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Green bean casserole, pumpkin pie or paper plates: Which will I bring?

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Each Thanksgiving for the past 23 years I have traveled out of town to enjoy a traditional feast with my husband’s family in Stigler, OK.

In the beginning, I don’t think I was expected to bring anything, not even a green bean casserole. I was the girlfriend, so there weren’t a lot of demands.

Even after we were married, my mother-in-law, Irene, would tell me, “Just bring paper plates and cups.”

I would wonder if it was a hidden message about my cooking skills, but I’m sure it was just to make it easier for me.

Occasionally, when we stayed at her house, I would make something there. But this is the lineup of what I’ve brought through the years … nothing spectacular:

- Paper plates and cups  

- Pickles and olives

- Cream cheese, salsa, cheese and crackers

- A store-bought cheesecake

- Cookies

- Pumpkin bread

- Rolls

I’ve never brought the true backbone dishes of the meal: Turkey, ham, cornbread dressing, gravy, sweet potatoes, corn, salad, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, Mountain Dew cake, and, of course, chocolate, coconut, mincemeat, pecan or pumpkin pie.  

So, what am I bringing this year?

I’m not sure yet … maybe a pie or bread or cookies or cupcakes …. I’m determined to not bring paper anything!

But, I’m sure, when it’s Wednesday night and I’m tired and I know we have to get up early Thanksgiving morning to travel, I’ll wish Irene was telling me, “Just bring paper plates and cups.”

– Linda Lynn

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Linda Lynn

Linda Lynn was born and raised in rural Oklahoma. A graduate of Purcell High School, Lynn began working at The Oklahoman in 1987 as a reporter after earning a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. She has served as both a... Read more ›