In North America, Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. Canadians have already celebrated this wonderful occasion in October and this week the Americans will begin their celebration.
So what are the differences between a Canadian and an American Thanksgiving? Actually, except for the dates, not very much. I have joined forces with Kendra Thornton, a travel advocate, TV spokesperson, PR businesswoman, proud wife and mother of 3 to compare the differences between my Canadian Thanksgiving and her American Thanksgiving. You can follow Kendra at https://twitter.com/KendraThornton.
Both Canadians and Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with family gatherings, sharing a huge meal, watching parades and football games and attending Black Friday shopping sprees.
When my youngest daughter prepares the meal, she goes to a lot of trouble to make something special every time, just as I did when my girls were growing up. Sometimes she will have pumpkin soup, mixed veggies or tossed salad and cheesecake or pudding for desert. I usually stick to the traditional dishes now as it doesn’t take a lot of thought and I like preparing easy meals so I have more time to visit.
Pinterest has completely changed the way that I plan for Thanksgiving. I love having visuals to go along with recipes, and I love getting feedback from my friends on how well the recipes worked for them. Now that the kids are getting older, I like finding recipes for desserts and appetizers https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=thanksgiving%20appetizers&rs=ac&len=16 that they can help prepare. While they enjoy creating yummy new recipes, it seems that everyone disappears when it’s time to clean up the kitchen. That is why I am choosing recipes with few ingredients and easy instructions.
Although I love a traditional Thanksgiving with a turkey and all the trimmings, this year I have been hunting unusual new recipes to go with our stuffing, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes. After all, while Thanksgiving is not really Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie and turkey, so there is no reason that you should not try some new flavors to keep things interesting. I found a fabulous article on Gogobot http://www.gogobot.com/blog/2013/11/01/five-decadent-thanksgiving-dinners/ that gave me some inspiration!
I will be using these ideas as a launching point for some Thornton culinary creativity. I hope that everyone loves them, but even if these new recipes are not everyone’s absolute favorite foods, I think that having some new dishes on the table will spark some great conversations and liven up our holiday. The Orlando Waldorf Astoria will be serving up an elegant pumpkin soup to guests who are visiting on Thanksgiving Day. At the Thornton family Thanksgiving table, this velvety dish will include a little bit of lobster for an indulgent, pre-dinner treat. I can just imagine the faces of my family as they savor every drop of this amazing dish. I think that soup is the perfect way to warm everyone up on a snowy Chicago afternoon.
After figuring out the menu for Thanksgiving Day, I need to give some thought to which specific thing for which I am most thankful. Each year, one of the Thornton family traditions is to go around the table, allowing each member to share one thing that they are grateful for. The difficulty that I always have is narrowing down my choice because there are so many things that I am so very thankful for! If you are looking for a new family tradition, we won’t mind if you borrow this one. Remember, Thanksgiving is about more than turkey, football and food. It is about gratitude, family, love and sharing what we have with others who are less fortunate. I would love to hear what some of your traditions are – hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving already in Canada!