What's cooking? MLB shares Turkey Day recipes
Dressing or stuffing? Cranberry sauce or slices? Turkey in the oven or fryer? Thanksgiving traditions vary, but the meaning is the same. MLB.com asked big leaguers, coaches, broadcasters and execs what they like to see on the menu at Thanksgiving and for memories of their favorite dishes, so enjoy this sampler as you settle in for the holidays:
Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin
"My mom's broccoli and cheese casserole. She always prepared it overnight and I remember I'd be in the kitchen when she was making it and I always wanted her to make it for me right then. She'd always just put a little single-serving dish on the side and cook it for me while she was making the other stuff, because she knew I wanted it that bad. After it was done cooking, I'd eat it while she was preparing the other stuff for everybody else. We have a pretty big family and she prepared it for everybody. That was always her dish. For me, it was that gratification of knowing I was going to get to eat it before everybody else, but it was also about the bonding me and my mom had while she made that." Recipe
Astros manager A.J. Hinch
"A good homemade pumpkin pie, for some reason, only tastes great to me around this time of year, so I would say that's sort of your more traditional dessert. I guess I would call it a Jell-O-pistachio salad that my mom made growing up and my wife has continued to keep in the tradition. It's got a little bit of sweetness to it, it's got marshmallows in it and a little bit of Jell-O flavor, pistachio flavor. It's one of those weird dishes I only eat in November this time of year because it's always been connected to Thanksgiving." Recipe
Rangers reliever Shawn Tolleson
"My favorite is my mom's dressing. Some dressings are really, really moist. Hers is kind of dry -- it's crumbling and dry and then you pour the gravy all over it. She puts all these different kind of vegetables in it. It's really, really delicious." Recipe
Rays outfielder Brandon Guyer
Guyer is fanatical about what he eats, so it's not surprising to discover that he and his wife host their families during Thanksgiving at their home in Maryland. Even less of a surprise is the fact Guyer strives to serve an organic offering, and mashed sweet potatoes will be at the top of his list.
"You mash the sweet potatoes, mix in almond milk and maple syrup," Guyer said. "You serve with grass-fed butter and you're good to go." Recipe
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny
"My boys and I, we head to West Virginia and my dad and his sisters put together a spread of country cooking that is as good as you'll ever come across. It's your traditional turkey and stuffing and sweet potatoes and all the homemade breads and dessert. It's kind of a gorging and is borderline gluttony. But it's something that my boys and I look forward to, along with spending time with family. The meal is off the charts." Recipe
Mets first baseman Lucas Duda
"My favorite Thanksgiving dish has to be my mom's green bean casserole. I love it. She always makes it. It's tradition. It's like a green bean casserole with some fried onions on top. Ever since I can remember, I've always liked it. Obviously, dessert, too, but the green bean casserole is outstanding." Recipe
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner
"Dad's turkey. I don't know what or how he seasons it, but if I could only pick one thing, that would be my can't-pass dish." Recipe
Reds broadcaster Jim Kelch
Kelch is a big fan of a recipe that comes from the family of his wife, Diane. It's for cranberry Jell-O salad. It only requires one small package of cherry Jell-O, a cup of hot water, one small (undrained) can of crushed pineapple, one small can of jellied cranberry sauce and one cup of chopped walnuts. It's an annual fixture on the Kelch's Thanksgiving table.
"It's my grandmother's recipe that we've made every year that I can remember," Diane Kelch said. "And it's just so easy -- and darn good!" Recipe
Marlins closer Steve Cishek
"Ham and turkey. We've always had both on Thanksgiving. And there has got to be stuffing and cranberry sauce. Those are the main components for me. Growing up we always had ham and turkey every time. My grandmother used to do Thanksgiving dinners for us, and then my dad took it over. Even when I go to Boston Market, I'll get something like that. Turkey. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, for sure."
Cubs pitcher Justin Grimm
Like Duda, Grimm heads straight for his grandmother's green bean casserole at Thanksgiving. He called it "the bomb," and said of the recipe: "I couldn't tell you exactly what's in it. All I know is I eat a bunch of it."
Angels reliever Joe Smith
One of Smith's favorite parts of Thanksgiving is the sweet potato casserole. It's easily his favorite dish, and he always looks forward to it this time of year because somebody in his family makes it better than anybody. Problem is, he has no idea who.
"We get together at my uncle's house and it's like 72 people packed into a 2,000-square-foot house," Smith said. "It's very tight and very close, and then we just have a huge buffet and everybody brings stuff. And I have no idea who brings this every year; I can't figure out who brings what. There's just too much going on. But every year I eat it, and every year it's unbelievable. I try other people's and it just doesn't do it. They just don't make it right. That should be my mission this year -- to find out who makes that." Recipe
Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli
Napoli will have a strange Thanksgiving this year, because he remains on an all-liquid diet as he recovers from his recent surgery for sleep apnea. Nonetheless, Mike spoke about his favorite Thanksgiving dishes:
"It's going to be an unfortunate Thanksgiving for me. I just had mouth surgery so I'm not going to be able to eat anything. I'm on a liquid diet for another three weeks. I'm a big yams guy. I like good stuffing, too. In our family, we would eat stuffed artichokes. That was one of my favorites, but the yams were the best." Recipe
Brewers broadcaster Joe Block
Block's broadcasting career has taken him from Montana to Florida to Louisiana to Los Angeles to Wisconsin, and professional obligations have often interfered with good old fashioned family Thanksgivings. But he had one strong memory from family gatherings while growing up in Michigan.
"The thing that stands out to me is green beans with spaetzle," Block said. "Because it was good, No. 1, but also because it was somewhat unusual and something we would never eat at any other time of the year. We had a lot of different nationalities in our family, but my dad always took to the German part, so we tried a number of different dishes. This was one of them we could all agree upon." Recipe
Padres broadcaster Mark Grant
"My favorite dish is one that my mom has been making since I was a kid and one that we still enjoy. It's called a '24-hour salad.' Now why it's called that, I have no idea, but it's a dish that you can enjoy any hour of the day. Here's what it consists of: four cups cooked rice, two cans drained pineapple, two cups mini marshmallows, chopped pecans, two containers Cool-Whip, two tablespoons powdered sugar, two tablespoons vanilla. Make sure the rice is cooled before adding other ingredients. Mix it all together and refrigerate 24 hours before enjoying. Maybe that's why it's called '24-hour salad.'" Recipe
Nationals outfielder Steven Souza Jr.
Thanksgiving for Souza means spending time with his family, including his parents, in Everett, Wash. About 20 members of the family show up, and Souza looks forward to eating deep fried turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes and gravy and shrimp salad. He said his mother, two aunts and grandmother are tremendous cooks.
"I can't wait for their home cooking," Souza said. "They all have their special dishes. It's so fun to just sit there, look at all the food and devour it."