The students guide to Thanksgiving

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  • Graphic by: Alexandra Tobia

Alexandra McCray

Thanksgiving is a time to cherish family, remember all the things to be thankful for in life and eat delicious food.

While some would rather step back and let the professionals handle the kitchen action, others may want to get into the kitchen but do not really know where to start.

Here are some easy and simple recipes and tips for creating a Thanksgiving dish that will win over the family.

“A big thing for me is to let your individual heritage show in your Thanksgiving meal, I know my family is Italian so we always had Italian dishes along with traditional American Thanksgiving foods,” Chef Jason Pickard with Eagle Dining Services, said.

While waiting for dinner, an appetizer platter of fresh fruit, vegetables and cheese is an option for everyone to snack on without ruining their appetites.

Find fruits and vegetables at a local grocery store that will be a hit with the family. Radishes are in season and are an unusual pick, but slice them fresh, adding soft butter and sea salt, and you will spark their flavor. Also adding crackers and a variety of cheeses is a classic way to go. And the sweet fruit slices will bring balance to the appetizer platter.

Next up, green bean casserole is an easy classic.  This dish can be made from scratch with a few ingredients. Combine canned green beans, cream of mushroom soup, fried onions and bake.

“Let the convenience on the grocery store work in your favor, like with green bean casserole, everybody loves it, but when if you’re trying to put together multiple meals you’re going to want that convenience. You’re not going to want to put together every dish from scratch,” Pickard said.

Students can be sure to find any type of pie at a Thanksgiving dinner. For all those who have wanted to jump into pie making but always found it a little intimidating and better left to Thanksgiving veterans, here is a way to way to make mini apple pies.

Cook as many apples as desired with some honey and sugar to create filling, also known as homemade apple sauce. Then take biscuit dough and flatten it out. Create a pocket, with apple sauce as the filling, and then fold over the biscuit to create a mini pie. Then bake as directed.

“My favorite Thanksgiving dishes would be turkey, peach cobbler, macaroni and cheese and sweet potato pie,” Arthur McGee, senior mechanical engineer major, said.

And Thanksgiving does not just have to be celebrated with family. For those that cannot make it home for Thanksgiving, have a potluck with friends and create your own Thanksgiving right here in Statesboro.

“I would love to go to someone else’s Thanksgiving and eat with them and see the different dishes that they have. Because I generally spend Thanksgiving with my family so to try it with someone else and see what their dishes are like,” McGee said.

A potluck Thanksgiving with friends is a chance to try different foods that others usually eat during Thanksgiving and create new traditions.

Pickard said, “Everyone always seems to love the foods they grew up with, and especially when you gather with friends. It’s nice to bring one of those dishes you grew up with to your friends. And you know everybody’s mother and grandmother makes their favorite dishes differently. So call up mom and dad and get the recipe and figure out how they made it and share that with friends.”

Scrumptious Apple Pie (“Southern Living”)


7 cups peeled and sliced Granny Smith apples (about 5 medium)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons lemon juice

3/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided

1/2-teaspoon salt, divided

3/4-cup butter

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup uncooked quick-cooking oats

1/2 (15-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Jarred caramel topping, vanilla ice cream


1. Preheat oven to 375°. Stir together first 3 ingredients, 1/4-cup flour, and 1/4 tsp. salt until well blended.

2. Cut butter into remaining 1/2-cup flour with a pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles small peas. Stir in brown sugar, oats, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt.

3. Fit piecrust into a nine-inch pie plate according to package directions; fold edges under, and crimp. Place apple mixture in piecrust, and top with brown sugar mixture, pressing gently to adhere. Shield edges of crust with aluminum foil. Place pie on a foil-lined baking sheet.

4. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes. Remove foil from crust, and bake 25 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with pecans, and bake five to seven minutes or until pecans are toasted. Let pie stand 30 minutes to two hours before serving. Serve with caramel topping and ice cream.  

Campbell’s Classic Green Bean Casserole (“Southern Living”)


1 can(s) condensed cream of mushroom soup (10 3/4 oz.)

1/2 cup(s) milk

1 teaspoon(s) soy sauce

Dash(es) ground black pepper

4 cup(s) cooked green beans

1 1/3 cup(s) French fried onions


  1. Stir the soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and 2/3-cup onions in a 1 1/2-quart casserole.
  2. Bake at 350°F. for 25 minutes or until the bean mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the bean mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining onions.
  3. Bake for five minutes or until the onions are golden brown.