This year for Thanksgiving, my family invited over two of my cousins and their parents, making this an eight person feast. My mom was in charge of the turkey and salad, but I was in charge of all other dishes from scratch.
The night before Thanksgiving Day, I prepped all of the food as much as I could. The involved a ton of chopping, boiling, mashing, mixing, and measuring ingredients. The next morning, I continued baking the food and cooking everything after my mom finished with the turkey. I’d say in totality, that took maybe six hours (the turkey was another 3?). Of course, none of this is ever mandatory. My family couldn’t care less if we didn’t eat a Thanksgiving dinner. We are very Asian and very non-traditional in general. But, I love doing it once a year because 1) I love food, and 2) I love making all of the food so that we can all get together and eat yummy homemade food together.
As you can see, we had mashed potatoes, turkey (12 lbs), caramelized butternut squash, salad (not pictured), stuffing (with apples, cranberries, celery, onions, and sausage), and yam casserole (with a crunchy pecan topping). I even attempted making gravy from scratch (using the turkey drippings) this year; it’s not hard at all! Couldn’t find fresh cranberries, so I just heated up some cranberry sauce from a can. We also had a store-bought pumpkin pie at the usual request of my brother (his favorite!), but surprisingly, this year my family loved the yam casserole and ate most of that as a dessert instead of the pie. I’ve made it in the past with it going untouched, but this year I altered the recipe to be a billion times less sweet and that made a huge difference. My cousins’ family brought over some tasty sparking juice.
I hope everyone really enjoyed all of the food.
As always, I continued eating leftovers the days afterwards and shared them with my boyfriend (he loves it since his family never makes traditional Thanksgiving food). His family had an annual Thanksgiving party, but the time ended up conflicting with my cousins staying over (the party was earlier than I thought), so I decided just to spend time with my cousins instead. Since we had a Thanksgiving lunch instead of a dinner, for dinner my boyfriend came over to “trade food,” haha. He packed me a ton of food from his party (traditional Filipino food + BBQ + other stuff), while I gave him my Thanksgiving food. It was really yummy! A great way to keep me from getting tired of Thanksgiving food, too, since I alternated with eating the food he gave me.
My family never goes around the table asking what we’re all thankful for (a common tradition), but it’s not really necessary since I think everyone knew what they were thankful for anyways, and obviously was happy that we could all sit down and eat some great food together. In case you haven’t noticed, I love good food, so any holiday that involves food always makes me happy.