Turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, cornbread and cranberry sauce. These are the popular dishes commonly associated with most American’s Thanksgiving celebrations. The Thanksgiving celebration is all about good food, family gathering and hearty laughter among family and friends so everybody treasures this once a year celebration.
In the U.S., the Thanksgiving celebration is on the fourth Thursday of November. Because this is a meaningful celebration, most of us want to spend the day with our loved ones. No matter how far away we are from our family, we have this firm longing to travel long distances just to be with our families.
Traditional Thanksgiving Dishes
Traditional dishes are a large part of the Thanksgiving celebrations and most families include the entire family members in the food preparation. While these traditional foods have been prepared in every Thanksgiving dinner table every year, one question came to mind, why do we eat what we eat at Thanksgiving?
Turkey is the centerpiece and the most common main dish served at every Thanksgiving table in every household. The Pilgrims may not have had a turkey on its menu on the first Thanksgiving, so why has turkey become a tradition? Historians have different views on this and cannot say exactly which type of fowl was served up on that day. One thing is for sure, turkey is large and affordable enough to feed a crowd without a huge economic sacrifice.
Pumpkin is not only famous during Halloween but also during the Thanksgiving celebration. Pumpkin pie is the most popular dessert for the holiday season. The pumpkin pie was not present during the first few years of Thanksgiving. The first permanent European settlement in southern New England might have made pumpkin pies by making stewed pumpkins or by filling a hollowed out shell with milk, honey and spices and then baking it in hot ashes.
Nobody knows for sure why cranberry sauce became associated with Thanksgiving but the Native Americans were quite familiar with the cranberry though sugar was considered a rare luxury at that time. Today, cranberries are served most of the time during this day as a form of a jellied sauce or whole berries.
Whatever we prepare for the Thanksgiving celebration, simply enjoy the delicious taste of the traditional Thanksgiving foods and its colorful history. And don’t forget to give thanks to God wholeheartedly just the way pilgrims did on the first Thanksgiving.