November 25, 2013

Jessica Pope, Communications Specialist

Faculty, Staff and Students Share Thanksgiving Traditions and Recipes

VALDOSTA - Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for good food, family and fun memories together. Here are a few holiday traditions and Thanksgiving recipes from VSU faculty, staff and students that they have enjoyed over the years. Pick a recipe that appeals to you and surprise your family and friends with a new dish this year! 

Dana Wheeler
Career Evaluation Counselor
Career Opportunities

My husband’s whole family is from Ohio, so Thanksgiving weekend means we watch the Ohio State v. Michigan game. My best Thanksgiving memory is of the family getting together over a potluck to watch the game between O-H-I-O and “that team from the north!” 

For our family, Thanksgiving is all about the food! We make it a full day of five to six courses, and everyone is in charge of making their own dish. Everyone had to contribute to the meal whatever their “favorite” Thanksgiving food is. 

A couple years ago, my mother-in-law found a recipe for Cranberry Salsa (way better than Cranberry Sauce!) and we have made it every year since. It’s one of our “first courses” of the day, but goes great with the turkey too.

Cranberry Salsa 


1 bag Fresh Cranberries (put in freezer until frozen)
1 Jalapeno, deseeded and finely chopped
1/2 bundle Cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 med. Red Onion, finely chopped
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Orange Juice 


William C. Jimerson
Student Government Association President

Grandmother’s Cheese and Macaroni


8 ounces of Mueller’s Elbows
1 cap of olive oil (keeps the noodles from sticking)
1 egg
1 teaspoon of salt
¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper
1 can of Carnation evaporated milk
1 stick of butter
4 to 6 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese 


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the pasta into a pot and fill the pot with enough water to barely cover the pasta. Add olive oil and salt to the water and bring to a boil, stirring so that pasta will not stick.  Add the stick of butter and cheese to the pasta, continuing to stir, and then remove from heat. No need to drain the pasta. In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Add the cream to the egg and continue to beat until smooth. Pour the egg and cream mixture into the pasta and stir.  Pour pasta into a greased 2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese and black pepper. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. 

Loretha Copeland
Administrative Secretary
Career Opportunities 

Million Dollar Pound Cake


4 sticks of butter
3 cups of sugar
6 eggs
1 cup of milk
3 cups of plain flour (White Lily)
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 or 2 teaspoons of vanilla or lemon flavor 


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter good and add sugar. Add eggs one a time. Alternate milk and flour with baking powder. Add flavor. Grease (margarine) and flours pan good. Pour evenly in cake pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until done (check by using toothpick).

Carla Jordan
Assistant Director
Career Opportunities 

Every Thanksgiving morning, my family and I get together for a huge Thanksgiving breakfast.

Breakfast Casserole

2 packages (12 oz each) bulk sausage
1 medium bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
3 cups frozen hash brown potatoes
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (8 oz)
1 cup Original Bisquick mix
2 cups of milk
¼ teaspoon pepper
4 eggs 

Heat oven to 400°F. Grease rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches. Cook sausage, bell pepper and onion in 10-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink; drain. Stir together sausage mixture, potatoes and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese in baking dish. Stir Bisquick mix, milk, pepper and eggs until blended. Pour into baking dish. Bake uncovered 40 to 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 1 to 2 minutes longer or just until cheese is melted. Cool 5 minutes.

Dr. Gina Doepker
Associate Professor
Early Childhood and Special Education 

Gina M. Doepker’s Pineapple Casserole 

3 eggs, beaten well
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of milk
6 to 7 slices of white bread, torn into pieces
No. 2 can of crushed pineapple, or 20 ounces, drained
¼ cup of melted butter 


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all ingredients into a 2-quart casserole dish. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. 

Juwan Andrews
Media Arts Geniuses President

Collard Greens

1/4 cup olive oil
1  smoked turkey wing or smoked meet
1 carton (32 oz)  chicken stock
Cleaned collard greens
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup  sugar
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar


Place turkey wing or smoked meat in large pot; add water and chicken stock. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until tender. Remove from heat, but do not drain. Break stems off of greens. Wash leaves thoroughly. Slice leaves into bite-size pieces by rolling several leaves together and slicing in one-fourth inch strips. Add greens, sugar, oil, vinegar, pepper to smoked meat. Let greens cook down in pot, then cover over medium heat for about 30 minutes. Cook until tender. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Desmond Bell
Campus Services

Baked Chicken Leg Quarters

Chicken leg quarters
Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1 can of Cream of Chicken Soup


Preheat oven to bake at 375 degrees F. Rinse chicken under cold water and place in a broiler pan. Pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle the skin with seasoned salt. Bake for 40–45 minutes, or until juices run clear. Cover with cream of chicken soup mixed with a little water and let sit in the oven at 250 degrees for about 10 minutes before serving.

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