Thanksgiving Spirits are up and Running; Why Not Share Some Traditions?

Kiley Vallee

The holidays are such a bright, happy time of year for me. Lights, everyone’s spirits, the food, and the time spent with family. It all adds up to become my favorite part of the year and I get so excited as it comes around.

Thanksgiving starts the fun. I travel to Connecticut every year to visit my family and we have a blast. We eat tons of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and my favorite, mashed potatoes. My aunt prepares all the food for us.

We have an adult table and the kids table, though it really isn’t a kids table. Ever since I was little, all the cousins who range in ages sat at the kids’ table. As my oldest cousin reached age 23, he decided to graduate to the adult table. My second oldest cousin who is 24 now still sits at the kids’ table so it’s really not a “kids” table. I don’t blame them though, the kid’s table is way more fun. Younger and a less amount of people are more interesting and funny.

After dinner, we all eat dessert. There’s a delicious dessert store in Orange, Connecticut called Julia’s Bakery. My aunt always orders cookies, pies, and cakes from Julia’s for all holidays. On Thanksgiving, we always have cookies shaped like turkeys, apple and pumpkin pies, and since my sister and I’s birthdays are near Thanksgiving so we have an included birthday cake for dessert.

When all of the food is done, we have so much fun socializing, taking naps from being so full, and playing games. It’s always a fun time with my family.

Something special I enjoy making on Thanksgiving for my family is pumpkin bread. It is one of my favorite foods and fits perfectly for the occasion. Moist, rich, and scrumptious are three words I’d use to describe it. 

Here’s a recipe I use:


Unsalted butter, for the pans

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan (see Cook’s Note)

3 cups of sugar

1 cup of vegetable oil

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

One 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree

2 teaspoons fine salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

2/3 cup water



-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans. 

-Whisk together the sugar and oil in a large bowl until well combined. Whisk in the eggs and pumpkin until combined.

-Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and cloves in a medium bowl and whisk until well combined. 

-Add half the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir to combine. 

-Add half the water and stir to combine. Repeat with the remaining flour and water. 

-Divide the batter between the prepared loaf pans. Bake until cake tester comes out clean and the loaves are golden brown, about 1 hour. 

-Let the loaves cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pans and let cool completely about 1 hour.