Barbara McClellan

Happy Thanksgiving, 2020. Even though family traditions are sacred to each family, I think we might agree that this one is going to have a different tone. Just how good that turkey and dressing (according to my clever, humorous friend, Bill Marshall, in the South, we call it “dressing,” not “stuffing”) will taste via Zoom, I am not so sure.

We are strongly advised by health experts to celebrate this favorite holiday — for many of us — by not gathering in large groups, but keeping the group down to those with whom we have been spending the last eight to nine months. In spite of that, I am sure there are many of us who will still make some of the familiar recipes that have meant so much to our families and friends during years past. If we have survived the past year and have food on the Thanksgiving table, we have a lot for which to be thankful.

The main theme of today’s column was going to be to suggest that maybe we would do something totally different for this peculiar, unusual way of celebrating a traditional family Thanksgiving. Then I decided that perhaps we need a feeling of comforting, familiar foods. So, I will make my recipe for yeasty rolls. I probably will not have a problem finding places to share about 68 rolls of about 72 that my recipe makes.

However, instead of the rolls recipe, I decided to share with you a couple of recipes that you might want to make for a Thanksgiving brunch or a Black Friday meal.

The first is a casserole that can be a main dish by adding cooked sausage, ham or crisply fried bacon. Or, just like it is as a side.

Green Chilies Casserole


6 cups boiling water

1 1/2 cup grits

2 teaspoons salt

1 stick butter

1-pound Velveeta cheese

1 small can chopped green chilies (with liquid)

3 eggs, beaten


Bring water to boil in a 4-quart saucepan

Add grits and salt. Cook until thick, according to package directions. Cut cheese into pieces and add to grits with butter and chilies. Stir until cheese melts. Add beaten eggs, stirring until butter melts. Pour into a buttered 3-quart casserole. Bake at 275 degrees for about 1 hour. Makes 10-12 servings. Add meat, if desired, before pouring into casserole to bake.

My friend Mary Lawler has given me the two recipes that I really believe I have made the most times of all (except for some of my mother’s recipes). When Mary sent me this recipe, I knew there would be another easy, good recipe that I would need to share with you.

Mary’s Rich Pumpkin Coffeecake


2 packages pound cake mix

4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

2 teaspoons baking soda

2/3 cup water

1 can (16 ounces) pumpkin

4 eggs

Streusel topping (recipe below)


Combine pound cake mixes, pumpkin pie spice and baking soda in large mixer bowl. Add water, pumpkin and eggs. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Spread half of batter in a greased 9-by- 13-inch pan. Sprinkle with half of topping. Carefully spread remaining batter and top with remaining topping. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Makes about 18 servings.

Streusel topping


3/4 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Mix sugar, nuts, flour

Cut in 1/3 cup butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until crumbly.

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— Barbara Richardson McClellan is a longtime food columnist. Write her at or in care of the Longview News-Journal, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.