I featured several Thanksgiving side dishes in my Vintage Holiday November talks. A big one that shows up in many cookbooks is the Creamed Onions. From the Better Homes and Gardens: Holiday Cookbook, 1959
“For tradition’s sake, serve time-honored Creamed Onions.”
Apparently my Grandma Curtin made these every year.
18 - 20 medium onions (usually what I buy in two months)
1/3 cup salad oil
3 tablespoons enriched flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup shredded process American cheese (the traditional way?)
Peel onions and cook in a large amount boiling, salted water until tender; drain. Blend salad oil and flour; stir in milk and cook slowly until thick, stirring constantly.
Add the cheese and stir until melted. Add the onions and heat through. Place vegetable bowl and sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Makes 6 - 8 servings.
While it doesn't sound too terrible, I don't think it would really go with my family.
Other sides suggested in this cookbook are: Pickled Beets and Onion Rings, Crab apples, Corn Dotted with Pimiento, and Celery Oriental.
Now there I got excited - great a multicultural dish! Forget that this is a US holiday - what is Celery Oriental? Don't get too excited, readers.
Celery Oriental 'as served at Neiman-Marcus' (the height of haute cuisine in Vintage Cookbooks) merely is cut on the diagonal. That's right - the only thing that makes this Oriental is to cut it on the diagonal, or 'Oriental julienne'. So now your Thanksgiving can have international influences!