Why are we celebrating Thanksgiving?
The tradition of Thanksgiving dates back to the year 1621, when the Europeans came to America and helped provide food for the natives. Subsequently, this harvest of food was celebrated, where everyone was more than welcome to be part of the community. Since then, the tradition has spread to countries around the world.
Previously, Thanksgiving was believed to be of religious significance, but it is not clear from the history books. However, it is certain that the event today is largely a secular celebration, without the major religious associations. The most religious thing associated with Thanksgiving today is the table prayer. In many American homes, prayer is requested before food is eaten.
Today, Thanksgiving is a national holiday in America, thanking God for a good harvest. This is celebrated with a party that focuses on the community with friends and family. You eat the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, watch American football and have a nice time. In fact, community and fun are the two keywords that describe Thanksgiving best.
In America, this feast day is often followed by a whole weekend with the family, with family members coming from near and far to be part of the nice community. In fact, Thanksgiving is so important to Americans that for many it is much more important than Christmas itself – which is an attitude many other countries do not yet share with Americans – and, after all, probably won’t come to fruition either.
What to eat for Thanksgiving?
Roasted and juicy turkey with delicious and aromatic stuffing, dense sauce and cranberry sauce (cranberry compote) accessories, baked sweet potatoes, baked winter squash (butternut pumpkin), mashed potatoes and/or regular potatoes.
Corn I left out because the season for fresh corn is long gone. However, you can choose to prepare frozen corn, or leave corn represented at once polenta – “porridge” of Italian corn flour cooked with water, salt and oil and sometimes fried afterwards.
If there is room for a starter, it could be a pumpkin soup or a chowder with clams. But I doubt you have an appetite for it.
In return, I would suggest a green salad – fresh and simple composed of romaine, arugula and leaf parsley, with dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar as well as salt and pepper. I think you could be happy with that, in the midst of the turkey and starchy vegetables …
For dessert, a cranberry pie (cranberry cake) with pecans, which it bakes on the island of Nantucket in Massachusetts – the state where many cranberries come from.
But let’s have a look at how to achieve the perfect roasted Thanksgiving turkey! Are you also looking for a really nice gravy, then look no further!
- 1 pcs Turkey 4-5 kg not frozen
- 50 gr Butter, salted
- 4 pcs Leaf celery, stalk
- 1 pcs Onion, medium size
- 1 tbsp Sage, fresh finely chopped
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 7 slices Toast, plain
- 1 dl Milk
- Salt and peber
For the roasting pan
- 1 pcs Onion
- 1 pcs Carrot, large
- 1 pcs Neck of the turkey
- 2 dl Port wine or marsala
- 20 gr Butter, soft
- 2 tbsp Wheat flour
How to make the turkey
- Begin the night before. Salt the turkey on the outside and inside with fine salt. It should be salted as you would normally salt a regular chicken before roasting. It helps the turkey stay juicy. Allow the turkey to soak overnight in the refrigerator.
- Remove the turkey from the refrigerator 1½ hours before putting it into the oven. Turn on the oven at 180°C (350°F). Butter it on the outside with 2 tbsp of butter. Chop onion and celery finely. Melt some butter in a pan and put in the vegetables. Let them simmer at medium heat until they become glossy. Add sage, 1 teaspoon coarse salt and well with black pepper.
- Cut the toast into cubes and flip it with the fried vegetables. Slowly mix in the milk and put the stuffing in the turkey's belly. Stuff it well with your hand or a spoon. See if you can get one to hold the turkey while filling it. Then tie the turkey legs together with a kitchen string.
- Divide the onion into quarters, but leave the shell on. Put it in a frying pan. Cut the carrot into coarse pieces and put it in a frying pan. Add also the onion, the neck from the turkey and the liqueur wine in the roasting pan. Put a rake over and place the turkey on it with the chest facing up. Pour ½ l (17 floz)of water into the oven. Roast the turkey for 3½-4 hours until it has a center temperature of 70°C (158°F).Drip it regularly with the cloud from the frying pan. Pour more water into the bottom if it evaporates.
- Take out the turkey and place it on a cutting board. Sift the juice into a pan and discard the neck and vegetables. If the juice is very thick and concentrated add some more water. Smooth the sauce with a butter bowl (butter and flour stirred together). Taste with salt and serve with turkey and other accessories.Also see the recipe for gravy at the beginning of this recipe.
- The turkey has a large breast piece, so when you have to cut it out, start by cutting off the two breast pieces and cutting them into thin slices. Then cut the thighs and the rest out like you would cut a chicken.