TR Robertson – -This is going to be a Thanksgiving like no other Thanksgiving with COVID restrictions keeping the number of family members attending the festivities down and families finding new ways to celebrate. There will be Zoom Thanksgivings, smaller gatherings and a variety of other ways families will try to stay in touch with one another. What will remain somewhat the same is the family meal. The typical Thanksgiving meal is detailed below
What most people remember about Thanksgiving is the food served on this day. Americans will eat more food on Thanksgiving Day than on any other day of the year. There are many magazines and newspapers running recipes featuring ways to prepare the turkey, best ways to serve dressing or potatoes, what vegetables to have with the meal, best desserts to serve and the list goes on. Most families will serve turkey, some will also serve ham or prime rib as well. Forty-five million turkeys will be sold for Thanksgiving. One new meat that appeared some years back is turducken, a duck stuffed inside a turkey. Frying the turkey in peanut oil also became popular some years ago. One family did not like turkey or the other meat choices, so they served chicken fried steak on Thanksgiving. Some families will have turkey but fix it in more creative ways such as turkey enchiladas or turkey casseroles.
It should be noted that the myth of falling asleep due to the Tryptophan in the turkey is just that, a myth. Tryptophan is also found in poultry, meat, cheese, yogurt, fish, eggs, and milk. Turkeys have less Tryptophan than turkey. The reason folks fall asleep after the meal is due to over-indulging, stuffing yourself to the point of being uncomfortable coupled with the activities of the day and you get tired and fall asleep.
The traditional side dishes included with the Thanksgiving meal are sweet corn, peas, squash, green bean casserole with fried onions on top, sweet potatoes or yams, dressing, mashed potatoes, veggies for appetizers, Jell-O (usually red), cranberry sauce or relish, rolls or cornbread and of course turkey gravy. Some families will offer pumpkin soup instead of a salad to go along with the meal. Families across the country have favorite ways of making these selections. My mother-in-law used to make oyster dressing, not my favorite. I like my yams with walnuts, brown sugar and a few marshmallows and I like my cranberry sauce solid. For me, the dressing must be cornbread, not light bread and the mashed potatoes cannot have any lumps in them. I also like it when my wife fixes a Waldorf salad, apples with walnuts, grapes, celery, and mayonnaise. This was first served at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City in 1896. I also like the green Watergate Salad made with marshmallows, walnuts, and cool whip. She also makes a delicious cranberry relish, even though I prefer the jellied kind with my dressing.
Dessert is also a special part of Thanksgiving Day. Pies comprise a large part of what families will serve. The selections most often offered are pumpkin, apple, caramel-apple, pecan, and sweet potato pie. Pumpkin and Pecan pie recipes began to appear in the early 1900’s in the United States. You will always find whipped cream or Cool Whip offered as well. Also generally offered to snack on at this time of year is chocolate bark. This comes in peppermint, Nutella, white or chocolate flavors. I make dark chocolate fudge for folks to munch on. Shortbread cookies will also be found at the dessert table.
But what do you do with the left-over turkey and other items after Thanksgiving is over? Below is a list of ideas for whatever amount of turkey and other items you may have left. My favorite is hot turkey sandwiches with dressing, mashed potatoes, and gravy. If you want to try any of the suggested left-over ideas simply Google the name listed, and a variety of recipes will appear for that dish. No shortage of what you can do with the leftovers.
Turkey Tetrazzini Turkey Crepes
Turkey Soup with Vegetables or Noodles Turkey Pot Pie
Turk Croquettes Turkey Roll-ups w/sundried tomato
Turkey Casserole w/stuffing or mashed potatoes Turkey Lasagna
Turkey Chili Turkey Breakfast Hash
Turkey Sandwiches Turkey, Ham, Cheese Turnovers
Turkey Calzone Turkey Sloppy Joes
Turkey w/wild Rice Soup Turkey Pumpkin Chili
Turkey Curry w/rice Turkey Cranberry Grilled Cheese
Turkey Risotto Turkey Cranberry w/Brie and G.C.
Turkey Tortilla Soup Turkey Pasta Carbonara
Turkey Alfredo Pizza Turkey Corn Chowder
Turkey Alfredo Pasta Turkey Posole
Turkey a La King Turkey Cranberry Pizza
Turkey Pasta Salad Turkey in a Blanket
Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash Turkey Florentine Sandwich
Turkey Tacos Turkey Pop Tarts
Turkey Enchiladas Turkey Ratatouille Skillet
Turkey Quesadilla Turkey Broccoli Soup
Turkey Gnocchi Soup Turkey Pierogis
Turkey Paninis Turkey 4 Cheese Pasta Bake
Turkey Biscuit Skillet Turkey Cran-Apple Skillet
Turkey Cobb Salad Turkey Biscuit Stew
Turkey Bake – Southwestern Turkey a La King w/rice
Turkey Spaghetti Casserole Turkey Crunch Almond Casserole
Turkey Sandwiches – Hot Turkey Bundles
Turkey BLT Salad Turkey Mexican Roll-ups
Turkey Italian Skillet Turkey Rice Soup
You can also Google Thanksgiving Pizza and Thanksgiving Lasagna get a great idea of taking a little of everything left over and making a most unusual pizza or lasagna.
However, you celebrate this Thanksgiving, Be Safe, Be Smart and Have a Glorious and Enjoyable Thanksgiving. If you have not read the article on Thanksgiving Trivia, check it out and you will see a little of the history of this day of celebration.