Thanksgiving dinner plans vary among local residents | News

From fourth generation dressing to traditional Cherokee kanuche, Thanksgiving dinner will look different from table to table around Tahlequah.

Members of the What’s Happening in Tahlequah Facebook group were asked about their plans for Thanksgiving on November 19. For many people in the area, traditional dishes remain staples at the table.

“All the usual: ham, turkey, dressing, etc,” said Brenda Taylor. “Stillwell strawberries, pound cake and homemade key lime pie for dessert.”

Kenzie Sooldier plans to make “kanuche,” a traditional Cherokee soup made with walnuts. Some refer to a ball packed with historic nuts as kanuche.

But some are turning the tables when it comes to turkey.

“Our tradition for the past several years has changed,” said Julea Dunn. “We used to have a smoked or baked turkey, but now my husband fries it and he’s so good!”

Others plan to indulge in items not usually associated with Thanksgiving.

“[I’m] eating some of my stepmom’s lasagna since she’s Italian,” said Morgan Renee Gessel.

Some residents plan to follow recipes that have been in the family for years. In the case of Cathy Fite Callaway, this is a fourth generation dressing recipe.

“We just passed on the recipe and made it the most important dish,” Callaway said. “We used three loaves. In fact, I’m baking cornbread today so I can start the process of making the best dressing there is.”

The three breads in Callaway’s dressing are cornbread, light bread, and crackers. Canned broth is “just not allowed.”

Norma Boren, a retired local teacher, will use one of her mother’s recipes.

“Mom’s Recipe Turkey for Cornbread Dressing, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Deviled Eggs, Green Bean Casserole, Homemade Yeast Rolls, Green Salad, Homemade Cranberry Sauce, and Two Pumpkin Pies, One Made with Splenda and sugar-free carnation cream for family diabetics,” Boren said.

Tahlequah Ward 1 Councilwoman Bree Long said she will be making her grandmother’s millionaire cake recipe. Lola Hill also plans to keep her family favorites.

“[It’s the] usual food, but always raisin pie like my mom made and my husband’s favorite cranberry sauce, straight out of the can,” Hill said.

Amber Davis shared her Thanksgiving menu, which consists of smoked turkey, pea salad, mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, bacon sweet cornbread dip, deviled eggs, shortbread cookies, brussel sprouts, milkshake Tangerine, Lemon Cheesecake, Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie, and Pumpkin Bread.

“The tangerine whip consists of two small cans of tangerines, drained; one large container of Cool Whip; one large packet of orange jelly; medium and small curds; one bag of mini marshmallows,” Davis said. “Add all the ingredients and mix in a bowl. You can add cherries and walnuts if you like them and you can omit the cottage cheese if you don’t.” It should be refrigerated and served cold.

Mary Davis intends to make a cheesecake with strawberries and blueberries, and Jim Masters plans to make mashed sweet potatoes with “heavy amounts” of butter and brown sugar.

However, some are looking for an easier and stress-free Thanksgiving.

“[I’m] I’m going to try to buy dinner at Reasor’s. My husband had a stroke six years ago and I’m tired and sick too,” said Sherry Crisp Richmond.

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