During my childhood, I spent most Thanksgivings in Mississippi and enjoyed the same casserole dishes that my relatives did a century ago. One of my favorite Thanksgiving casseroles is my great-grandmother Mama Dale's squash casserole. In the traditional recipe, the squash, covered in buttery Ritz crackers, cheddar cheese, and eggs, bakes into a custardy casserole that is the best "vegetable" side dish that a kid can ask for.
I still anxiously await digging into the pillowy, yellow fluff during the holidays, but this year I wondered how the casserole would fare with the addition of California ingredients. Living in San Francisco, I've become accustomed to the amazing variety of local cheeses, sourdough bread, Meyer lemons, and flourishing parsley.