52 Recipes From The United States of Thanksgiving

A hh, Thanksgiving…just the mere mention of that holiday evokes family and friends gathering around the table in some cozy home while the cold wind blows and the snow falls in a frigid frenzy outside…

…and the fragrant fresh aromas of roast turkey, potatoes, stuffing and cranberries fill the kitchen and dining room, indicating to those with knife and fork in hand that a momentous and memorable meal is in store…

…or is it glazed ham, oyster dressing, corn bread and pecan pie? Turkey sausage, sweet potatoes, sourdough stuffing and pumpkin pie? Persimmon pudding, pumpkin soup, pocket dressing and shrimp-stuffed mirlitons?

The New York Times has this excellent article filled with photographs and recipes which suggests that all of the above suggestions and more are apropos for the perfect Thanksgiving feast — no matter where you live — and I personally have witnessed this truly American holiday becoming more popular in European countries and other parts of the world.

All I can say is that my mouth was watering at some of the photographs.

If you are Canadian, please accept my apologies for being late, as you already celebrated your Thanksgiving holiday last month.

I have tried many times; and even though dining on traditional Thanksgiving fare is certainly delicious at any other time of the year, it just does not quite seem to measure up to having in during the week of Thanksgiving itself. Is the cold weather outside the magic ingredient? I have experienced Thanksgiving days where the weather was warm and sunny enough to be outside without a jacket, so no; and I have also had a similar dinner in January or February when the weather outside was brutal. Is having family and friends join in on the festivities the key? No, as there was a time where I was only one of two people digging into the sumptuous feast during Thanksgiving and it still felt right; while I have dined with greater than a dozen people at a different time of the year and it still seemed like something was missing.

Whatever the case may be, it is not as depressing as the story my brother likes to recount where he was in college and had a frozen dinner which he heated up and dined on alone on Thanksgiving. He did that purposely so that he can “brag” about it to future generations akin to Abraham Lincoln walking 12 miles in the snow to get to school.

He is almost as whacked as I am — but I digress.

Thanksgiving is the day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest — as well as of the preceding year…

…and by the way, it was none other than Abraham Lincoln who — as president of the United States — proclaimed Thanksgiving to be an official national holiday in the United States in 1863 even though it had already been celebrated for greater than 200 years. Perhaps visiting his birthplace or boyhood home either before or after Thanksgiving is in order as a sign of thanks?

I am typically not a holiday person; but Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There are no religious requirements to meet even though it is historically rooted in religious and cultural traditions. No gifts need to be given. Decorations are not required. It is not nearly as commercial as Christmas or Easter or Mother’s Day. Just sit, eat, relax and be thankful for what you have. Yep — Thanksgiving is my type of holiday.

I am thankful for many things in my life, including family, friends, my excellent health, every opportunity I have to travel — and for you reading The Gate for greater than eight years.

For that last item, thank you from the bottom of my heart — and if you celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, which is on Thursday, November 27 this year — may you have the heartiest meal shared amongst your most loved ones; and may it be the best Thanksgiving Day yet for you.

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