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Sharing Traditions

Locals Share Memorable Thanksgiving Dishes

Kate Savitch

Owner of an interior design firm, Kate and husband Keith Tougas have three boys ages 5-11.  

Thanksgiving is a big deal in the Savitch Tougas Family.  For years we lived far from family but we’d always host dinner for anyone who could join. We still love to host and luckily are now just blocks away from some family members. Keith starts his turkey brine days in advance of Thanksgiving while I work on side dishes and ensuring everyone’s wine glass is full.  My favorite side is a modern twist on traditional stuffing.  The recipe calls for day-old country bread and I like to visit Kirkland Bakery or Hoffman’s to get the perfect loaf.  The stuffing also makes for a great spread for a day-after turkey sandwich.      

We absolutely love a house full of family and friends. Everyone finally feels comfortable gathering this year after the pandemic and we look forward to watching football, seeing the kids play with their cousins, eating great food and catching up after the whirlwind of the last two years. 

Lindsay Little

Married to Tom with two kids, Akemi (11) and Elliott (8) – Lindsay is the Co-President of the PTSA at her children’s school. They enjoy skiing, boating, and hiking together as a family. Friends say one of her biggest skills is bringing people together.

While not a traditional Thanksgiving dish, Tom's mom's cheesecake is standard at family gatherings including Thanksgiving. Her mother clipped a recipe called "Hollywood Cheesecake" from the Chicago Tribune in the 60's and Tom’s family has been making it for 60+ years. Tom has fond memories of watching his grandmother and Great Aunt Tilly baking and squabbling in the kitchen about the correct way beat the cream cheese while they made this. Tom's mom has been trying to pass the torch to him and his attempts are improving.

Justin O’Brien

Justin is a 12-year Kirkland resident and married father of four. He works in international sales and marketing in the aerospace industry and enjoys the year-round outdoor activities the Pacific Northwest offers.

I found a roasted brussels sprouts recipe on the Cooking Channel website while searching for a dish to bring to our annual Friendsgiving dinner. I'm a bit of a procrastinator, so all the traditional or easy dishes were already spoken for before I got around to deciding what to bring.  I really like the combination of bacon, mustard, sherry and shallots used in the recipe.  The hardest part is getting the temperature and time right for the roasting of the sprouts.  Another great benefit is the bacon can be made on the side for vegetarians like my wife. After it’s popularity at Friendsgiving, I added it to the Thanksgiving menu as well.

We usually host Thanksgiving for both our families and determine the menu.  I enjoy holiday meals centered around Northwest cuisine such as salmon or crab cakes, paired with a great local wine (or two) of course. 

Kate Lipe

Kate is a retired nurse, mom of three, and Nana of six.

I host Thanksgiving every year and my birthday always falls on or around the holiday. I often spend my birthday preparing, gathering or cooking for the big day. Planning begins weeks ahead when I pull my Thanksgiving folder out; a collection of recipes and notes from previous years to remind me of what to do and what NOT to do next time. Then the fun begins!

The dish we serve every year is a fresh cranberry relish which is delicious, refreshing, and easy to make. It’s important to my sister and I because it was our grandma’s recipe and resides in her beautiful red glass serving bowl, which we remember from our childhood.

Seeing the serving pieces which have been used for generations takes me right back to my childhood at my grandma’s house – and even my great grandma’s – gathering at a long table draped in fancy tablecloths and turkey figurines. I remember running through her house with my cousins and how important those gatherings were in my life.

Now I’m the grandma! I strive to create lifelong memories and traditions for my grandchildren like those created for me.