Meet the Winner of Your Family's Best Thanksgiving Recipe

November 11, 2015

A big congratulations to Donna, whose Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding was voted Your Family's Best Thanksgiving Recipe. Here's a little more about her:

Photo by Linda Xiao

Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.

My love of cooking comes from the influence of all the good cooks in my family. My mother, grandmothers, and many aunts (and a few uncles) kept our large and boisterous extended family very well fed. Every family gathering, from the big holiday dinners to summer picnics and cook-outs, included plenty of well-prepared and delicious food. I grew up watching my mother prepare pickles and preserves, bake bread and sweet rolls, and turn out pies galore. My grandmother gave all of her grandchildren handmade, chocolate-dipped candy for Easter. Our entire family has a very rich culinary history; it's one I am trying to pass along to my children through my blog "A Red Binder."

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What's your least favorite kitchen task?

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Top Comment:
“Warmest Congratulations!! Your mushroom bread pudding is certainly a winner winner!!”
— inpatskitchen

My least favorite kitchen task is dishwashing! I like to use lots of utensils and pots and pans when I cook and, I'll admit it, it tends to get a bit untidy.

The cake Donna made for her son's birthday, Julia Child's Reine de Saba. Photo by Donna

Your favorite kitchen tool?

My favorite kitchen tool is a sharp knife. I love prep work and it goes much more quickly with good sharp knives. My knife kit from culinary school is one of my prized possessions.

What is your idea of comfort food?

My idea of comfort food tends to be cold-weather favorites. I guess that is a result of growing up in the prairie city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where winter tends to be the longest season. I love slow-cooked, braised meats, hearty soups, and the occasional indulgent dessert, like chocolate pudding.

What is your greatest kitchen disaster?

My greatest kitchen disaster was a "make your own pizza" party that I hosted a number of years ago. I had prepared all the small pizza crusts, set out an array of toppings on my kitchen island, and then called the guests to get started. The major problem was that I only had one oven! It was all fun until the line-up of hungry people, waiting for their pizza to bake, started to get very long! I was not the best hostess that time around.

52 Days of Thanksgiving
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52 Days of Thanksgiving

Top-notch recipes, expert tips, and all the tools to pull off the year’s most memorable feast.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • ChefJune
  • inpatskitchen
  • Bevi
  • Donna
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


ChefJune November 11, 2015
Huge congrats! I won't make your dish for Thanksgiving, but am thinking it would be a grand brunch dish for the day after Christmas.
Donna November 11, 2015
Thank you ChefJune :)
inpatskitchen November 11, 2015
Warmest Congratulations!! Your mushroom bread pudding is certainly a winner winner!!
Donna November 11, 2015
Thank you so much inpatskitchen.
Bevi November 11, 2015
Congrats to you!
Donna November 11, 2015
Thank you so much Bevi :)