Thanksgiving Foodways

Question: When you think of Thanksgiving what foods do you think of?

Before I got married, it never occurred to me that I would someday be trying to meld the vastly different food traditions of two different families. Much less for such an important cooking day as Thanksgiving. As you grow up you get used to the foods that your family serves, and perhaps those of some close friends that have you over for dinner. You have a very specific idea as to what one serves for particular events. Encountering marked differences tends to shock your psychic map. Or at least, it does if you’re me.

My family (like most families I imagine) has some particular ideas about food in general and what one eats for Thanksgiving in the specific. I like eggs. My Mum used to make me fried egg sandwiches and my Nana is to blame for my love of poached egg on toast. Major comfort food, you know? (Koshvader hates eggs…and toast.) Grandpa Dan used to make the most divine of meatballs for the majority of family gatherings. (I really wish that I had the recipe. Mum? Any ideas? Koshvader would sure like them.) Squash of all sorts is very popular in my family. We have is as part of casserole, as pancakes, in soup, etc. Koshvader hates squash. You get the idea.

Thanksgiving used to involve everyone coming together with all sorts of tasty-yums. We had the adult table and the overflow/kids’ table, as many families do, I’m told. (Ever get the feeling that someone has to die for you to rotate up to the adult table? Would the eldest then move up, or would it be the luck of the draw?) Once, when I was quite young we put a bunch of tables together and all ate together in contiguous rooms. My father was in charge of setting the table with all of its finery. They have china from my great-great grandmother and all the folks who came after to choose from. The family rule, handed down from my great-grandmother Hazel, is that you may not have the original containers on the table, so Dad produces all sorts of specialized bowls for the occasion from the china cabinet.

On the table you will find:
Candied Yams
Aunt Fanny’s Squash
Mashed Potatoes
Cranberry sauce (still in the shape of a can, and available in slices.)
Watermelon Pickle Rind
Dinner rolls of some variety that we generally forget about until after we have sat down.
Some random veggie.
Pie – Pumpkin, Pecan, Pumpkin-Pecan, Apple…(May I please have a small piece of each?)
Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider.

Sounds good, right?

Today we had:
A beef roast (Koshvader’s family is more beef than turkey. Good thing he can cook..)
Garlic mashed potatoes (I made it, therefore garlic is involved.)
Crescent rolls (I’ve never made them before. It was in the manner of a compromise as we couldn’t find rolls we could agree on.)
Gravy (Did I mention he can cook?)
Creamy corn (Microwaved at the last minute as we sort of forgot about it.)
Fruit salad (The jello fruit salad that my MIL makes all of the time wasn’t ready in time. Still…it looks okay now. Not too bad for a first attempt.)
Watermelon Pickle Rind (I insisted. He didn’t have to eat any.)
One piece of Apple pie and one piece of Chocolate cream pie from Heidi’s Pies. (We could not agree on pie, so my MIL suggested that we just get a piece of pie each to go from our fave local greasy spoon. Brilliant woman. Why didn’t I think of that?)
Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider (Something we both can agree on.)

Not too bad for a compromise dinner, eh? Definitely something to be thankful for. Please bear in mind that Kodshvader and I have a very small overlap in our food Venn Diagram. He doesn’t eat many things that I like, and I’m allergic to a few of his favorites. I refuse to make two meals, as Koshvader’s Mum used to, though.

So tell me. What foods do you hold as sacrosanct in your [tag]Thanksgiving[/tag] meal?

3 Responses to “Thanksgiving Foodways”

  1. Debbie Says:

    I would die without turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and Martinellis. It would be the end of the world as I know it. A really good home baked bread is almost impossible to live without, but it can be done.

  2. angel Says:

    Sounds like we can agree on proper Thanksgiving food. I want some turkey now…

  3. The Sister Says:

    After 14 years with my hubby….I can not imagine thanksgiving without Rute-ah-beggas (sp?). This delightful root veggie really should be used more often. His family tells me it is an East Coast thing. But, you cube them, boil them and when soft, mash them with butter/salt/pepper. Oh, how I love them. I just ate the last of them. Sigh…
    But, there is plenty of left over vegetarian stuffing and gravy! :)
    Mom gave me some Aunt Fanny squash. I traded for the squash with some green bean casserole.
    I hope we will be hosting Thanksgiving next year!


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