Fresh Ideas for Your Next Thanksgiving

By Tylor Mehringer

Traditionally, Thanksgiving is a day to gather with family and loved ones to celebrate each other and be thankful. For many Americans, this tradition takes place on a Thursday with a plateful of turkey and/or ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, squash, green beans, other vegetables, rolls with butter, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Although this meal comes once a year and is dear to our hearts, some households may struggle with repetition in their menu. If you decide to switch up your meal next year, I have some fun recommendations I’ve learned from this recent Thanksgiving: 

First, do not forget to incorporate family traditions into your meal; after all, that is the whole point of the day. For my family, because of our Italian heritage, we lovingly add homemade ravioli to our unique menu. My recommendation is to incorporate a dish that is important to your family in particular, something everyone loves. This can be changing the entire meal, altering some side dishes, or trying out a new dessert to conclude the night. In addition to this, a great idea is to have everyone bring their own personal favorite dish. While a handful of family members reunite for this holiday, this is a great way to connect back to some family history. 

If you like to keep things traditional, however, I also have some recipes that can change it a little bit! First, a good way to make sure your vegetables are not soggy is to roast them by combining potatoes and squash or green beans all together in a pan. You can add simple spices, olive oil, and roast them at the same time as the turkey. This is a great way to make less work for yourself when all you have is a quick prep and then let your oven do the rest! Next, a great way to mix it up is making bread by hand. This is something you can do with your family and it gives you something to do while you are waiting to eat. Rather than making plain loaves, add spices that complement the meal or try out some garlic knots. Lastly, changing dessert is always an option. Baking is such a fun experience especially when you make it all together. One of my favorites is pumpkin flavored fudge. It is not overpowering while super simple to make. Do something different by baking a spice cake that is manageable and delicious. 

It’s important to remember this holiday can be special to you and your family. Making new traditions as well as old ones can make it exciting and memorable. With that, I leave you with my recommendations! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.