Coming from a family that grew up in the North but has lived in the Deep South for years, all of my holiday meals have been the both worlds. My family brings Thanksgiving Day meal customs with them all the way from New York to Tennessee, and it never fails to create a unique, authentic family dinner.
Thanksgiving at our house begins with loaves on loaves of banana and date nut bread. We fill up on my grandma’s ancient carb ridden recipe until we can barely breathe without a popping a button. While my mom slaves away in the kitchen, we snack on a vegetable tray and enjoy each other’s company while watching the parade, doing a puzzle, or simply catching up on life.
Once the obligatory “DINNER” is called from up the stairs, we all run and feast our eyes on the food coma which awaits us. At our table you will find the traditional turkey as the main course; it’s our side dishes where you really see the split between my family’s northern and southern cultures.
As northerners we have dressing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and candied yams. As southerners we indulge in rolls, mashed potatoes and gravy, bacon wrapped asparagus, and corn. I love having the variety of both types of foods because it helps me remember my roots, and also makes for tons of leftovers!
Traditionally, we end our day with apple and pumpkin pie with just a dollop of vanilla ice cream to top it off. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it is a day for food lovers of all cultures to come together and delight in the meal before them. I will always be thankful for both the northern and southern recipes my Mama passes down to me, as well as the new recipes I will collect along the way!