8    Nov 20110 comments

Thanksgiving Special: What’s on your table?

Thanksgiving Day is only a few weeks away and Americans are planning how to celebrate this important family holiday.

MyHeritage is also preparing holiday-related posts - and some surprises - so stay tuned during November.

A national holiday, Thanksgiving is observed in the United States - and worldwide wherever North American expats reside - on the fourth Thursday of November.

Every immigrant group to the US has also adopted the special day, which crosses all ethnic and religious lines.

"Turkey day" is a universal and delicious event, while the four-day holiday weekend also features football (not soccer!) games, major shopping days and great sales.

Thanksgiving Day's centerpiece is the lovingly-prepared feast on our tables, which we share with family and friends. People begin to plan holiday menus very early. Therefore, we  invite the MyHeritage community to participate in our poll below:


Follow this link to tell us about the ethnic dish from your own heritage which will be on your holiday table.

We encourage our MyHeritage community to share their favorite holiday dishes with us, and to post the recipes on their family sites to share with relatives. Did you know that our family sites offer a Recipe page? Click here to learn how to access it.

On a personal note, when we lived in Iran, my annual adventure was the search for a whole turkey to roast because they were usually sold only in pieces.

Finding canned sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie filling, cranberry sauce or even Miracle Whip (can’t make leftover turkey sandwiches the next day without it!) entailed trips to special shops where one could find these much sought-over ingredients that some shopkeepers obtained from “certain” sources. These special items were horribly expensive, but it wouldn’t have been Thanksgiving without them.

It is much easier in the US as supermarkets have been featuring large displays of essential items for the holiday since Halloween!

Today, Thanksgiving entails both the traditional foods along with specialty dishes from immigrant homelands:

  • In Persian homes in Southern California, Mr. Turkey is a centerpiece, but instead of a cornbread stuffing, there’s rice stuffing with barberries and other unusual ingredients. Instead of candied sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes, there are numerous festive rice dishes (perhaps rice with sour cherries, or rice with candied tangerine peel slivers, carrots and pistachios).
  • In Hispanic homes, there may well be tamales, enchiladas or other ethnic dishes keeping the turkey company.
  • Italian families may add favorite pasta dishes, such as a baked multi-layered lasagna.
  • Asian families may add rice dishes or other favorites.

Tell us about your holiday food traditions

What ethnic dishes from your heritage appear on your Thanksgiving table? Share these in the comments below, on Twitter and Facebook.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks to see more of our special Thanksgiving posts.

Search for your ancestors:

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