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Holiday Food Traditions… (with recipes)

By Mari Christie
December 6, 2022

Living alone with minimal family, one tends to create one’s own traditions, but in my case, a few food traditions have emerged along the way that remain every year. The first, a breakfast I make at every major “cooking” holiday, apple scrapple, started when I was very young a part of a blended family. Each year at Thanksgiving, we would make apple scrapple the night before to have something quick to eat for breakfast, that would fill us up until an early dinner. This is, to this day, one of my favorite breakfasts, and I tend to keep it in my freezer all year. Nevertheless, I also make it fresh for any holiday when I plan to cook all day long.  

The second tradition I began myself in my early 20s, looking for ways to “spice up” the traditional holiday dessert. I love a good pumpkin pie, but I wanted something with a bit more fall/winter flavor, and so, Maple Eggnog Pumpkin Pie was born. This one, I can’t say I keep all year round, but I do try to make it at least once in every holiday season. (This year, I made two pies for Friendsgiving dinner.)

I am not really in the habit of sharing these recipes, but for once, this year, I will share them with our PLW readers. Happy holidays and may all your holiday meals go exactly to plan.

Maple Eggnog Pumpkin Pie


  • 2 pie crusts
  • 1 can (29-oz) or 4 cups of fresh cooked and pureed pumpkin
  • 2 C. eggnog
  • 1 C maple syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • TB cinnamon (to taste)
  • TB fresh pureed ginger (to taste)
  • 2 tsp nutmeg (to taste)
  • ¼ tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Prepare pie crusts as desired.
  3. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, eggnog, maple syrup, eggs, spices, and salt.
  4. Measure half of mixture into each crust.
  5. Sprinkle tops of pies with a bit of extra nutmeg.
  6. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 – 60 minutes.
  7. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate until serving.
  8. If desired, top with (fresh) whipped cream.

Apple Scrapple


  • 1 lb. bulk breakfast sausage
  • ½ finely chopped onion
  • 2 TB butter divided
  • 1 finely chopped apple
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp sage
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 3 C. water divided
  • ¾ C cornmeal
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ C all-purpose flour
  • Maple syrup


  1. Cook sausage and onion thoroughly, breaking up the sausage into small pieces. (You can use a potato masher to break it up smaller.) Remove from skillet and set aside.
  2. Leave 2 tablespoons drippings in the pan. Add 2 tablespoons butter, apple, thyme, sage and pepper.
  3. Cook over low heat until apple is tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat; stir in sausage mixture. Set aside.
  5. In a large heavy saucepan, boil 2 cups of water.
  6. Combine cornmeal, salt, and remaining water; slowly pour into boiling water, stirring constantly.
  7. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  8. Stir in sausage mixture.
  9. Pour into a greased 8×4-in. loaf pan. Refrigerate, covered, for 8 hours or overnight.
  10. Slice 1/2 in. thick. Dredge in flour.
  11. Heat remaining butter over medium heat and cook slices until both sides are browned.
  12. Serve with syrup.

Hint: After step 10, you can freeze the slices on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet and store in a plastic freezer bag, frying as desired.

For more recipes, make sure you pick up the PLW Desserts, Appetizers, and Beverages cookbooks in the PLW Store, only until January 6!

Mari Christie
Written by Mari Christie

Mari Anne Christie writes second chances for scarred souls. Her book, Blind Tribute, is a multi-award winner in American historical fiction, and she writes historical romance as Mariana Gabrielle. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her two cats.

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