Grandma Van Inwegen produces a Thanksgiving feast each year and here’s her 3 favourite side dish recipes.

Dish 1: Sweet Potatoes

Consider how many people will be served & how many other side dishes there will be and scale ingredients from there. The below recipe will feed about 10 - 12 as one of at least 4 side dishes.


3 tins Canned yams/1kg sweet potatoes
100g Butter
50 - 100g Brown sugar
1/2 cup Orange juice
2 handfuls Raisins
150g Chopped toasted pecans
Salt to taste


Drain canned potatoes, reserving juice/syrup. If using sweet potato, boil until tender.
Mash potatoes in bowl and set aside
Melt half the butter in a small pan.
Add some brown sugar & stir to dissolve.
Add some orange juice & bring to boil, add some raisins .
Stir liquid mixture into potatoes.
May want to add some of drained juice if mixture doesn’t seem moist enough.
Put into buttered casserole & top w/ pecans.
Bake uncovered 180 degrees celsius for 25-30 minutes .

Avocado Salad


1 (3 oz ) pkg lime jello
1 Cup hot water
1 Cup grapefruit juice
1 medium size can crushed pineapple, drained
2 ripe avocados (medium or 1 large)
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise

Dissolve jello in hot water
Stir in grapefruit juice & let cool
In large bowl mash avocados with mayonnaise and then add pineapple
Gradually stir in cooled liquid & pour into square pan (8x8” or 9x9”)
Refrigerate until completely set and serve cold

Melodee ‘s Salad


1 regular size carton small curd cottage cheese
1 small package red jello(I like raspberry because it’s tart)
1 large carton Cool Whip, thawed
1 large can pineapple chunks, drained
2 small cans or 1 large can of mandarin oranges, drained (tart citrus fruit)
Lettuce and Mayonnai to serve


Mix cottage cheese, red jello and Cool Whip together
Fold in pineapple and mandarin oranges.
Put in serving bowl, refrigerate & let set
(I usually make in the morning to serve for dinner)
To serve, cut in squares, place on lettuce leaf & top w/ a small dollop of mayonnaise

The Story Behind The Recipe

With Thanksgiving only a week away and so many traditions centred around the sharing of a meal with loved ones, we at FoodFaith thought we’d share some wonderful recipes. These 3 were kindly given to us by Patricia Van Inwegen, Grandma of our current intern Cyprus. Of Thanksgiving and these recipes she says…

‘Thanksgiving dinner is the hardest meal to get on the table & I'm always relieved when it's over! You want it all to be warm when it's served & traditionally there are so many elements to it that it is sometimes a difficult task. There's a lot of pre-planning involved, making lists, shopping & of course setting a festive table!

‘Dessert is always pumpkin pie & pecan pie. . .purchased! In 58 years of marriage, I never mastered pie crusts. . .’

The first 2 recipes came from her mother and grandmother which she learnt cooking alongside them and eventually replicating herself, whilst the last recipe was given to her by an Airforce wife named Melodee. Of this one she says, ‘Kids love it because it’s sweet and could double as a dessert, but we’ve used it for holiday dinners.’

Keep checking back for Cyprus’ personal account of Thanksgiving and its traditions and meanings tomorrow as well as more Thanksgiving recipes next Thursday.

Happy cooking, eating and of course sharing!