Thanksgiving Holidays – Florida Style

The Thanksgiving holiday evokes different memories for people, but in my house, Thanksgiving always meant two things: sweet potatoes and football!

1. Sweet Potatoes & Florida Oranges

Anyone who knows me knows I am not big on kitchen skills. I strongly believe a love of cooking is something passed down through memories of time spent with a parent lovingly doting over a blender and stove top. Well, those memories are nonexistent in my household, as my mother despised cooking as much as I do; so, my memories are of quickie meals done out of a few pots or of frequently eating out.  (I don’t blame my mother at all, as she spent her childhood in the legendary Morrison’s Cafeteria where all the wait staff knew her family by name! For generations now, the women in my family just aren’t that domesticated, I guess.)

Some of the few times my mother would put in an effort at cooking was the occasional holiday meal. No, not all of it was wonderful, as cooking takes practice, but there were some dishes that my mother made simply divine. I would put her sweet potatoes toe-to-toe with anyone else’s in the country. She takes the skinned, mashed sweet potatoes and mixes in freshly squeezed oranges, right off the tree. Something about the pulpy citrus juice creates this wonderful texture that almost caramelizes with the potatoes when cooked. Add the traditional toasted marshmallows on top, and it is one recipe that I proudly brag about.

What dishes remind you of this time of year? Any kitchen secrets you want to share?

2. Florida vs. Florida State

Yes, this is the other holiday tradition that simply cannot be missed in my household. Both my husband and I went to the University of Florida–he a swimmer and me a cheerleader–and so we take this weekend very seriously.  Although this football game amounts to little more than bragging rights as of late, it used to be a vital battleground for national rankings.   For almost as far back as I can remember, Thanksgiving weekend means Florida-Florida State.


"Top 5" editor Bess and another Cent. FL native Buffy Thompson before a UF-FSU game.

And, just for kicks, here’s a vintage cheer picture from the late eighties. OMG! I miss that big hair!

So, no matter who you are cheering for this weekend, remember to enjoy who you are cheering with…Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


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Filed under family, History, Seasonal, Sports, Uniquely Florida

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