Thanksgiving Recipes from Michie Tavern

Plate of Biscuits

Even in a pandemic year, we can be certain of Christmas in Charlottesville, but before then, let’s not lose our taste for the deliciousness of Thanksgiving! 


It’s a day when the people of Charlottesville gather together, share stories and some good-natured ribbing, and eat some turkey. While this year’s annual UVA vs Virginia Tech football game has been pushed back until December 12th, you can count on plenty of NFL action on Turkey Day. For those of us that don’t follow football, the ensuing weekend activity is an excellent excuse to eat Thanksgiving leftovers, either at the tailgate or while our football-fan families are out of the house. 


To be sure you will have the best leftovers possible, we’re sharing some traditional Virginia recipes from our friends over at Michie Tavern. Their longtime favorite cookbook, “A Taste of the 18th Century, keeps things authentic, rescuing some recipes that date back to Jefferson’s time and were eaten long before people had the luxury of spending the whole day at a football game. 


To Drink: Hot Buttered Rum 

  • 2 Tablespoons confectioners sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups boiling water
  • 2 ¾ cups rum 
  • 7 teaspoons butter, melted
  • Nutmeg, to taste
  • 6 cinnamon sticks (garnish) 

Warm 6 glasses in hot water. Dissolve sugar in boiling water. Stir in rum and butter. Pour into the heated tumblers. Garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon stick.



Because it’s not a feast without biscuits: Murphy’s Biscuits (on the menu at Michie Tavern)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼  teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons shortening 
  • ⅔ cup whole milk 

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in shortening and then stir in milk quickly with a fork to make dough light and fluffy but not sticky. Knead until dough is smooth, approximately 10 times. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured board. Cut into biscuits ½ inch thick. Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 450 for 8 to 10 minutes. 

Yields 8-10 biscuits. 


For dessert, and because we can’t believe how simple and good this recipe is: Scottish Shortbread

  • 1 cup butter, softened 
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup fine granulated sugar 

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour. Beat about 5 minutes until smooth. Spread evenly in an ungreased 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake at 300 for 30 to 40 minutes until lightly browned. After removing from oven, prick all over with a fork and cut into bars. Cool completely. 

Yield: 4 dozen.


If you’re cooking tomorrow (or have already started) have fun, and don’t stress; if you’re not cooking, do some dishes. Things in the kitchen might not be as grueling as they were in 1700 (thanks, microwaves) but Thanksgiving requires a group effort. Enjoy! 


If you’re interested in distinctive holiday gift ideas from Michie Tavern, click here to view their online store or make a visit up to the mountain.


For Charlottesville Guide’s complete list of Charlottesville Experiences, click HERE.