By Chadwick Boyd, MyRecipes Contributor


It’s definitely not the most typical Thanksgiving memory, yet for me, cooking Thanksgiving dinner means creamed mushrooms.

I grew up around mushroom country in southeastern Pennsylvania. To me and my family, mushrooms were an obvious thing to have on the table alongside stuffing and gravy. Every Thanksgiving, just before the turkey graced the table, my Nana would fire up Mama’s bright orange Sears electric skillet to cook down and cream up the mushrooms. She had such flare about it, and I marveled at how quickly she would whip up this lip-smacking dish.

The recipe is really simple…a boxful of Kennett Square mushrooms sautéed down in butter and thickened with a quick mix of evaporated milk and flour. The trick, though, is in the swift stir of the wooden spoon. "If you’re not quick enough," Nana explained, "the mushrooms will turn into wallpaper paste.” I duly noted this and readied myself for the year I would be allowed to take over creamed mushroom duty, which as a 10 year old was a seemingly very big responsibility and honor.

A couple years ago, after my Great Gram (Nana’s mother) passed, I decided to make creamed mushrooms. I’m not sure why I got away from this longtime family tradition, yet I had this craving to feel my Gram’s and my Nana's presence in my kitchen and at my family table. I didn’t have an electric skillet, which silly enough I wondered for a brief moment if not having one would jeopardize the taste of the mushrooms. My great-grandmother's cast iron pan worked just fine. And beautifully, while my hand was quickly stirring the wooden spoon to avert wallpaper paste, I started to hear conversations from past Thanksgivings between my Nana and Gram. It was such a delicious moment.

Since then, I have made my version of Nana’s creamed mushrooms - I like to sneak in dry sherry and fragrant fresh rosemary. And just like a few years ago, every time the mushrooms start cooking down and I pick up a wooden spoon, I connect with Nana and Gram just like when I first learned to cook creamed mushrooms when I was 10.Click here to see the full recipe.

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