"Thanksgiving in North America had originated from a mix of European and Native traditions. Typically in Europe, festivals were held before and after the harvest cycles to give thanks for a good harvest, and to rejoice together after much hard work with the rest of the community. At the time, Native Americans had also celebrated the end of a harvest season. When Europeans first arrived to the Americas, they brought with them their own harvest festival traditions from Europe, celebrating their safe voyage, peace and good harvest."
We had Jack's daughter and her boyfriend over for dinner last night. We were just discussing how lots of people like to celebrate on the Sunday instead of Monday so they can just have a day to relax after the big feast.
When we have a dinner for more than just us we start planning about a week ahead. It's fun though. I have a few lists going with ingredients I need for certain recipes. For us a turkey dinner consists of:
1. Loads of mashed potatoes (we are now using almond milk and Becel vegan margarine instead of butter and 1 percent milk) Tasted really great to us and for those cutting calories or on dairy free diets this is for you.
2. Turkey beautifully cooked for over 4 hours to a lovely golden color - this year we went for a fresh turkey and we were really happy with how moist it was. (some of that was due to some new cooking ideas that Johnny had for us with regards to making the best of our turkey)
3. Julie's stuffing which fills the cavity of the bird. (celery, bread crumbs, onions chopped, apples chopped and 1 cup of chicken boullion and sage, poultry seasoning, thyme, salt and pepper.
4. Julie's gravy.
5. Carrots and brussel sprouts steamed not too long.
6. Julie's cranberry sauce. I buy fresh cranberries and add sugar and a piece of real orange and boil for about 10 - 15 minutes and at the end I added a bit of Port. (Yumm!)
7. Portuguese corn bread.
8. Wine (nice red wine)
For dessert I made homemade Pecan Pie which I share below. It is a dairy-free recipe which Amanda found for me and we all really enjoyed it. Just before serving we melted some dark chocolate chips with a teaspoon of vegan Becel margarine and a tablespoon of almond milk and we spread it all over the room temperature pie. Was soooooo good. Will definitely be a "do again"!!
- 2 T. flour
- 2 T. plain almond milk or soy milk
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup and 1 T. white sugar
- 1/3 cup dairy-free soy margarine, melted
- 1 ½ cup chopped pecans
2. Prepare the filling. In a small cup or bowl, mix together the flour and non-dairy milk substitute until smooth. Mix in vanilla and set aside.
3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the eggs until pale yellow and frothy. Add the sugars and melted soy margarine and whisk until well combined. Add the flour mixture and pecans, mixing until evenly incorporated.
4. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and bake for 5 minutes at 400 F, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 F, and continue baking for about 35-40 minutes, or until the middle is no longer liquid (it should still jiggle, but just slightly).
5. Melt some dark chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler with a tsp of vegan margarine and 1 tbsp. of almond milk. Spread over top of pie and serve to your guests. They will love you.