Day 10: Today, I am grateful for Thanksgiving Food Traditions!
Since we a multicultural family, balancing all of our traditions and foods made for a few “quandaries” when we first got married. One of our very first compromises in this was that we do Dominican food on Christmas Eve, but Thanksgiving is ALL Southern food, all the time!
I love that we serve the same meal, more or less, each year. For a while there, I was adding one new recipe each year, but I think I’ve finally managed to perfect the entire gluttonous, extravagant meal! And since I can’t make Thanksgiving for less than 30 people, no matter how hard I try, we always have plenty of leftovers.
Turkey: Should be smoked in a smoker. It makes SUCH A DIFFERENCE! (And something I’m going to miss this year since we couldn’t bring ours with us overseas).
Dressing: Not Stuffing! Seriously. Take it from this Alabama girl, the perfect dressing begins with real cornbread cooked in a cast-iron skillet.
Sides: The other sides include the traditional Green Bean Casserole and my aunt’s Sweet Potato Casserole. Though, in various years, I’ve had to occasionally get creative due to food allergies – the Sweet Potato Casserole without the pecans, or plain green beans and asparagus (the year my family boycotted the Green Bean Casserole). But those are the main two sides. Plus, I think they taste better if you put them in fancy dishes!
Appetizers and Extras: I make homemade cranberry sauce, and have finally perfected the ultimate gravy. (Such a little thing, but I screwed it up every single year for years!) Rolls are usually store-bought.
Our appetizers are also fairly simple and not completely crazy since the meal itself is insane. Sometimes I will throw together a simple cheese/cracker tray, especially if we have a large group. But the two things I make are a homemade Cheese Ball and the Pumpkin Pie Dip
Dessert: Finally, after years of storebought desserts because no one could agree on which dessert to have, I finally landed on my new favorite – Pecan Pie Cheesecake!