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Top 5 Thanksgiving Dishes


Harriet Worthington22 November 2016

I was never aware of the importance of Thanksgiving until I reached university and befriended an American girl who was on an exchange programme. Despite our semester ending in December, she flew back to Philadelphia for Thanksgiving citing the wrath of her mother would be far greater than the wrath of her tutors should she miss out on the day.

Thanksgiving Day traditionally falls on the fourth Thursday in November and kicks off the ‘holiday season’ in the United States. The celebration can be traced as far back as 1621 when, at the Plymouth Plantation, Pilgrims shared a harvest feast, with the Wampanoag Indians after a successful growing season. The modern equivalent to this is a large roast dinner cooked and eaten with great gusto by close friends and family.

For many Americans, Thanksgiving is all about the food. A multi-course feast awaits where you are expected to eat until exhaustion. My friend would wax lyrical about her grandmother’s pecan pie, write sonnets about her neighbour’s stuffing and get a dreamy look in her eye when she spoke of the turkey. Having delved a little deeper into the Thanksgiving dinner table, this is a list of Cactus Kitchens’ top 5 Thanksgiving foods should you find yourself with American guests on the 24th November.

 

1. TURKEY

 Succulent and moist with crispy skin the colour of polished conkers. Brine it, stuff it ( you can even deep fry it ), it should be the shining star of your groaning dinner table. Just remember to defrost it.

 

#ProTip: Roast your turkey breast-side down for extra-moist meat! Recipe in our November issue. (Photo by Bryan Gardner)

A photo posted by Martha Stewart (@marthastewart) on Nov 20, 2016 at 10:41am PST


 

2. CORNBREAD

The perfect vessel for mopping up copious amounts of gravy - it's the kind of food that feeds your body and your soul. We’ve put our own twist on them: Cheese & Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins. By using a muffin tin, they’re the perfect portion size and easy to freeze if you have any leftovers.

 

Back into the kitchens for some recipe testing this week. Inspired by the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, these tasty Cheese & Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins were the result - definite comfort food for the soul! #cactuskitchens #cookeryschool #michelrouxjr #chef #thanksgiving #baking #muffins #cornbread #spicy #comfortfood #food52 #onthetable #instafood

A photo posted by Cactus Kitchens (@cactuskitchens) on Nov 21, 2016 at 4:44pm PST


 

3. STUFFING

Americans also refer to stuffing as ‘dressing’ and they take it very seriously. Whether it’s being used as a turkey-filler or side dish, it’s a Thanksgiving essential. This savoury, bready delight is said to be the true star of the Thanksgiving table (but no one tell the turkey). It can be made from a range of ingredients from wild mushroom and pecan to sausage and hazelnut.  

 

Today is National Stuffing Day! Here is a gorgeous and delicious persimmon and sage stuffing recipe. [link in profile] #Thanksgiving #stuffing #dressing #recipes #persimmon #sage

A photo posted by PBS Food (@pbsfood) on Nov 21, 2016 at 4:05pm PST


4. CRANBERRY SAUCE

Food fads come and go but cranberry sauce always remains the same - it’s a turkey’s faithful friend. Often overlooked, it really comes into its own the day after when used in the construction of the real Thanksgiving treat – the leftover turkey sandwich.

 

Are you guys ready for a cranberry sauce that basically makes itself? @liesel_davis roasts hers with a bit of brown sugar and lemon zest. Grab the recipe at the link in our profile.

A photo posted by bonappetitmag (@bonappetitmag) on Oct 30, 2016 at 6:51am PDT


5. PIE

No matter how full you think you are, there is always room for pie. No matter how weary, how exhausted you may feel, when the pie approaches the table, you will suddenly get a second wind as well as a second stomach. Pumpkin pie is a Thanksgiving classic, but Pecan pie  is really what everyone’s hoping will appear from the kitchen.

 

New: Double Chocolate Pecan Pie! Take your pecan pie to the next level, with a chocolate crust and sweet chocolate pecan filling! Made with no corn syrup. Click the link in my profile @bakingamoment to download, or google "Baking a Moment Chocolate Pecan Pie" for the recipe 😉 #chocolate #pecan #pecanpie #maple #honey #bourbon #thanksgiving #dessert #recipe http://bakingamoment.com/double-chocolate-pecan-pie/

A photo posted by Allie (@bakingamoment) on Nov 21, 2016 at 4:42am PST