Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go… just as the song says, as a child that’s how we spent Thanksgiving. We lived in Ohio and drove through many winding roads to get to our grandparents farm in West Virginia. In our family Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday. Of course, we love Christmas but Thanksgiving comes with less worry of having the right presents for everyone and all the traditions that go with that. So at Thanksgiving we can concentrate on each other and play games around a big table and go to the movies after the wonderful, ever so filling Thanksgiving meal. When returning home we heat a plate of leftovers that taste every bit as good as the first round. The turkey, of course, is the center of it all, whether fried like the guys did last year or baked for hours with all the tasty ingredients inside. It’s always perfect! And then come the sides. These are just as important as we study all year to find new ones and make the old traditional dishes that Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without. Many years ago after my sister, Rose Carol, got married and moved to California and I was married living in Tennessee, we called each other to give good wishes and in talking found out we had prepared the very same meal, vegetables and all. Growing up in Ohio we both had fresh broccoli and corn and a relish tray just like our mother had fixed. As the years rolled along her California influence has added more fresh fruit and shrimp in her recipes and my husband being Southern introduced fried okra and pickled okra to our relish tray. And now that I have a southern daughter in law, she says no respectable Thanksgiving meal would be served without homemade macaroni and cheese. So you see, we all search all year for something new to try and here are a couple of tried and true for you to add to your table. And please send me any of your favorites to share.