Thanksgiving is a holiday steeped in traditions. Whether you’re a childless couple or the matriarch of a big family, the week before Thanksgiving is often filled with the planning, shopping, baking and cooking of a traditional Thanksgiving.
Many people think that Thanksgiving is always on the last Thursday in November; however, on Nov. 26, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill officially designating the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving. Visit History.com to learn more about facts and traditions associated with Thanksgiving. There are many ways to celebrate Thanksgiving. Here are 10 ways your family may choose to celebrate the day.
For many families, a traditional Thanksgiving is celebrated each year with turkey and all of the trimmings and family gathered together around the table. Some traditional accompaniments to a Thanksgiving turkey dinner include stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, green beans and pumpkin pie. Two other Thanksgiving traditions many families enjoy are watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade in the morning and football after the meal is done.
Walmart reports that an online survey of 1,055 millennials finds that 66 percent have either celebrated Friendsgiving or have heard of the holiday and plan to celebrate this year. Friendsgiving celebrations are perfect for those living far from extended family, singles and couples without children. As Jess C. Scott said, “Friends are the family you choose.”
Start a new tradition for Thanksgiving. Forty-three percent of the millennials surveyed report they plan to prepare non-traditional Thanksgiving dishes. The most common ingredients added include edamame, quinoa, jalapeno, pork or Asian noodles. Bacon is especially popular. In addition to Thanksgiving staples like Libby’s Pumpkin Pie Mix and Butterball turkeys, Walmart offers honey bourbon bacon, a great way to incorporate bacon into your Thanksgiving meal.
Nearly half of those surveyed consider one-stop shopping as the most important factor when shopping for Thanksgiving and an equal number value price more than brands when shopping for Thanksgiving ingredients. Many grocery retailers offer price-matching so check those food ads in your local paper before you shop.
Enjoy an elegant Thanksgiving with family or friends. Ask guests to dress for dinner and use your best china, linens, silverware and serving dishes. Two elegant side dishes to add to your celebration are Roasted Fennel with Lemon Stuffing and Ultimate Mashed Potatoes, both made using Swanson broths.
Roasted Fennel with Lemon Stuffing
2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed and diced (about 3 cups)
2 medium sweet onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
4 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
3 cups Swanson Chicken Broth (Regular, Natural Goodness or Certified Organic)
1 package (14 ounces) Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing
Heat the oven to 400 F. Place the fennel, onions and garlic into a large bowl. Add the oil and toss to coat. Spoon the fennel mixture onto 2 rimmed baking sheets.
Roast for 30 minutes or until the fennel mixture is lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F. Stir the fennel mixture, lemon zest, parsley, pine nuts and broth in a large bowl. Add the stuffing and mix lightly. Spoon the stuffing mixture into a greased 3-quart casserole. Cover the casserole. Bake for 30 minutes or until the stuffing mixture is hot.
Ultimate Mashed Potatoes
3 1/2 cups Swanson Chicken Broth or Swanson Certified Organic Chicken Broth or Swanson Natural Goodness Chicken Broth
5 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 7 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup light cream
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons butter
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (reserve some for garnish)
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Heat the broth and potatoes in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Drain the potatoes well in a colander, reserving the broth.
Mash the potatoes with 1/4 cup reserved broth, light cream, sour cream, chives, butter, bacon and black pepper. Add the additional reserved broth, if needed, until desired consistency. Garnish with the remaining bacon.
A Southern Thanksgiving is a feast fit for royalty. Turkey and ham, homemade pumpkin and pecan pies, sweet tea, and a multitude of vegetables including sweet potato casserole and green bean casserole grace the Southern table for Thanksgiving. The children’s table may include infants, toddlers, teens and young adults while the older generation sits at the big table.
If you don’t have a favorite pie recipe, Pillsbury can help with Thanksgiving Pie Central. There are multiple pecan pie, apple pie, chocolate pie and pumpkin pie recipes. You’ll also find tips to make an awesome pie crust and how to slice a pie for any number of guests.
If you’re hosting your first Thanksgiving, consider a potluck Thanksgiving. Plan to prepare the turkey and ask each guest to provide a side dish or dessert. Whether you leave it to chance or assign dishes to avoid duplication, you’ll enjoy a variety of foods without spending all day cooking.
Thanksgiving can be challenging if there are multiple meals to attend. Consider serving brunch instead of a traditional mid-day Thanksgiving lunch or dinner if your children are grown to allow them time with their other families.
A destination Thanksgiving is the perfect options for some singles, couples and families. Whether you live it up at a resort or head to a warmer climate, you can leave the cleanup to someone else and enjoy a long weekend getaway. You may also celebrate Thanksgiving by giving thanks at church, starting the day with a Turkey Trot or spending the day hiking or biking, Thanksgiving dinner at a local restaurant is a good option for those who have to work on Thanksgiving.
Serve others on Thanksgiving at your local homeless shelter or soup kitchen. A do good Thanksgiving focuses on the less fortunate, which often helps you realize how many blessings you enjoy every day.
Some will skip Thanksgiving entirely and spend hours or days camped out in front of their favorite stores in advance of Black Thursday, the newest holiday shopping trend. Those who enjoy bargain shopping may be willing to enjoy snacks instead of turkey to save money on big screen TVs, computers and other big ticket items.
For more Thanksgiving tips and recipes, check out the Thanksgiving articles below featuring Thanksgiving planning made easy, side dishes to feed a crowd, fun family foods for Thanksgiving, chocolate desserts to add to your meal and hosting Thanksgiving dinner. However you celebrate Thanksgiving, may your day be filled with joy, blessings and gratitude.