Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin, 1971.
Maggie and her grandmother like to invite friends to spend Thanksgiving with them. Grandmother always tells Maggie to invite someone who doesn’t have anyone else to spend the holiday with. This year, Grandmother has invited Mr. Horace, a pleasant man with an elegant manner staying at the local hotel. Maggie has invited Mr. Whiskers, a friendly but somewhat scruffy sailor who has been on his own for years.
Grandmother has never really approved of Maggie’s friendship with Mr. Whiskers (whose real name is Uriah Peabody, but is called Mr. Whiskers because of his long, busy beard). Mr. Whiskers’s unkempt appearance and lack of refinement have always bothered her. She also suspects Mr. Whiskers of wanting to steal the secret recipe for her famous cranberry bread because he often shows up when she’s making it. Some people have offered her a great deal of money for her recipe, but she insists that it’s a family secret that she’s leaving to Maggie. Still, Mr. Whiskers has been a good friend to Maggie, so she allows him to come to Thanksgiving dinner.
As it happens, someone is out to steal Grandmother’s recipe, but not the person that she suspects. It’s a nice holiday story about how appearances can be deceptive and real friendship is shown through honest behavior.
This book is part of a series, and like all the other books in the series, there is a recipe in the back. The recipe in this book is for Grandmother’s Famous Cranberry Bread.