Sweet Memories, Savory Traditions

Emily Bishop
Savory Spice Team
Savory Spice Shop

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Sweet Memories, Savory Traditions

Like everyone at Savory Spice, I love Thanksgiving and the traditions that come along with it. I’ve been part of the Savory Spice team for a couple of months and I’ve already met so many people that I could see sitting around my Thanksgiving table one day. While getting to know everyone in the Savory family, I asked my co-workers about their favorite Thanksgiving traditions. Check out their answers and tell us about your own favorite traditions in the comments below.


Portrait of Dan Baker- Test Kitchen Development Manager
Dan Baker

Dan Baker, Test Kitchen Development Manager

Dan is the newest addition to our Test Kitchen, and I could tell he’s a family man when he showed up to work on his second day with a display of family photographs for his desk. Next to his family, Dan’s one true love is cooking.

For Thanksgiving, his specialty is stuffed mushrooms. Dan cooks his stuffed mushrooms differently every year, but our Sage & Savory Stuffed Mushrooms recipe is a great starting point if you want to give them a try.

While Dan’s stuffed mushrooms are delicious, they aren’t his favorite Thanksgiving dish to eat. His ‘number one’ is deviled eggs. “If you don’t have deviled eggs at Thanksgiving, I probably won’t come back,” he joked with me. When it comes down to it, it’s not about the mushrooms or the deviled eggs- it’s about this family man spending the day with his loved ones.


Mike Johnston, Co-founder & Mary Johnston, Mike’s Mom

Portrait of Co-founder Mike Johnston and mother, Mary Johnston
Mike & Mary Johnston

Every year, Mike and Mary trade off hosting the Johnston family Thanksgiving dinner. Mike is hosting Thanksgiving this year, which means Mary will host Christmas. Regardless of where Thanksgiving dinner is held, there is one thing we know for sure: Mary will be making her mother’s Sage & Savory Stuffing which includes celery, carrots, onions and raisins. It isn’t a Johnston Thanksgiving without this stuffing. Mike also makes sure to include his grandmother’s stuffing in his flavorful leftover turkey and cranberry sandwich that he makes “a couple hours after the meal.”

For Mary, Thanksgiving tastes “warm and comforting,” and Mike describes the flavor of the holiday as “sweet-spiced with a hint of crispy turkey skin, creamy deviled eggs, pumpkin pie, one-hour naps and a little too much football for my mom.”



Portrait of Spice Merchant
Lexi Hempstead

Lexi Hempstead, Spice Merchant in Boulder, CO

Lexi and her large family have always gathered around the table on Thanksgiving in her home town of Lafayette, Colorado. It means so much to Lexi when each year, everyone goes around the table and shares what they are thankful for. As an aunt, niece, daughter and sister, Lexi is always excited to spend quality time with her family.

Another Thanksgiving staple for Lexi’s family is her Aunt Pat’s scalloped potatoes. Lexi explained that her Aunt Pat makes her legendary scalloped potatoes every year, “but she never makes enough, it’s so rude!” We’re hoping Aunt Pat will share her potato recipe with us, but in the meantime, our Herbed Mashed Potatoes recipe is a classic option for your Thanksgiving table.



Mishael Martin, Ecommerce Supervisor

Portrait of Ecommerce Supervisor, Mishael Martin
Mishael Martin

Working at Savory Spice has been an excellent fit for Mishael’s love of food. Thanksgiving reminds him of not only delicious food, but the outdoors. Growing up in the small town of Elizabeth, Colorado, Mishael associates Thanksgiving with being out in the country and spending the day outside target shooting (and building up an appetite) with his family.

In years past, Mishael always looked forward to his mother’s candied yams with a brown sugar walnut crust. Now Mishael is engaged and looking forward to sharing traditions and gaining new ones with his fiancé. If you’d like to try out a new sweet potato option this year, our recipe for Rose’s Jamaican Sweet Potato Casserole is velvety smooth and perfect for the holiday table.



Portrait of Suzanne Klein, Test Kitchen Manager
Suzanne Klein

Suzanne Klein, Test Kitchen Manager

Suzanne’s grandmother started making cranberry ice- a sherbert-like dish made with cranberries, sugar and cream- on Thanksgiving as a palate cleanser before the big meal. Today, Suzanne and her family still celebrate this tradition by serving the cranberry ice in her grandma’s crystal coupe glass. After feasting, Suzanne’s family likes to go for a walk or go out to a movie before returning home for more cranberry ice for desert served with pumpkin or mincemeat pie. For Suzanne, Thanksgiving flavors remind her of family traditions and beautiful sunny Colorado Thanksgivings. If you’re looking for a new favorite pumpkin pie recipe, we can’t get enough of Savory Co-founder Janet Johnston’s recipe for her Grandma Menard’s Pumpkin Chiffon Pie.



Cindy Jones, Owner of Savory Spice in Raleigh, NC

Portrait of Savory Spice Raleigh owner, Cindy Jones
Cindy Jones

Growing up in New Jersey in an Italian-American home, Cindy’s Thanksgiving spread looked very different from her friends’ and neighbors’ tables. Cindy’s family Thanksgiving consisted of an all-day meal with no breaks between numerous courses including an antipasto platter, Italian wedding soup, manicotti and more, including her mother and grandmother’s famous stuffing made with Italian sausage and roasted chestnuts. 

“Even though it’s an American holiday,” Cindy explained, “my mother and grandmother always somehow made it Italian.” Now, Cindy has condensed the menu. She still serves an antipasto platter, but skips all of the pasta to go straight to the turkey which she brines, seasons with Tiny Town Turkey Rub, and stuffs with aromatic orange slices and dried cranberries. Cindy loves making traditional turkey, but she will always celebrate her Italian roots.



Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate, enjoy friends and family, and give thanks. Traditions may be different for everyone, but they are something we all love and cherish. As I spend this Thanksgiving with my family, I look forward to the turkey, the pies and the laughter.

We’d love to hear about your family traditions, old and new, in the comments below. We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving from our Savory Spice family to yours.

Comments on this Article

(guest), on November 23, 2017

My mother's dressing (it's baked in a pan not in the turkey). Along with the usual bread, sage, thyme, marjoram, celery, onion, eggs and broth, it contains chopped apple, pecans and hard cooked eggs! My sons, their wives and children all love it and it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it!

Janet (registered user) on November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!! Love this post!!

(guest), on November 23, 2017

Loved your post. Family gets smaller as you get older so enjoy your holidays while they last. Happy Thanksgiving.

(guest), on November 23, 2017

A new Thanksgiving tradition is stopping by Savory Spice to pick up Savory Sage and a few "secret" ingredients. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

(guest), on November 23, 2017

We are having the Sweet & Golden Potato Salad from the Spice to Plate Cookbook. Yummy!

(guest), on November 23, 2017

We love my mom's cornbread stuffing although it is not in the bird but its own pan because we make so much. This year we are celebrating our Thanksgiving on Friday with our son & family so they do not have to eat 2 big meals on the same day. We are thankful for family no matter what day we can be together.

(guest), on November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving! Your savory spices are so amazing! We are so thankful to God for our family and friends. Mom has the best Oyster Stuffing! Blessings!

(guest), on November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone..... thanks to everyone at Savory Spice or all the fine products and the great site. Looking forward to the next order!

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