Happy Thanksgiving to Americans celebrating it. No doubt, there will be much feasting, spending time with family, and enjoying all sorts of traditions. The first Thanksgiving dates back to 1621 when the Wampanoag Indians and Plymouth Colonists shared a harvest feast together. Although it’s been said that pilgrims used their hands to eat (not forks and knives, oh my!), many of the traditions have remained the same: namely eating copious amounts of delicious food and being thankful.
Michelle Donabedian, originally from Worcester Massachusetts, lives in London - she shares some of the American Thanksgiving traditions:
Family traditions on the day:
The oven ringing and basting the bird in the oven. We seem to always roast a giant turkey. I saw somewhere that the average size bird is 15 lbs. You know Americans…There has to be too much on the table or it’s not enough. Having the Macy’s Day Parade on television but no one watching. The football game on television and the men watching. Women in the kitchen. Man of the house carving the turkey and when my Pop (grandfather) was alive, him stealing my apple pie a la mode by saying things like, ‘Did you see the bird in the yard?’
Some top etiquette tips:
Seconds are encouraged but wait for everyone before you indulge. pass the gravy! Offer to help with dishes.
Insider tips for those who don’t celebrate:
Cranberry sauce, homemade stuffing, homemade pies — it’s all good. Everyone pulls out all the stops on the day and depending on the cultural background, you get all sorts of other foods. Turkey would stay constant, but for example at my Armenian family’s house, there would be rice pilaf instead of potato and baklava instead of apple pie.
Your favourite part of American Thanksgiving:
I love homemade cranberry sauce, my Aunt Pat’s jello mould (she would put walnuts, slices of fruit in cherry jello. It’s a family tradition. And my grandmother’s apple pie, which she taught me how to bake so the tradition lives on.
Happy American Thanksgiving!