The table looked more like it belonged at “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” than at a food editor’s house.

The ragtag bunch of Thanksgiving accompaniments covered all the usual suspects – the traditional green bean casserole smothered in fried onions, the weird cranberry mold that could have been ripped from the pages of a 1955 edition of Good Housekeeping, and a rich and velvety pecan pie. The cornbread dressing contained turkey broth and the gravy, so it didn’t exactly match the protein – a ham from a pig named Tweedle Dee, raised by a 4-H-er.

But that’s what a “Signature Dish” Thanksgiving should look like. Every recipe has a history, and every dish is special to someone.

This month, instead of focusing on a single individual’s signature dish, we asked our colleagues to share the holiday dishes that are special to them and their families. Here are their stories and recipes.

— MEREDITH GOAD