are the recipes?? We have our own “white trash salad” its made with green jello, pineapple, and cottage cheese. And it too is served with dinner. 🙂

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