From Gelatin Molds to Cauliflower Mash: A Look at Thanksgiving Recipes Over the Past 50 Years

November 22, 2018

From how people buy and sell homes to how they live in their houses, much has changed since Long & Foster was founded in 1968. Even holidays like Thanksgiving have shifted with the times, especially when you look at what appetizers, side dishes and meals were popular in the past 50 years.

To celebrate Thanksgiving and Long & Foster’s 50th anniversary, we’ve pulled a few of the holiday recipes from Southern Living and its Annual Recipes cookbooks, dating from 1979.

Cranberry Christmas Salad (Southern Living 1979 Annual Recipes – the first edition of this cookbook)

  • 2 oranges
  • 1 pound fresh cranberries, ground
  • 4 tart apples, seeded and ground
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1/3 cup halved, seeded red grapes
  • 1 (6-ounce) package raspberry-flavored gelatin
  • 1/2 pint whipping cream, whipped

Grate rind of one orange. Peel remaining orange; remove seeds from both. Grind oranges; pour into a large mixing bowl. Stir in rind and next 6 ingredients; let stand 1 hour.

Prepare gelatin according to package directions; chill until partially set. Fold in whipped cream. Combine gelatin mixture with fruit, mixing well. Chill. Serve in a chilled bowl.

Yield: 18 to 20 servings.

Baked Ham with Bourbon Glaze (Southern Living 1998 Annual Recipes)

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Baking time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 (6-8 pound) smoked ham half
  • Garnish: Fresh herb sprigs

Microwave honey and molasses in a 1-quart microwave-safe dish at HIGH 1 minute; whisk to blend. Whisk in bourbon, juice and mustard. Set glaze aside.

Remove skin and excess fat from ham; place ham in a roasting pan. Bake at 325 degrees on lower oven rack for 1 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 140 degrees, basting occasionally with glaze. Bring drippings and remaining glaze to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat; serve with ham. Garnish, if desired.

Yield: 12 to 14 servings

Brown Butter Cauliflower Mash (Southern Living and MyRecipes)

  • 1 head medium cauliflower (about 2 lb.), chopped*
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1
  • /4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Garnish: fresh chives

Fill a large Dutch oven with water to depth of 1/4 inch. Arrange cauliflower in Dutch oven. Cook, covered, over medium-high heat 7 to 10 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Process cauliflower, sour cream, salt and pepper in a food processor 30 seconds to 1 minute or until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Stir in Parmesan cheese and chives. Place in a bowl.

If desired, microwave mixture at HIGH 1 to 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring at 1-minute intervals.

Cook butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 4 to 5 minutes or until butter begins to turn golden brown. Remove from heat, and immediately drizzle butter over cauliflower mixture. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately.

*2 (16-oz.) bags frozen cauliflower may be substituted. Cook cauliflower according to package directions. Proceed with recipe as directed, beginning with Step 2.

Those are just a few of the many, many Thanksgiving recipes that have been shared over the years. What are your favorite recipes to prepare at Thanksgiving? Share them with us in the comments below.