South Waltoners count blessings on Thanksgiving

Published: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 04:53 PM.

Santa Rosa Beach's Beth Coppedge's Thanksgiving tradition is cooking dinner for her entire family (now 18 members) who join Bob and herself from Atlanta. She makes her mom's sausage dressing using the family recipe from the 1800s.

Freeport's Karen Kolenberg's family tradition is to make her great-grandmother's turkey dressing and Waldorf salad together. "It has become a right of passage for the small children," she said. "They start out only being able to tear the bread and graduate to removing the seeds from the grapes, to cutting the grapes in half, to being able to turn the crank on Great Gran's meat grinder. The cooking of the food involves everyone, some good snacks and delicious wine or grape juice as age would dictate."

At Jerry and Doreen Baca's Sandestin house, the tradition is to reflect on everything they have to be thankful for: love, health, family and great friends. "However, we wish we could include saving all the homeless animals in the world, including the turkeys!" said Doreen.

Seagrove's Jane and Greg Bahr have several Thanksgiving Day traditions. Cafe Thirty-A always cooks their turkey, the Bahrs work at Cottages for Kids in Rosemary Beach, then they enjoy a late lunch. "It's always a great day with friends," said Jane.

Thanksgiving is when the Chick and Cathy Huettel clan comes together in Santa Rosa Beach from Memphis and Huntsville. They rotate locations every year and exchange Christmas presents, but not to be opened until Christmas.

Dawn Moliterno's Thanksgiving Day routine includes getting up and watching the Macy’s Day Parade while cooking Thanksgiving dinner at her Sandestin home. After dinner they scout all the shopping deals and rise and shine at 4 a.m. to go get 'em.

Santa Rosa Beach's John Bryant's tradition is attending the annual "Turkey Run" Classic Car event at Daytona International Speedway.

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