Happy Thanksgiving to Our TKZ Family

Jordan Dane


It’s hard to believe this year has flown by, but I don’t want to rush the holidays. As a writer, I’m often locked away in my office or in my head, living adventures only limited by my imagination. But with family and friends during the holidays, I want to be in the moment every day and take time with the people who truly matter in my life.

My TKZ family–the contributing writers on this blog as well as the wonderful people who follow our shenanigans and share their writing trials and tribulations–you all matter to me and I love the time we spend together during the year. I know my blog mates feel the same about the community and the camaraderie we’ve built over the years.

I hope after you read this post, you’ll share what you did for Thanksgiving and how it made you feel. I’ll go first.

It had been a tough year of transitioning my parents into a independent living facility that suited them. We had to move them twice, but they appear to be settling in and making friends and the food is great. But after selling our family home, the one we spent over 60 years carrying on family traditions, we’ve lost our anchor and have to make new traditions. Thanksgiving will be in my sister’s lovely home with her family. There will be 12 of us. Since not everyone can make it to Texas, we take pictures and videos to share with friends and family who live elsewhere and we text in the moment so they feel they are with us. The only thing we’re missing is an app for ‘Scratch & Sniff.’


We have two turkeys (one cooked in the oven with the other one smoked or fried), mashed potatoes, Cranberry Chutney, baby peas with mushrooms and green onions, sweet potato casserole, an unusual corn recipe, Caesar’s salad, pumpkin pies, and more. Thanksgiving is a time for slowing down to count our many blessings. I love the smells in the kitchen, watching my mom help my sister make a perfect gravy, the sound of football games on TV after dinner, and the feeling of home from the experience.

Here’s my family Cranberry Chutney recipe that I’m making. It’s really good and leftovers taste even better.



2 – 12 oz pkgs fresh cranberries

3 cups sugar (This can be cut down to taste or apple juice concentrate can cut down on sugar)

1.5 cups of water

2 Teas grated orange peel

1.5 cups orange juice

1.5 cups Golden Seedless Raisins

1.5 cups chopped walnuts

1.5 cups chopped celery

2 red apples peeled and chopped

1.5 Teas ground ginger

1-2 Teas cinnamon to taste


In 3 QT sauce pan over medium heat, combine sugar and cranberries and cook until boiling, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes. Crush or pop some of the cranberries with large spoon.

Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients and refrigerate. This dish can be done a day or two before Thanksgiving. Leftovers can be made into cobbler. Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Funnies – because everyone needs a good laugh when they’re wearing fat pants.

“I come from a family where gravy is a beverage.” Erma Bombeck

“Vegetables are a must on any good diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.” Jim Davis

“Most turkeys taste better the day after. My mother’s tasted better the day before.” Rita Rudner

“You can tell you ate too much for Thanksgiving when you have to let your bathrobe out.” Jay Leno

Happy Thanksgiving, TKZ! Please share your day with us.

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About Jordan Dane

Bestselling, critically-acclaimed author Jordan Dane’s gritty thrillers are ripped from the headlines with vivid settings, intrigue, and dark humor. Publishers Weekly compared her intense novels to Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner, and Tami Hoag, naming her debut novel NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM as Best Books of 2008. She is the author of young-adult novels written for Harlequin Teen, the Sweet Justice thriller series for HarperCollins., and the Ryker Townsend FBI psychic profiler series, Mercer's War vigilante novellas, and the upcoming Trinity LeDoux bounty hunter novels set in New Orleans. Jordan shares her Texas residence with two lucky rescue dogs. To keep up with new releases & exclusive giveaways, click HERE

18 thoughts on “Happy Thanksgiving to Our TKZ Family

  1. Happy Thanksgiving to all at TKZ. Love coming here to spend time with the TKZ team who donate their time and expertise to all of us, and equally enjoy reading the comments of every contributor who leaves a reply.

    Have a wonderful holiday, everyone!

  2. Wishing everyone at KTX a happy Thanksgiving. We’re only 3 this year, so our plans consist of making reservations. But first, we’re joining our daughter (#3 in the above guest list) on an annual “Pie Run” at Garden of the Gods, where we hope one of us will win a raffled-off pie. (Note: she’s running; Hubster and I will walk.)

    When our kids were young, it was just the two adults and three little ones for Thanksgiving. I’d found a recipe for a stuffing that sounded interesting. It was seasoned with curry and contained peaches. Although it was supposed to go into a goose, I saw no reason to let that stop me from serving it with turkey. I gave it a try and it became a Thanksgiving fixture. In fact, when my son went off to college, he was close to his grandparents, and he insisted that his grandmother make this stuffing (although I think the correct term is now ‘dressing’ since it’s not considered safe to roast it inside the bird anymore.) In fact, if I ever made anything that used curry as a seasoning, my kids would say, “It smells like Thanksgiving.”Another ‘shortcut’ we used came about because there were never enough of us to warrant two pies. I make a Pumpkin Apple Pie which combines 2 favorites. It’s super easy. A store-bought crust, a can of apple pie filling and half a pumpkin pie recipe from the label on a can of pumpkin.

    To thank everyone at TKZ, here are a couple of our traditional family recipes:
    Apple pumpin pie: http://terryodell.com/whats-cooking-wednesday-pumpkin-apple-pie/

    Curried Fruit dressing:

    Have a great day!

      • Little known fact: The Garden of the Gods, as beautiful as it is, was once a little larger. In 1966 my family visited there in an old school bus converted to an RV. While touring the park, my mother smuggled a good chuck of it onto the school bus/RV, hiding rocks in cabinets, under seats, etc. So Dad wouldn’t find out. He muttered all the way home how the altitude must have made the bus more sluggish. The loot ended up in their yard back home in Kansas, in Mom’s rock garden.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving, Jordan, and thanks for the recipe. We’re spending Thanksgiving with friends in Boynton Beach, about an hour away. I’m bringing pie and rolls. Don and the other guests will engage in a gin tasting, a fine tradition. Our ancestors depended on gin to get them through the long New England winters.

  4. Happy Thanksgiving to all the TKZ family. This is the first time in thirty years that I’ve been able to celebrate this holiday. It’s a normal working day in Italy, where I live, and my husband and I both work late on Thursday so the day has always passed by without notice. This year I’ve been visiting family in Michigan and am now in Chicago with my daughter and her husband. I roasted a turkey with chestnut stuffing, even though there were only four of us to eat it and now I’m looking forward to turkey pot pies, turkey soup, turkey sandwiches and turkey salad. I’m thankful to be back in the US, always home, and thankful for a granddaughter one month old today, and thankful for this TKZ blog. Bless you. I never miss a day.

  5. What a lovely story, Jordan. I definitely need perfect gravy lessons!

    We celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday because my daughter had to return to Champaign to work this afternoon. We called it Benedict Thanksgiving. My in-laws came in from West Virginia and didn’t mind celebrating early: champagne cocktails, turkey, and all, including my daughter’s first pie contribution (apple). It was nice to be able to wake up this morning and have a quiet day. This afternoon, we went to the movies and saw ARRIVAL (meh). Our town had a semi-abandoned feeling as we drove home, with just a few restaurants open, and folks queueing up at Best Buy beside the closed Hobby Lobby. I made a pot of chili for dinner tonight, then it’s early into jammies. My kind of holiday.

    Happy Thanksgiving, TKZ family! I’m thankful for you and all you teach me! xx

  6. Wishing everyone a slightly belated ‘Happy Thanksgiving’. We had the usual turkey and sides but with an Aussie twist for dessert in the form of Pavlova (basically a meringue that’s crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside served with whipped cream and berries – delish!)

  7. Yum. Your chutney recipe sounds divine — perfect for Christmas; thank you! — and your Thanksgiving reminds me of fun family holidays from long ago.

    Our family has been in limbo for about 5 years since my mother-in-law passed, with my wicked sister-in-law trying to pull the reins. This was our transitional Thanksgiving to take back control.

    Our kids/grandkids went to my daughter-in-law’s family home (the one place my sister-in-law couldn’t reach). While they were safely tucked away, I laid down the law: new traditions from this year forward. Anyone who doesn’t like it is more than welcome to do their own thing.

    Now, the family (except for my pissed-off sister-in-law) is pumped about future holidays, starting with Christmas Eve at our house. Yay! We stayed in constant contact with the kids during it all and had lots of laugh. The best part is, we’re expecting a new grandbaby. Woohoo!!! Our son said he wore his work boots this time. LOL We’ll see.

    • Your family sounds like mine too. We had to boot one sister-in-law for being so divisive with the family. She ruined her family and then targeted ours. As people get older, their worst traits become more pronounced. I hate family rifts, but we’ve been much more relaxed as a group without the drama or fakery. Sounds like you;re doing the same, reclaiming your holidays. Good for you.

      We used to buy gifts for everyone, but a few years ago we went to a White Elephant exchg and doing silly/funny gifts. Only have to buy one things and wrap it anonymously. Best fun ever. Christmas shouldn’t be as commercial as it’s become. The holiday is about being with family and having the experience of enjoying each other’s company and making memories.

      Hugs, Sue.

  8. What a great post! I enjoyed it and have already copied the cranberry chutney recipe. Loved the funnies. I’ve had so many different Thanksgivings over the years from large family gatherings to smaller ones–all appreciated. The Thanksgivings of my childhood were always family. There was no running out after dinner for retail specials on a day set aside for rare get-togethers. I never shop on Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday. Black Friday is for making turkey soup:)

    • I’m with you, Frances. No Black Fridays. I’m hate shopping, but if I have a choice to be with family and doing something fun, I’m all over that. Turkey soup sounds good. I’ll be making Cranberry Cobbler with my leftovers this weekend.

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