Family Thanksgiving Recipes | Pie Crust, Yams, and Pickled Beets

My family is like so many other American families out there – we have our long-lasting recipes that stand the test of time and have been passed around through generations. My great grandmother was probably the best cook in the world. I know that a lot of people say that about their great grandmothers, but I am pretty sure Grandma Alpha was the winner. She was known to make 10 or more fresh pies every Sunday for the entire family – along with a plethora of other items such as a big pan of goulash (another family recipe passed down). However, her pie crusts were to die for – so that is one recipe I want to share with you today! This recipe is known for being a little tricky to get perfect, but that is how many delicious things are created.

Grandma Alpha’s Pie Crust


image c/o

1 Egg
1 TBS Vinegar

Beat egg and vinegar slightly & add enough water to make 1/2 cup liquid.

2 1/2 Cups Sifted Flour
1 Tsp Salt
Pinch Baking Powder

Add flour, salt, and baking powder with 1 cup Crisco.

Add wet and dry ingredients into a ball and roll out. Makes 2 shells.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 1-15 minutes or until golden brown. Add pie filling. If baking pie, put tinfoil rings around the pie edges so you don’t burn the outside crust.

Sounds super easy right? 🙂 Flaky perfecting is a lot about consistency, but you will get it! Of course, Grandma Alpha never got it wrong.

My other two favorite family recipes come from my Grandma Dorothy and Grandpa Dan. They have these two down to a science and I look forward to them both every year. My Grandma’s Thanksgiving yams and my Grandpa’s pickled beets. They are both heavenly.

Grandma Dorothy’s Thanksgiving Yams


6 or 7 good sized yams
1 cube margarine (Grandma says “not butter – margarine” – which surprised me!)
1/4 TSP Rum Extract (or “yum” extract, as my Grandpa says)
Brown Sugar

Boil yams until they are medium soft (about 40 minutes) – soft enough to stick a fork in, but not mushy. Mushy is bad.
Let yams cool on a cooling rack until they are cool enough to handle
Peel yams and slice

In a sauce pan or microwave, melt margarine and brandy extract together to make a liquid

Layer yams with liquid mixture and brown sugar in a casserole dish. Make one layer of yams before adding mixture. Layer yams, liquid mixture, and sprinkle brown sugar until the dish is full. Cook (covered) at 375 for about 40 minutes or until boiling. Refrigerate.

Re-heat in the oven until hot before serving. The more times they are reheated, the better they get, folks.

Do not let things like MARSHMALLOWS touch this dish. Thanks. 🙂

Grandpa Dan’s Pickled Beets


2 cans round pickled beets
1 cup white distilled vinegar
pinch sugar

Drain beets, saving the juice
Cut beets in halves
Add juice and beets to sauce pan with vinegar and sugar and boil for 5 – 7 minutes on meduim heat
Let beets cool in the pan and then add to a mason jar
Refrigerate over-night before serving
Eat them all.

I think these recipes go to prove that simple ingredients can make the best of the best. These are my family favorites and each are very basic, but very loved.

I hope that everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving feast! It is my favorite meal of the year! PS – after tomorrow, I will include some “real” photos of these family favorites. I just wanted to get these posted today in case anyone needed some last-minute Thanksgiving recipes!

Enjoy! – Nosh


1 reply »

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