Pretty much anyone who attended elementary school in the United States learned, more or less, the Pilgrim story of Thanksgiving. Anyone who went to elementary school in Virginia learned about the Jamestown Thanksgiving which predated the one in New England. And practically everyone who currently lives in the United States can name the basic customary Thanksgiving foods.
Say them all together now: stuffing/dressing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, turkey!
And then there are the other dishes to accompany the meal that vary regionally or according to family tradition, like green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, candied yams/sweet potatoes and the like.
Many of these recipes feature ingredients indigenous to North America that were relatively new flavors to the former Europeans, although as familiar to the Native Americans as burgers and fries are to most folks today.
As I wander though the aisles of the local supermarket and check out the Thanksgiving specials, I marvel at the wide variety of flavors and foods available and associated with the holiday that neither the First American or First Immigrants could have imagined.
It’s kind of overwhelming actually. Since it looks like I don’t have to worry about the palates of anyone but myself this year, I think I’m going to make a modern traditional dinner -- using only foods that originated on this continent, but experimenting with updated ways to fix them.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
What are you fixing for Thanksgiving? Are you preparing the traditional all-American feast or are you doing something different? I’d love to hear how you make the meal unique.
[Skip, we miss you.]