Holiday Food Traditions

Thanksgiving dinner is one of my FAVORITE meals to cook. The more people the merrier in my opinion. Every family has traditional dishes that they grew up with or discovered later in life when dinning with a new family or group of friends. Everyone I talk to has very strong opinions on whether you should stuff the Turkey or cook the stuffing outside the Turkey and baste it with the turkey drippings. There are all kinds of cooking and food science reasons to stay away from stuffing the bird and roasting it but tradition is strong and ingrained in most of us. I say, do what you want to do, just know the risks and plan accordingly.

One of the dishes that I cannot live without at Holiday time is Scalloped Corn. My mother has prepared this corn dish for Thanksgiving and Christmas for as long as I can remember. It’s a recipe out of the Betty Crocker cookbook lovingly modified over the years by both my mother and myself. I have introduced it to many people as either a guest at their home or to mine for the holidays – usually to rave reviews.

It is basically corn in a flavored béchamel sauce (white sauce) with some egg thrown in for good measure. This heavenly mixture is poured into the baking dish of your choice and covered with buttered cracker crumbs then “baked at 350 ‘til brown and bubbly” (one of my favorite lines from the movie Steel Magnolias). The result is a rich, creamy, luscious flavor sensation that is a great side dish for any holiday meal. It’s even better the next day when you make your huge plate of leftover bliss! I usually triple the recipe and bake it in a 9 X 13 dish. My mom always believed the more cracker crumb topping the better so she would find the largest shallow baking dish she had to maximize the topping space. However you do it, make a lot! You want to have this for leftover time!


Scalloped Corn
Based on recipe from The Betty Crocker Cookbook

4 ears fresh corn *
½ small onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 small red bell pepper, chopped (I usually use red pepper)
2 tablespoons unsalted butler
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
Dash of pepper
3/4 cup milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Boil or roast the fresh corn on the cob. Cut enough kernels from cob to measure 2 cups.

In a large fry pan with high sides, sauté onion and red bell pepper in 2 tablespoons unsalted butter until onion is tender; remove from heat. Stir in flour, salt, paprika, mustard and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk gradually. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in corn and egg. Pour into ungreased I-quart casserole.

Mix crumbs and 1 tablespoon melted butter; sprinkle over corn. Bake uncovered in 350° oven until bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes.

*1 package (10 ounces) frozen whole kernel corn, cooked and drained, or 1 can (16 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained, can be substituted for the fresh corn.

6 thoughts on “Holiday Food Traditions

  1. I had been missing “Dave’s Delish Dish”. Now we have to have corn for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s all your fault. Peter

  2. Dear friend,

    Thanks for sharing one of your family recipe. I will add it to our menu this year. I’ll let you know how it was received. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

    Love, Char

    Sent from my iPad

  3. Yummy! How ironic that you posted this recipe! We’re hosting Thanksgiving and I told Mark I’d love to bake something in a casserole dish. Of course, I don’t have a dish–made me think of our early morning trek to Everything but the Kitchen Sink!!! Should I buy Le Creuset? Is there a brand you’d recommend? Would LOVE to catch up soon…we’ve been hosting some casual evenings by the outdoor fire and will invite you to an upcoming impromptu gathering if you approve!

    • Hi Clare!
      Le Creuset makes fantastic stoneware. I own a few smaller pieces of theirs. Mostly my ceramic baking dishes are pieces of Polish Pottery that I got when I visited my sister while she was in Germany. I love their colorful patterns. I also have some rectangular baking dishes from William Sonoma made by Pillivuyt (another French company)that are my absolute favorite. Pyrex dishes are also fantastic to use. Many fun choices!
      I can’t wait to hear which you choose!
      Hope to see you soon.

  4. ” I serve it with ice cream…to cut the sweet!” MY favorite line! Ever since interpreting that play I have wanted to TRY “cuppa cuppa cuppa” and have found something close that is sugar free….a cup (or 2) of freshfrozen berries, put it in the casserole dish and sprinkle a vanilla sugar free cake mix over the top and then dump a can of DIET SPRITE over the top…cook at 350 for about 20-30 minutes….it is not half bad!! I miss you Davey!! xoxo Lorelei Lullabye

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s