The Final Thanksgiving — Holiday Dishes We Could Not Live Without
Now Hear ThisBY Avery Cooper // 11.27.19
Who says Thanksgiving needs to be traditional?
Sweet potatoes can be underrated.
Forget the turkey and stuffing — opt for a more unconventional feast this Thanksgiving.
Pumpkin pie is on the menu for Thanksgiving..
Thanksgiving means pies.
Thanksgiving traditions vary from household to household. But, one thing remains the same: the day is all about the food.
If you’re from Dallas, dinner is served according to when the Dallas Cowboys football game breaks for halftime. If you’re from New York City, however, you’re either trying to get as far away from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade shenanigans as possible or arriving hours early to search for the perfect seat.
Maybe the breaking of the wishbone is your favorite activity – if you’re competitive and have an older sibling you feel you have to outperform to win your family’s love. Although the meal is the most famous of the Thanksgiving traditions in America, your table probably looks very different from your neighbor’s.
Everyone has a favorite dish that accompanies the usual family bickering about politics, holiday’s past and passive-aggressive judgment of your brother’s latest flavor-of-the-month sitting next to him.
I wanted to see what members of the PaperCity Dallas office would choose as their final Thanksgiving dish to devour if the holiday somehow ceased to exist. This week’s Now Hear This question is what Thanksgiving dish would you miss the most?
Lisa Collins Shaddock, Senior Editor
My love of pasta, bread, cheese, and wine knows no bounds and has been inadvertently chronicled via Now Here This stories thanks to any food-related question — and, somehow, many non-food-related ones. As unpopular an answer as this might be, I have to say that Thanksgiving food is not my all-time favorite
I tend to load up my plate with lots of stuffing, bread rolls, and cranberry sauce — all further evidence of my obsession with carbs and the fact that I should probably be seated at the kid’s table. While this holiday is not as oriented around my palate as it is for other, more well-balanced people, I would still be devastated if this holiday were to disappear forever! I’m so looking forward to time with family and wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!
Billy Fong, Culture and Style Editor
What? Thanksgiving could come to an end? Is this some sort of Netflix zombie apocalypse that has rendered the holiday nonexistent? OK, I’ll go with the question. My answer would be pies.
Don’t get me wrong. I love all the starter stuff and can usually be found picking the meat off the bird at 11 pm Thanksgiving night after others have gone to bed, but pies are my weakness. I would be big as a house if I allowed myself to indulge in the sweet treat year-long. Instead, I give myself a hall pass to be a glutton on Thanksgiving.
My favorite is, of course, pecan pie served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top brings me to a really happy place. Other favorites include apple, peanut butter, and chocolate. I actually don’t like pumpkin, which is the traditional favorite. So, if we end up at the same “last” Thanksgiving celebration together, feel free to take all the pumpkin slices you want, but hands off my pecan.
Christina Geyer, Editor at Large
Truth be told: I am not the biggest fan of Thanksgiving food, nor am I a football fan. So the holiday disappearing wouldn’t be a total bummer in my book.
This could have something to do with the fact that, growing up in California, Thanksgiving often meant a lighter variation of the meal (and dinner al fresco, weather permitting) – think filet mignon, grilled asparagus, homemade mashed potatoes and my grandmother’s recipe for ambrosia salad.
Her ambrosia salad would be, in fact, the saddest dish to go should Thanksgiving disappear. It’s so very 1960s, and there is something about the grape, marshmallow and coconut concoction that I simply adore. The whole idea of ambrosia makes me think of my grandparents in their younger years: They were the original Betty and Don Draper, my grandfather an ad executive on Madison Avenue and his wife pucked straight from a Norman Rockwell painting.
Meanwhile, in our house, Thanksgiving signals the start of the Christmas season… with Santa Claus making his grand entrance during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This means one thing: My mom begins baking her top-secret recipe for ginger snaps in spades. Now, if those delectable bites were to go away, I would be lost forever.
Megan Ziots, Dallas Digital Reporter
Sweet potato casserole would be my last Thanksgiving dish ever; and, it has to have marshmallows baked on top. That might even be my choice for a last meal ever. I’m a big sweet potato fan. Fries, chips, mash, cubes. I’ll eat it in whatever form it comes in. But, the sweet potato casserole was something my mom and I always made together growing up to take to family Thanksgiving gatherings.
Samantha Olguin, Associate Publisher, Fort Worth, Director of Business Development and Sales, Dallas
My grandmother’s cornbread and sausage stuffing! She’s from a town almost as geographically south as you can get, and you can certainly taste it in her stuffing. It is my all-time-favorite, and I look forward to eating it all year long until Thanksgiving finally rolls around. Nothing tastes better than southern style stuffing made with love!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Maggie Wilson, Events and Partnerships Coordinator
I’m not a huge fan of Thanksgiving food. That being said, I do love my mom’s cornbread casserole. She’s been making it for years for Thanksgiving and Christmas since I can remember. We only serve it for those holidays, which keeps it special. I always have to have seconds of her cornbread casserole.
Avery Cooper, Dallas Intern
My mother has somehow perfected the art that is making mashed potatoes, along with many other things only mothers can get just right. She is the queen of eye-balling the right amount of milk and butter for clump-less potatoes. I must say, Chef Gordon Ramsay would be most certainly impressed.
Growing up, I’d prepare myself all morning to transform into my mother’s prestigious sous chef, trusted with the vital task of whisking the mashed potatoes while she carries on with other dishes. I’d roll up my sleeves, glaring down at the biggest bowl I had ever seen full of white lumps of heaven. I’d get started on my oh-so-important job, getting swept up in the stories my mother, grandmother and I would giggle about. Then, I would look down to see the fluffiest concoction I had ever seen, noticing the many minutes that had magically passed and the little flecks of potato that flew about the countertop.
I loved helping my family prepare the Thanksgiving feast, laughing as we’d track cranberry sauce and gravy throughout the house, waiting for my dogs to lick the wood floors clean.
Mashed potatoes aren’t so unique to Thanksgiving, but the memory of helping my mother make them perfectly smooth, creamy, rich, fluffy and delicious is one of my fondest memories of being in the kitchen.
The Thanksgiving dish I’d choose as my last would be my mother’s mashed potatoes. My family can never have enough of them. They get better and better as the days after Thanksgiving filled with leftovers pass by. It totally makes sense that she dedicates the biggest bowl in her kitchen cabinets to make such a winning dish.
Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same if I weren’t in the kitchen with my mother, helping her prepare our favorite meal of the year. I hope others have such fond holiday memories and have a spectacular Thanksgiving filled with love and laughter. Enjoy.
Jade Osseck, Dallas Intern
I would have to say sweet potato casserole with delicate marshmallows scattered across the top. I only get to eat it on Thanksgiving, but I could really eat it any time of the year – it’s that good!
Happy Thanksgiving from PaperCity Dallas!
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