Thanksgiving Traditions

Hey there ~ V here.  Happy Thanksgiving!  So this week we’re blogging about Thanksgiving Traditions and recipes.  Well, I have a recipe that has become a tradition.  Fluffy Ruffles.

Ages ago, back in high school, one of my very best friends made this delightful dish in a cooking class.  It’s become a must-have on my Thanksgiving Day table. 

Fluffy Ruffles is a sweet relish type of thing.  Some might call it a compote, although it isn’t cooked.  You do have to start it the day before you serve it though, so I’ll be making fluffy ruffles later today. 

Here’s what you need: 

  • Fresh cranberries (they don’t actually look as nice as the picture)
  • A pint of whipping cream
  • 1 ½ cups of mini marshmallows
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar (granulated, not powdered)
  • A tablespoon and ½ of lemon juice
  • A cup of chopped walnuts

On Wednesday evening (the day before Thanksgiving), dump the cranberries in a bowl of cold water.  Most of them will float, but you still need to pick up each berry, one at a time, and squeeze it between your thumb and forefinger.  It should be hard, or give just a little.  Soft berries and especially squishy ones need to be thrown away.  I always find a bunch of bad berries in my bag, every year.  Bad berries will ruin the flavor of your fluffy ruffles and that’s why you need to take the time to inspect each berry individually.  I can’t stress the importance of this step.

Once you have removed the bad berries (and it will be only a few, maybe 15 or so), chop the good ones to a relish-y consistency.  I use an electronic chopper, or even my magic bullet, but some years I’ve used a knife for this step.  You want them to be coarse, not a puree.

Now, put your chopped cranberries in a container.  Add the sugar and the lemon juice.  This needs to sit overnight for the sugar to sweeten the berries.  I don’t know if you’ve ever eaten a cranberry, but they are wicked tart!  If you don’t do this the day before, the berries won’t sweeten enough and you’ll have a relish that is sweet in some places and tart in the berry spots.

On Thursday, when the turkey is in the oven, but before you get crazy-busy peeling potatoes and putting out the appetizers, you’ll want to mix up the rest of the dish.  And a few hours in the fridge will soften up your marshmallows nicely.

Chop the walnuts pretty finely – about as coarse as the cranberries.  Put the nuts and the cranberry-lemon-sugar mixture into a fairly large mixing bowl.  Whip your cream and then add it to the cranberries.  Stir in the marshmallows.  Taste it and see if it needs additional sugar.  Once it’s sweet enough for your taste, cover it and put it in the fridge until you are ready to put dinner on the table. 

You may be wondering what it is about this silly little dish that makes it a tradition for me.  Well, I’ve been eating Fluffy Ruffles on Thanksgiving since 1986.  That’s…let me do the math…Good Lord!  That’s 25 years!  Okay…I don’t know how that happened, but I think that’s a discussion better left for another blog post.  Anyway, more important than the length of time that I’ve been doing this, additional family members have brought this dish to other people’s houses for the holiday – sharing the Fluffy Ruffle Joy with newbies.  And I don’t make it any other time of year, so it’s special. 

For me, it’s just not Thanksgiving without a turkey and Fluffy Ruffles. 

Today’s secret: It’s never too late to start a new tradition.  Before you know it, you’ll have been doing it for 25 years.

Today’s question: What is your silliest tradition?

14 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Traditions”

    1. Wow – can I tell you, the Fluffy Ruffles look just like yours does in the picture, but with no onions, and whipping cream instead of sour cream. Yummy!

  1. Check back tomorrow for yet another cranberry recipe, this one courtesy of my Grandma! This one looks great, too, V! Wonder how it got that name, which doesn’t seem to have anything to do with cranberries, but sounds more like a fashion trend . . . 🙂

  2. Fluffy Ruffles sounds yummy! Anything with whipped cream and marshmallows has got to be good. The cranberries must make it awesome. The perfect blend of sweet and tart.

    Traditionally I would make homemade pies using my mother’s recipe and making my dough with lard…yes, lard! Working the flour into the lard with a fork and getting just the right amount of water to soften the dough (mom never measured anything) was wrist breaking work. I did this every year up until a few years ago.

    These days, I’m all about easy. My husband cooks the bird and all the fixings while I sit and write. I know…I often feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven. The only thing I’m responsible for is the homemade cranberry-pear sauce, the dinner rolls and helping with clean up. He loves to cook and I love to eat. It’s a perfect match. As far as pies go, it’s now Pillsbury or Costco. Mom would be rolling over if she heard me say that, but I bet she’d be amazed by what Costco sells a 14 inch pie for! And they are delicious!

  3. Our family tradition is football. Even though my kids are on the west coast, we will compete. If our favorite teams are not playing we just pick a team. When the game begins, the GAMES begin. Phone calls, text messages, rants and raves you would not believe. We are very competitive, fanatical, and more than a little insane. I know, it’s weird, but here we are. And I have to tell you, I’m looking forward to the games (both on screen and off).

  4. Thanksgiving traditions … hmmmm … I would have to say it would food related. It’s not Thanksgiving without mom’s stuffing, twice baked potatoes and, of course, the turkey. Then there is that thing I make with sweet potatoes, the green bean dish with the french fried onion rings and … oh, and the pie, lots of different kinds of pie. Our silly family traditions tend to happen more around the celebration of Christmas. Happy Holiday to you and your readers. Hope you eat a lot, drink just enough and laugh, love and enjoy your families.

  5. Fluffy ruffles sounds so yummy & I’m glad that I’m not the only one who finds squishy cranberries in every bag I buy. No matter how early in the season I get them or how carefully I inspect them in the store.
    Thanksgiving is definitely about tradtion for me, thanks for sharing yours. We’re going to start something new this year, if the lawn dries out – Thanksgiving bocce. Usually it’s a walk to the beach b/w the meal & dessert but staying put will allow us to throw balls and get excited, while maintaining drink in hand…wine, whiskey, we don’t discriminate.

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