Thanksgiving; a time to give thanks for everything we have. It’s a time that many sit around the house with their families, watch football and eat as much food as they can. That being said, however, it seems each family has their own take on Thanksgiving. But, where and when did this all start?
As many of us remember from our time in pre-school and kindergarten, the holiday is centered around a story of sharing between the pilgrims and the native Americans. According to The Labor of Love, the first Thanksgiving was shared between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians in 1621. This celebration was more of a harvest festival. Thanksgiving, as we know it, didn’t occur until 1863 when Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that Thanksgiving would be the last Thursday in November. Then in 1939, Franklin Roosevelt changed Thanksgiving Day to the fourth Thursday of November.
Although people celebrate Thanksgiving on the same day, families have different Thanksgiving traditions. For instance, my siblings and I will first go to my mommom’s house (my dad’s mom) in the afternoon and then we head to my mom’s parent’s house in the evening for a second meal. Let’s just say I am very plump by the time Thanksgiving ends.
On the other hand, Joseph Brenner, a junior at BU, says his family goes to his aunt and uncle’s house and he says, “We play Jenga, eat, watch something with a food coma, laugh, enjoy time together and be on our way.”
No matter what your family traditions are, it seems food it the usual focal point of the day. So, if you’re looking for ways to spice up your family’s Thanksgiving meal, here are some recipes you may want to try from AllRecipes’ website:
* 1 onion, coarsely chopped
* 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
* Celery Hearts
* 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
* 1 (12 pound) whole turkey, neck and giblets reserved
* 2 tablespoons kosher salt
* 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
* 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
* 1/2 bunch chopped fresh sage
* Prep: 30 minutes
* Cook: 3 hours
* Ready In: 3 hours and 45 minutes
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2. Place onion, celery and carrots in a large, shallow roasting pan.
3. Place turkey, breast side up, on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan. Pat the outside and inside of the turkey dry with paper towels.
4. Combine salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Season the inside of the turkey with about 1/3 of the salt mixture. Fold wing tips under the bird.
5. Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat until the edges begin to turn golden, which should be about two minutes. Cook and stir rosemary and sage for 1 minute.
6. Place rosemary and sage inside the cavity of the turkey; reserve melted butter. Tie the legs together with twine.
7. Brush outside of the turkey completely with the melted butter. Season with remaining 2/3 of the salt mixture.
8. Bake turkey, uncovered, in the preheated oven until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 3 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). Remove the turkey from the oven and allow to rest in a warm area 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
2. Old Fashioned Stuffing
* 30 slices white bread, lightly toasted
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1 large onion, finely chopped
* 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
* 2 eggs, lightly beaten
* 2 cups chicken broth
* Swanson Broth Chicken, Seasoned Chicken
* 2 teaspoons rubbed sage
* 1 teaspoon garlic powder
* salt and pepper to taste
* Prep: 15 minutes
* Cook: 1 hour
* Ready In: 1 day 1 hour and 15 minutes
1. Allow the toasted bread to sit approximately 24 hours, until hard.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
3. Crush the bread into crumbs with a rolling pin. Place the crumbs in a large bowl.
4. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and celery and slowly cook until soft. Remove from heat and drain.
5. Mix the eggs and chicken broth into the bread crumbs. The mixture should be moist, but not mushy. Use water, if necessary, to attain desired consistency. Mix in the onion, celery, rubbed sage, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
6. Press the mixture into the baking dish. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until the top is brown and crisp.
3. Cindy’s Pumpkin Pie
* 1 1/2 pints vanilla ice cream, softened
* 3 eggs
* 1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree
* 3/4 cup white sugar
* Market Pantry Granulated Sugar – 4lbs
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 2 (9 inch) unbaked pie shells
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.) Place ice cream near the warm oven to soften.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs. Stir in the pumpkin puree, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Mix in soft ice cream until smooth. Pour filling into two 9 inch pie shells.
3. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and bake an additional 30 to 40 minutes, or until filling is set.
Some families cook only for their nuclear family, and some may have relatives come to their house. There is a wide variety of other traditions as well. What does your family do for Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comments below and have a happy Thanksgiving!