What Do You Bring to the Table?

You and your parents arrive at Gram’s house, with all the food you spent so much time preparing and adding the final touches- the turkey, mashed potatoes, rolls, green beans, stuffing, pumpkin pie.  You walk to the front door, filled with excitement.  

Right after the ding dong, Uncle Albert answers the door. After walking in and exchanging “Hi, it’s been so long!” and “My, how you’ve grown!” you go to the kitchen to look at the wonderfully prepared dishes.  Your stomach grumbles with hunger, but you come to a screeching stop and look around, confused. 

The dishes set on the table definitely do not look like the ones you normally see on Thanksgiving—there is this weird green mush that looks like moss, a dish that looks like chunky soup, sweet potatoes, and a big pig in the center of the table! Eww, it even has an apple in its mouth! “What the heck is going on here? What are all these dishes?”  DUN DUN DUN, your perception of Thanksgiving food is forever changed!

In addition to being a feast of giving thanks, celebrated with turkey and pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving also captures the bigger picture of multiculturalism. Many people celebrate American traditions while also maintaining their roots. In this way, Thanksgiving creates an opportunity for communities to come together and celebrate what they have to bring to the table. 

Karissa Ho ‘21- “My mom usually makes a big pot of Chinese sticky rice for Thanksgiving, as a side, I guess. It’s savory.  It usually has Chinese sausage in it and sweet potatoes.” 

Raizel Villaluna ‘23: “I eat Molganisa.  It is like a side dish.  One of my relatives makes it, and I like it better than turkey.”

Olivia Salazar ‘21: “I drink a special Mexican punch called ponche in addition to the regular Thanksgiving meal that we have.  It normally consists of cinnamon, apricots, orange peels, various other spices, and berries.  It’s something my family tends to do during the holidays and celebrations.  I look forward to it every Thanksgiving, especially since I have gotten older because it’s a punch that you kinda have to have a more acquired required taste to.  The smell is a nice staple to the holidays.”

Kristine Pascual ‘21: “My family picks up a pig, and sometimes I just walk into an event and the pig is just dead in the center of the table where all the food is, with an apple in its mouth!  My family members are not turkey people, like not the usual American family, I guess.” (Lechon)

Mr. T (photography teacher): “Our lamb is prepared with lemon, potatoes.  It’s normally a side, but if we have a lot of family members, then we have it in lieu of turkey.”

Solunna Nwankwo ‘20: “On Thanksgiving, I eat Nigerian food, such as Jollof rice, which is a rice dish cooked in tomato, and pepper soup, which is spicy.”  

Aja Carlisle ‘20: “I eat collard greens, sweet potatoes, sweet potato pie, and sometimes banana pudding on Thanksgiving.”

Anastasia Vu ‘20:  “My family doesn’t really spend Thanksgiving here, and we eat sushi sometimes.”