A Peek at a Cottage Thanksgiving


Come on in and pull up a chair and join us for a simple Thanksgiving at the Cottage. 
On the menu is turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes with gravy, fresh baked bread and home canned cranberry relish and green beans,  Oh! and pies, don’t forget the pies. 
 The table is covered with Grandma Cottage’s vintage table cloth and set with bone china dishes with gold rims and our gold cutlery.  The water goblets have a gold swirl through them.    We decorated the table with white pumpkins, autumn leaves and white taper candles in crystal holders. There are vintage crystal salt and pepper shakers and pink depression glass salt and pepper shakers. 
The tree in the background is Grandma Cottage’s tree and it is decorated with all white lights and white snowflakes. The fireplace is swagged with small pumpkin garland to give it warmth. There was soft Christmas music playing in the background. The dessert table has both pie and iced sugar cookies in the shapes of leaves and acorns.  
Grab a plate, it is time to eat my friends!

We wanted this to be a really special Thanksgiving because our grandma was very ill.  We didn’t know it then but this was her last Thanksgiving.  We wanted to make it special for her. 

Plates: Pier 1
White Pumpkins: Old Time Pottery
Cutlery set in Gold: Target
Water Goblets with Gold Swirl: Old Time Pottery
Snowflakes for Tree: Walmart and Hobby Lobby
Pumpkin Garland: Hobby Lobby
Crystal Candle Holders: Ross
Autumn Leaves: Ross

Thanksgiving became a National Holiday (in America) in 1863. During the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln declared a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”, to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26.

My sister and I love to bake, we have been cooking since we were three years old.  We love to make pies for Thanksgiving.  This year we made pumpkin and a dutch apple with a “T” for thanks.  Our mom usually takes the leftover dough and makes leaf cut outs to place around the edges of the pie.  Last year she was not feeling well so we did things our own way.

~Thanksgiving Memories~

Thanksgiving in our family is always a day of laughter and blessings. The house smells of roasting turkey and spiced cider, Christmas carols play softly in the background. Soft lights from the tree glow just begging you to produce a smile to rival their glow.  Pies are baked, mashed potatoes tasted (with hands shooed at and as firmly as possible while smothering laughter while you are told to stay out of them). Sometimes dear friends join us other years it is just us. Thanksgiving.

This is dad’s smoked turkey that he made one year for Thanksgiving. It was so big he barely got it inside the smoker.  Ha ha ha ha ha!

~Thanksgiving at the Cottage~

Our family always waits until dinner to eat turkey and all the other goodies that come with it (perhaps that is because Mr. Cottage always buys a very big turkey and it takes that long to get it finished), but it is a holiday that is always spent with everyone in our kitchen.  It is not that big of a kitchen so every bit of it is filled with people and pie dough, and someone dicing apples.  There are lots of elbows in that place.  The halls are filled with laughter, and music is always playing in the background.  There is singing and such fun as we buzz around trying to get the meal ready.

Grandma Cottage’s Memories 


~Stories From Grandma~

When I was a girl I lived in an apartment with my sisters.  My mom passed away when I was 8 years old (That is her sweeping the snow) and my 18 yr old sister who worked for a lawyer got custody of my sisters and me.  She was the only one working at the time because we were all in school still (except for my oldest sister who was married and lived in another state).  We girls moved a lot but when Thanksgiving and Christmas came around we always had a good time. I don’t remember if we had a turkey but it was more likely a chicken and we would all help out because my sister was working so all of us girls would do the cooking when we were home from school.  But it was always special. We always had good food!  We didn’t have a bunch of junk, we couldn’t afford it, but we had good food that we cooked from home.

When mom was alive she would kill the old red rooster and roast it.  She was such a good cook and would bake bread that you could smell when you were walking down the street from the school.  Mom would make doughnuts and us girls would go around and sell them for her.  I remember it would be so cold and we would stop in apartment buildings to warm up and we would eat a still warm doughnut hole that she would put in our pockets for us to eat and keep us warm.

We would make pies my favorite was Pumpkin but we would have mincemeat pies and sometimes apple pies.  It just depended on what we had.  That is the thing, you must just be creative and make what you have. The pies always tasted so good. What always made Thanksgiving special is that we were all together. We didn’t have a lot of money but we never went without. My sister took good care of us.  The house was warm and toasty and the smells… Oh, the smell of Thanksgiving.  Sweet with fruit and goodies and spicy with cinnamon and ginger, the yeasty smell of the rolls rising and that bird roasting.  I can almost smell it now.

When I grew up and got married and my children were little I made I would make mincemeat cookies (My oldest daughter’s favorite) and I would make a chocolate chiffon pie because one of my daughters hated fruit pie and an apple pie.  We always had a turkey with wonderful stuffing that I would place inside.  I would make mashed potatoes and gravy and yummy green bean casserole with some soft dinner rolls, oh don’t forget the cranberry sauce!  I had the Christmas tree up and would play Christmas music… all of my favorites!  We were all together.  I can just see my husband Bud smoking his pipe in his chair and the children all over the place playing.  What good memories.

Cottage Thanksgiving Favorites 


Mrs. Cottage’s Stuffing 


8 Cups Organic Fresh Bread Cubes (she bakes bread slices and cubes them and toasts them in the oven)
1 Onion
1/4 Cup Carrots (grated)
1-2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Apple (chopped)
1/2 Cup Turkey, Bone or Chicken Broth
2 Egg whites (beaten)
1/8 – 1/4 Cup Raisins
1/8 of a Teaspoon Sage (We usually use fresh pineapple sage but you can use 1/4 of Teaspoon dried sage)
1-2 Cloves Garlic (chopped very small)
1 Cup White Grape Juice (you can use wine if you want)
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Pepper (optional)



Saute’ the vegetables until very tender. Set it to the side off the heat. In a bowl mix the bread, raisins, apples and your sage. Stir together and add seasons to taste. Add your vegetables, grape juice, stock, and egg whites stir it together place in a covered casserole pan bake 40-45 minutes at 350F


Green Beans Cottage Style


1 onion (diced)
2-3 pieces of Nitrate / Nitrite Free Bacon
2 quarts Green Beans Home Canned
1-2 Tablespoons Organic Butter
Sea Salt
Garlic Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Organic Raw Sugar


Saute’ onions in butter until the are transparent and sweet. Add that to your pan of green beans, then cook your bacon until crisp and dice it and add it to your green beans. Add seasonings and sugar cover and simmer until done and tasty!



Cottage Apple Pie 

What you will need:

2 Pie Crusts
Apple Filling

Single Pie Crust  :

(This is for a single crust, so to have a top and bottom, you must make two.)
1 1/4 Organic Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1/3 Cup Organic Butter
3-4 Tablespoons Cold Water
In a mixing bowl stir together flour and salt. Cut in butter until flaky. Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon water over mixture and gentle toss with a fork. Repeat process until the mix is moistened. Form into a ball and roll out on a lightly floured cutting board to fit your pan.


6 Cups of sliced organic apples from the orchard
 1/2 Cup raw organic sugar
2 Tablespoons Organic Flour
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Allspice
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Tablespoon Butter

Place one of your crusts on the bottom of the pie pan. In a bowl mix seasonings and sugar. Add mixture to apples. Place mixture over the bottom crust, cover them with the second crust. Cover and bake at 375F for 25 minutes remove the cover and bake until golden.

** My dad has been making this dish since 2008 or so.  Mom actually made it first and we all loved it and dad took over.  We have made this for Thanksgiving and Christmas as well as a take along potluck dish.  There is never any left when we take it.  This is served hot and can have fresh whipped cream on top or even with ice cream if you want but it is a great sweet side dish all alone.


Apple and Butternut Squash Casserole


We take 1 small heirloom butternut squash that we have from our garden, about 2 pounds
2 firm organic apples from the orchard, cored, peeled sliced

1/2 cup raw organic sugar
1/4 cup cold organic butter 1 tablespoon organic flour
1 teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 Cup Oats (not quick oats)

walnuts (if desired)

Directions:Peel squash, scoop out seeds and dry and reserve for next year’s garden, and cut the squash into small pieces. Peel the apples and cut them in like sizes and place in a baking dish 7×11″ Place your butter in a bowl from the fridge and add your sugar, oats and spices. Cut in with a pastry knife, fork or a couple of butter knives if that is what you have. Blend until crumbly and then add your nuts if you want. Place this evenly over your apple and squash pieces in the pan Cover this and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Serves about 8 people.


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