Skip to content

Happy Thanksgiving

Exploring cultural food influences of this holiday
Written by , published November 24, 2014

thanksgiving-mealWith the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, I’m wrapping up loose ends at the office while occasionally daydreaming about tomorrow's feast. I’m particularly excited about making a sweet potato pie, and then there's the ever-popular Brussels sprouts.

Mary McLeod Bethune's Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

Read Lori Moffat's Cuisine Confidential

I bought one of those gorgeous branches of sprouts, still attached to the stalk like something out of a Dr. Seuss story, and I’m planning to roast them until they are sweet and delicious. Not a traditional Pilgrim dish, I’m sure. Nor did Brussels sprouts appear at the feast we Texans dub the real “First Thanksgiving,” a meal celebrated near present-day El Paso in 1598, when Spanish explorer Juan de Onate and his expedition gave thanks for surviving their journey across the Chihuahuan desert.

But as much as tomorrow’s meal is linked to traditional foods ––turkey, cranberries in some guise, stuffing, pecan & pumpkin pies –– I always enjoy learning which dishes Americans with foreign backgrounds bring to the table. A friend with Cuban relatives, for example, will have a Cuban turkey (pavo) at their table –– seasoned, she says, with garlic, cumin, oregano, and lime juice.

I’d love to learn which variations you’ll bring to your celebration of thanks.

And so this morning, as I think about this particular meal, and others, and the friends and loved ones with whom I share life’s vicissitudes, I’m feeling thankful.

Have a lovely holiday tomorrow.

Back to top