Creating memories one recipe at a time

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Food is one of the best ways to bring people together. Food and family (whomever you consider your family to be) are connected; they both provide comfort. That’s why Thanksgiving is a time for comfort food.

Scroll asked BYU-Idaho students the following two questions:

— What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?

— What special memory is attached to that dish?

Here are their responses:

1. Mac and Cheese

Student: Ryan Hill, a junior studying political science.

Favorite dish: Hill’s favorite recipe is “creamy mac and cheese made from scratch with paprika and pepper for spice, mixed together with mashed potatoes and brown gravy.”

Memory: “Growing up in the Deep South, there were so many unique Thanksgiving foods that stand out as irresistible or iconic, but the pinnacle of the feast was always the spicy mac and cheese with potatoes,” Hill said. “It was worth getting in fistfights with brothers and cousins. People would stumble over each other to get to it before it ran out. It encapsulates the secret of all Southern food, which is: If it’s all good, why not put it together? You could throw in garlic green beans, corn, roast beef or even put it on a hot dog, and it’d still be good. Eating that on a crisp, Southern Thanksgiving night makes you happy to be alive.”

2. Pies

Student: Kylie Eggett, a freshman studying English education.

Favorite dish: Cherry, apple and French silk pies and an apple crisp.

Memory: “I like the pies we make during Thanksgiving season,” Eggett said. “My family has a ‘pie night’ the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and we invite all the neighbors, and we just hang out and talk with everyone. We also have a lot of fun making the pies the day before as a family. We make the crust for the pies and cook it because that’s what my great-grandmother always did. It’s basically a tradition.”

3. Sweet potatoes

Student: Ruth Warren, a sophomore studying psychology.

Favorite dish: Her grandma’s sweet potatoes.

Memory: “My dad is a very sentimental person and retells the same stories each year,” Warren said. “I was named after my grandma Ruth, and she died before I was born. But for Thanksgiving, she would always make a special sweet potato casserole, so we refer to them as grandma’s sweet potatoes. They have the best brown sugar cinnamon crumble topping.”

4. Cranberry apple relish

Student: Mason Powell, a sophomore studying political science.

Favorite dish: Cranberry apple relish.

Memory: “My great-grandma used to make it all the time around Thanksgiving,” Powell said. “It’s the perfect amount of tart and sweet. She taught me how to make it, and it makes me reflect on how amazing of a lady she was and how much she loved everyone.”

5. Cherry 7UP

Student: Annakah Hall, a senior studying family and consumer science.

Favorite dish: Cherry 7UP.

Memory: “Growing up, my family barely made ends meet, so we never had soda or anything like that,” Hall said. “Thanksgiving was the only time of year where we really had it, and every year, we always had Cherry 7UP on our table. I remember my siblings and I got all excited when we were finally allowed to open it, as well as fighting over the last of it and frustration of ‘the good stuff’ getting spilled.”

6. Sweet Potato Casserole

Student: Shelby Davis, a sophomore studying psychology.

Favorite dish: Sweet potato casserole.

Memory: “I love this dish because it was never seen at Thanksgiving dinners growing up, but in the South (where I served my mission), everyone had it,” Davis said. “During the mission, I got a lot of hate thrown at me. But during Thanksgiving, the love that I felt from ward members was overwhelming. I want to have this dish at my table for all Thanksgivings to come, because it reminds me of the many open doors in the south that always have room for one more.”

7. Turkey Gumbo

Student: Emma Jean Clark, a junior studying physics.

Favorite dish: Gumbo.

Memory: “My dad always makes gumbo with the leftover turkey after Thanksgiving,” Clark said. “It was my favorite every year. I would sometimes help my dad, but he’s very secretive about his recipe, so I can only get it from him.”

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Enjoy the food and time spent with your loved ones this week. Talk about past Thanksgiving memories and recipes with the people you’re with.