Giving thanks through the generations: Grandma Eleanor's cranberry relish
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Giving thanks through the generations: Grandma Eleanor's cranberry relish


Giving thanks for Grandma Eleanor’s cranberry relish, Mom’s linen napkin and Ben’s fingers

I have a love-hate relationship with Thanksgiving.

Let me start again.  

I used to love Thanksgiving. And then, in 1998, Mom died on November 27. The day after Thanksgiving. After that, I hated Thanksgiving. That’s a strong word, I realize. I just couldn’t get into the spirit–for obvious reasons. 

It wasn’t until I met my husband and experienced his huge, extended family Thanksgiving meals that I began to love it again.  Somewhere around 20- and sometimes close to 40- members of the family gather at one of the cousins homes. Food assignments are doled out weeks in advance after the Thanksgiving “meeting” takes place-a secret conclave conducted by the first generation female cousins (there are 3). Once they have selected their dishes, the second generation cousins, of which I am one, are given theirs. The third generation of cousins-while too young for a dish responsibility-simply look forward to being together. 

Before meeting my husband, I was always responsible for the cranberry relish. The recipe I used was the one made “famous” by Grandma Eleanor, my aunt’s mother-in-law.  Once married,  I became responsible for the sweet potato casserole. We didn’t grow up eating sweet potato casserole or if we did, it wasn’t a lasting memory for me. I did the best I could for several years but in all honesty, I didn’t stick to tradition the last several years and brought renditions of my own sweet potato recipes.

Perhaps the fact that I couldn’t follow directions was the reason for my new assignment this year. 

Yep. Cranberry Relish.     

[yumprint-recipe id=’19’]This month’s Recipe Redux was, in a nutshell, to blog about for what we’re most thankful. It’s simple, really.

For me, it’s for remembering the ones we miss most through the things that weave us together-generation through generation. The picture above says it all.  Grandma Eleanor’s cranberry relish recipe. Mom’s linen napkin. Ben’s fingers.  

What’s not pictured are the memories we’ll make this Thanksgiving as the cousins gather around the table to enjoy the beautiful dinner we all created for each other. I can’t wait until Thursday. 

May you each find thanks in the small things in life. Happy Thanksgiving. 


  • Regan @ The Healthy Aperture Blog
    Posted at 18:53h, 22 November

    Thanks for sharing this story, friend 🙂 I love that you bucked the system and turned the “assignments” on their end

  • Rossi
    Posted at 23:35h, 22 November

    Thanks for all the beautiful words!
    We look forward to a beautiful
    Thanksgiving with everyone

    • Robin
      Posted at 12:16h, 24 November

      xoxoxo, Rossi!

  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    Posted at 08:37h, 24 November

    Beautiful story and beautiful dish!

    • Robin
      Posted at 12:16h, 24 November

      Thank you, Rebecca! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  • Katie @ Mom to Mom Nutrition
    Posted at 09:58h, 24 November

    Thnx for sharing your Thanksgiving story, Robin! Your Thanksgiving celebration sounds like quite the party!

    • Robin
      Posted at 12:15h, 24 November

      It’s always a great time!:) Happy THanksgiving to you and your family!!

  • Deanna Segrave-Daly (@tspbasil)
    Posted at 12:40h, 24 November

    I’m glad Thanksgiving could be an enjoyable holiday for you again -love hear the story behind this relish xxoo

    • Robin
      Posted at 16:14h, 01 December


  • Alex Caspero MA,RD (@delishknowledge)
    Posted at 23:28h, 24 November

    Thanks for sharing your Thanksgiving memory Robin! Glad to hear it’s an enjoyable holiday for you again! Happy Thanksgiving to you!

    • Robin
      Posted at 16:14h, 01 December

      Thanks, Alex! 🙂

  • Pingback:Dietitian Approved Thanksgiving Side Dishes
    Posted at 11:52h, 11 November

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