Relishing Thanksgiving

I am already contemplating the contents of my Thanksgiving relish tray. You DO have one on your table, don’t you? I consider it an important grace note to the booming symphony that is the Turkey Day meal.

My family had most Thanksgivings at my grandmother’s. She offered pickled whole peaches and bread-and-butter pickles, both of which she made. Also, red pickled apple rings and olives (purchased), and celery sticks stuffed with a mixture of cream cheese and onions (not technically a pickle, but in the vicinity).

A friend’s mother made pickled cucumber rings that looked like pickled apple rings, and tasted a little like them, too. Large cucumber slices were scooped out in the center and pickled in a sweet mixture that included red food coloring. I suspect this pickle originated as an attempt to use up cukes that were too large for other purposes.

This summer, my pickling and canning was impaired by recovering from a broken left wrist, so I don’t have my usual homemade pickled okra and bread-and-butters. Those I will have to find elsewhere – even if no one eats it but me, I must have pickled okra. Some friends and I were able to make our traditional vegetable relish, which is great on the tray and for turkey sandwiches later.

It wouldn’t feel like a full Thanksgiving meal, to me, without that relish tray. What do you think? What’s on your tray?

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3 Responses to “Relishing Thanksgiving”

  • Comment from Martha Vining

    Hey Debbie,
    Glad I found your blog via Slashfood. Include me on any mailing list you have, Facebook? I’m doing some work for Blue Ridge Food Ventures in Asheville, an incubator kitchen. We’re starting up Winter Sun Farms, a winter CSA using frozen local produce.

  • Comment from Beth Kempton

    Hi Debbie,

    Onn my grandmother’s Thanksgiving relish tray, there were always something she called “Jerusalem Artichoke pickles”. Ever heard of’em? And definitely bread and butter pickles….and the celery was stuffed with a cream cheese/green olive mixture….and there was always a pink congealed salad – but I digress!

    Enjoying your blog – thanks!


  • Comment from Debbie

    I’ve heard of Jerusalem artichoke pickles, Beth, but I’ve never eaten them. I adore pickled peaches and vow each summer to make some, but it usually never happens. No congealed salad at my house, unless you count the time my mother put coleslaw in lime jello. Yes, it was as bad as it sounds.

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