The Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Cook Book from 1959 insists that “it’s not Thanksgiving unless this specialty is on the table”—and that specialty is creamed onions with peanuts.

Why did the recipe creator add the “Southern accents” of American cheese and chopped peanuts? If it was an attempt to get people in the southern part of the United States to eat this dish, I think they failed.  I have yet to eat a family Thanksgiving dinner—or any holiday dinner—in North Carolina with creamed onions on the table.

Is my family the only one that missed out on this tradition? (I’m not particularly sad about it, either.)

creamed onions photo

Creamed onions with peanuts. I think I’ll pass. (Photo and recipe © Meredith Corporation, 1959.)

Creamed onions

  • 18 to 20 medium onions
  • 1/3 cup salad oil
  • 3 tablespoons enriched flour
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded process American cheese
  • Peanuts, chopped

Peel onions and cook in a large amount of 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 in vegetable bowl and sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Makes 6 to 8 servings.