Canadian Thanksgiving, Make It Monday

Happy Thanksgiving, my fellow Canadians (and anyone else who wishes to celebrate)! Although a lot of the world thinks that Canada and the US do everything together, our Thanksgiving is the second Monday in October, instead of the fourth Thursday of November, and that is today!! Time to enjoy a cornucopia of different foods and sink into a food coma that is worthy of the longest nap possible. I thought I would share what exactly we have for Thanksgiving dinner, as there is a wide variety in what people actually have!

Canadian Thanksgiving, Make It Monday

Although Canadian Thanksgiving has a complicated past, most of us like to think of it as celebrating the harvest! We are further north than our southern neighbours, and we have an earlier harvest due to the colder weather. It can be 20°C or it can be -5°C, realistically it’s probably going to be between 5-12°C. That means that it’s time for leggings, sweaters, and scarves- yes, this is my squirrel sweater, and I am damn proud of it. In our family, we almost always have our Thanksgiving out at the cottage, meaning that I get an excuse for a really good long walk. I like to get in some sort of exercise before diving into a meal that weighs the same as I do…

The Side Dishes

-Carrots
-Cranberry Jelly
-Mashed Potatoes
-Stuffing- Scotch and Bread

So, the side dishes are just as important as the main course at Thanksgiving. I am always a huge potato fan, but they are just a whole other level when sitting between cranberry jelly and turkey. My mom is a professional tater masher, and they have the best consistency- smooth but not runny or soupy. The carrots are from our garden at home, I’m pretty sure we are going to have carrots for the next six months. And then the dressing: here’s where I admit that I am not a dressing fan, as I can’t stand onions. However, the rest of the family loves it! The Scotch dressing is an oatmeal dressing, and the recipe has been passed down in my grandmother’s family for generations. The bread dressing is just that, dressing made from bread with onions and apples!

TURKEY. 

Yup, I’m here for the turkey. I love turkey, especially the dark meat! (Light meat is too dry….) My parents have a whole system and timeline for the day, when things have to be prepared and when they go in the oven/into the pot! We have a pretty good breakdown on who likes dark meat vs light meat, wings vs breast. (I’m a drumstick person, in case you were dying to know.) I know that a lot of families will often have a ham or a roast or some other sort of entree, but we are all about the turkey in this family! We also have this same meal for Christmas, and sometimes Easter- it’s the meal that keeps giving, as it feeds eight people for two and a half-ish meals. ( I will also be attempting to make turkey stock from the bones and skin after, so it really may be the meal that keeps on giving- hopefully I will have an update for you!)

Dessert

We are strictly a pie family at Thanksgiving! That’s our main difference between Thanksgiving and Christmas- pie belongs at Thanksgiving. We always have pumpkin pie and lemon meringue pie, and sometimes key lime pie. My nephew is a big apple pie fan, so we have that on hand, too, now! The key is in the whipped cream, you’ve got to go with whipped cream and pumpkin pie at every opportunity possible. (I totally did not buy two pies and a can of whipped cream to have at home also…) Pecan pie is very popular in the United States, but I don’t know many people here who eat pecan pie in general, let alone for Thanksgiving. I like to give a little bit of time between turkey and pie to allow for maximum pie eating- go big or go home, right??

What are your Thanksgiving traditions? 

Until tomorrow,
The Historian!

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