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What are your dining twists on Thanksgiving?

kim-tur

So do you and your family celebrate Thanksgiving a little differently?

When I was a kid, my mom would lay out Korean steamed rice and pickled banchan (seasoned side dishes, generally vegetables) out with the Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing. Eventually my family and I moved on to a standing rib roast rather than a bird, but we still busted out the kimchi. After a while, it really didn’t seem like Thanksgiving without banchan.

Apparently my family and I aren’t the only Koreans who celebrated Thanksgiving this way. We would be invited to other Korean households on Thanksgiving from time to time, and their food spread was as bi-cultural as ours.

But it doesn’t stop there. My friend Jennifer Zyman aka The Blissful Glutton recently told me that in a nod to her Mexican heritage, tortillas and mole sauce have made appearances at her family’s table. And two Thanksgivings ago, I went to an Indian-American gathering where a deep-fried Popeye’s turkey shared the table with bhindi (okra) masala and basmati rice.

So what are some of your family’s Thanksgiving dining traditions that encompass your heritage? Or have you attended one of these multi-cultural feasts and had a good experience? Bad experience?

– by Gene Lee, Food and More blog

– Gene Lee writes about International Cuisine for the AJC Dining Team. He also publishes his own blog, Eat, Drink, Man… A Food Journal.

22 comments Add your comment

Hungry Gringo

November 23rd, 2010
1:07 pm

Turkey + Cognac with our Russian friends.

Lucy

November 23rd, 2010
1:29 pm

Turkey stuffed with Chinese rice (sticky rice, chicken and chestnuts) plus side dishes of fried rice, congee, Spanish stews, and Asian noodles. An ode to my Chinese-Spanish heritage.

jimmy

November 23rd, 2010
2:02 pm

Good story Gene.

My father ships kielbasa down from Eastern Pennsylvania, and we always have that as our Thanksgiving (and Christmas) appetizer.

Post meal, in addition to the copious amounts of wine we have with dinner, we drink a few stingers (brandy and creme de menthe), the favorite drink of my great uncle Frank, who died of cirrhosis.

rebelliousrose

November 23rd, 2010
2:06 pm

Whole roasted fish in the fireplace (usually mackerel or snapper) or a three pound lobster, both with fascinated cat in attendance over the cooking procedures.

rebelliousrose

November 23rd, 2010
2:07 pm

Also, being Italian, a whole bottle of Cold Duck consumed by each adult resulting in a rousing chorus of snores.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by GL, John Kessler. John Kessler said: What are your dining twists on Thanksgiving? http://bit.ly/hyUFn9 [...]

SP

November 23rd, 2010
2:34 pm

In honor of my Norwegian heritage, potato sausage (casing stuffed with a potato/beef/venison mixture) makes an appearance at every holiday.

ATL06

November 23rd, 2010
2:56 pm

Great Topic. My family is from Jamaica my friends are always surprised by my families Thanksgiving Dinner. We do have a turkey but we also have curry chicken, brown stewed chicken, escoveitched snapper, rice and peas stir fried veggies and a bunch of other stuff. They only started celebrating Thanksgiving when they came to the United States.

Kimbo

November 23rd, 2010
3:01 pm

Mom always busted out the kimchee during Thanksgiving for us, too. Also, I went to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving dinner once, who is Taiwanese, and her mother did a red roasted turkey. Kinda missed the crunchy skin, but the turkey as a whole was delicious.

Kirk

November 23rd, 2010
3:25 pm

Allbulu polow (Rice with sour cherries) will celebrate the Persian side of the family on our table. Makes my mouth water lol.

FoodFan

November 23rd, 2010
3:39 pm

We used to always do a very southern thanksgiving (turkey gumbo as our soup, all the southern sides & deep fried turkeys) but my sister got tired of the same ol, same ol. So this year we are doing a Mexican thanksgiving. Pozole soup for the first course, turkey mole, chorizo & cornbread stuffing, chipotle scalloped potatoes – everyone has been really excited finding new recipes to try and bring this year and it should be great. In fact, there’s talk of an Italian-theme for next year already as well.

John Kessler

November 23rd, 2010
3:57 pm

We always have T Day with friends originally from the West Coast who make a chile relleno casserole. Now I couldn’t imagine turkey without it.

nolagirl

November 23rd, 2010
4:32 pm

Wouldn’t be T-day without dirty rice and spinach madeline at one grandparent’s table, homemade macaroni and cheese and shrimp stuffing on the other side of the family. Always turkey gumbo the day after. Can you tell we’re from New Orleans?

Gene Lee

November 23rd, 2010
4:50 pm

Now this is multi-cultural! Thanks for all of your responses, I’m realizing that I’m envious of all the interesting food and beverage pairings that you all are throwing out there!

Reds

November 23rd, 2010
4:53 pm

We do it traditional. Mimosa’s in the AM, turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce (3 kinds… jellied, whole berry, and orange cranberry relish), pole beans, mashed potatoes, turnips (the bulb, not the green), vidalia onion casserole, rolls, giblet gravy. Pumpkin and pecan pie for dessert.

Muffin

November 23rd, 2010
11:21 pm

i want my family to start the tradition of Mimosas in the a.m. Would make the day go so much better….

salon naples

November 24th, 2010
5:38 am

Also, being Italian, a whole bottle of Cold Duck consumed by each adult resulting in a rousing chorus of snores.

always guessing.....

November 24th, 2010
9:01 am

we do about as traditional a southern thanksgiving as you can do….turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, canned cranberry, grean beans, biscuits, etc. HOWEVER, it seems that in recent years my older brother ends up bringing some oddball dish (usually along with the girlfriend from the same culture). we have had quinoa, tamales, beans and rice, some dish from cameroon that i would rather forget, irish soda bread, and a quiche like dish from paraguay.
makes for a good time, lively conversation, and (usually) a yummy meal. happy thanksgiving!

Chris

November 24th, 2010
11:20 am

An Edible Arrangement as a center piece. :)

Barbara

November 24th, 2010
12:13 pm

Several Thanksgivings we have joined friends that are steeped in their Lebonese-French heritage. What a treat! Turkey, ham, lamb, green bean casserole,n sweet potatoe casserole, tabloui, squash casserole, kibbe, stuffed grape leaves and it goes on and on. We are always thrilled to be included in this family event that celebrates through many cultures but all the joy of their many traditional blessings.

Betsy

November 24th, 2010
1:29 pm

We’re as southern as you can get. And our cornbread dressing always has jello “salad” next to it, as well as stuffed (with onion cream cheese) celery. Wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without them.

Super Frankie

November 24th, 2010
10:59 pm

Our good mate Bruce Buck invited us for this Thanksgiving meal. I brought blood pudding, Roman brought some borscht, Petr brought a case of Budvar, Florent brought some foie gras, Yossi brought latkas and of course Didier once again brought some odd tasting, gamey meat. We had mad time!