Making Kitchen Memories: 5 Free Thanksgiving Recipes from Grandmas

At My Grandmother's Knee

Thanksgiving is tomorrow! If you are looking for some last-minute recipe ideas, we’re thrilled to give you our exclusive free download of 5 Free Thanksgiving Recipes from Faye Porter’s book, At My Grandmother’s Knee: Recipes and Memories Handed Down by Women of the South. In the download you will find recipes for traditional Thanksgiving side dishes and fixins’: Cranberry Salad, Cornbread-Mushroom Dressing, Spicy Sweet Potatoes, MaMaw’s Pumpkin Pie, and of course, Southern Green Beans. 

If you enjoy these 5 Free Thanksgiving Recipes, please consider purchasing At My Grandmother’s Knee or Faye’s follow-up cookbook, At My Grandmother’s Table. Both are wonderful cookbooks that celebrate grandma’s cooking and stories from grandchildren whose own memories are sure to spark a few of your own. Throughout these collections, you’ll sit at the tables of dozens of Southern grandmas and sample recipes that have made them famous with their family for decades. Don’t be surprised if you see a few of your own family favorites along the way! From all of us at FaithGateway, have a blessed Thanksgiving! We hope you enjoy these recipes and Faye’s introduction to her book that follows.

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Download the 5 Free Thanksgiving Recipes from At My Grandmother’s Knee

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Introduction to At My Grandmother’s Knee by Faye Porter

You jump out of the car the second it’s put into park. You think you closed the door behind you, but you’re not really sure ’cause your heart is beating fast and you’re beaming with excitement.

You move up the stone walk as fast as your little legs and feet will take you and nearly collapse—into outstretched arms. Arms that pull you in and hold you with a closeness that surely feels like a little piece of heaven on earth. Arms and a heart overflowing with joy, pride, comfort, nurturing, and a love so sacred, pure, and unconditional that it could only be from your grandmother.

And what does she need in return?

The smile on your face as you enjoy a fresh-baked tea cake, as you lift your plate to ask for another helping of her chicken-fried steak, as you ask her to show you how to make her “famous” Southern sweet tea, or as you settle in to her big mushy chair for an afternoon nap with a peaceful look on your face. It’s these simple, unspoken expressions of gratitude that make her life content.

Grandmothers continue to express their unique love for us with countless gestures throughout our lives. If we’re lucky, we get to enjoy our grandmothers for a really long time. Some of us get to share our lives with them for only a short time—and we yearn for more details about them from older cousins, parents, or aunts and uncles who can help us fill in the missing pieces.

Some of life’s sweetest memories are centered around meals and rituals that over time become our family traditions.

The moments that truly matter are the occasions when we are together and laughing, the times when our cheeks ache from smiling so much as we enjoy food prepared by the hands of those who love us the most.

Even after a grandmother has passed on, we relive those memories anytime we smell a long-cooked roast or a particular brew of coffee, or see an almost velvet-like dark green pickle like she used to can, or taste a chocolate icing so dense and rich it could only be homemade.

Especially in the South, so many memories are tied to food and its smell and taste. And, if we’re open, we can learn so much about love and life from how it’s prepared and served, and what it took for so many of those before us to do that day in and day out for their families because they didn’t have convenient options.

When times were lean, our Southern grandmothers gave what they had—fresh vegetables or fruit from their land, eggs and dairy from their chickens and cows, or meat from their husband’s hunt. Or they prepared food and shared it by offering it to those in need or by hosting folks in their home.

So much of what they knew and taught us about love and friendship started in their Southern kitchens.

Recipes allow us to pass on the love and legacy of a grandma so she can be remembered, revered, and celebrated for generations to come.

My true hope is that you will enjoy the recipes I’m sharing with you today for your own Thanksgiving celebration. May they cause you to pause and fondly remember your grandmother or, if you’re younger, think about the traditions you want to start that can be passed on to the next generation that can, when treasured, long outlive your lifetime.

Your Turn

What is your favorite Thanksgiving kitchen memory?

Faye Porter

Faye Porter is the author of At My Grandmother's Knee, a collection of recipes and stories from women of the South. She was born and raised in the midwest, but says Nashville is her favorite place to live.

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