1 In Celebrations


November 20, 2014

Both sides of my family score when it comes to choosing favorite Thanksgiving side dishes.

On the Berkheiser (paternal) side of the family, I have always loved my Grandmother and Aunt’s “Cranberry Gelatin Mold”.  

Berkheiser Clan, circa 1950, Kenosha, Wisconsin

My grandmother, 3rd from right, is holding the baby, my sister, Janet. Aunt Marian is squatting below her. Can you find ME? I’m I’m about 6 yrs. old.

They were much more proper and formal than I turned out to be.  We just call it Aunt Marian’s Thanksgiving Cranberry Jello now.  Wow did I come near to a panic when I couldn’t find the recipe this morning!  This is definitely a ‘fruity meal’ in a dish.

  • 6 oz. raspberry or cherry jello
  • 3 oz. lemon jello
  • 2-1/2 cup water
  • 1-1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries, chopped
  • 2 oranges, peeled and chopped small
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


And then on the Smith (maternal) side of my family are my left-handed grandmother’s yummy Butterhorn Rolls(Aside:  I am also left-handed and I was named for her.  Her maiden name was Blythe.  Yes, I feel special!)  I remember helping her make our Thanksgiving or Christmas rolls in her ‘gigantic kitchen’ as a child.

"Mom" and "Pop" in Streator IL, circa 1955.

“Pop” was a Presbyterian minister and “Mom” often played the piano. This photo is inside Park Presbyterian Church in Streator (where I was born).  I’m pretty sure that I’m about the age now that Mom was in this photo.  My how styles and generations have changed!

And sampling the uncooked dough.  Ahhhhhh.  The best!  I visited their Streator, Illinois home during a cross-country trip in August 2008 and was allowed to go inside.  That kitchen?  It was not gigantic!  But it was full of “Mom’s” rolls and “Pop’s” Black Cows, aka root beer floats.

  • 1 cake compressed yeast (dissolved/proofed in 1/4 cup warm water and 1/8 teaspoon ginger).  Add to……
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk.  Add and mix in………..
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups flour

Check out the ‘how-to’ of the recipes here(I AM WORKING ON THIS LINK!  I don’t know what’s wrong.)  And I’ll add some photos on Thanksgiving Eve when I make ours.  We’ll be taking them to my daughter and son-in-law’s home for our very extended family feast.  There will be 21 people ranging from 4 to 70, including her in-laws who will be coming from Georgia.

Yes, I am blessed.  And grateful.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    November 20, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Thanksgiving just isn’t thanksgiving without Mom’s rolls! I’ll be making ours at Allison’s as well!!

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