Titans trade in the turkey for a different Thanksgiving dinner

Photo by: Camille Taylor

Photo by: Camille Taylor

Camille Taylor

When Thanksgiving comes up in conversation, many might picture the typical, Hallmark card moment. A family gathered around the table, ready to indulge as one of the most anticipated moments of the fall season comes to life. Cheese still melting on top of freshly baked mac-n-cheese, glazed ham glistening each time it catches the light and most importantly turkey ready to fall off of its’ bones after being cooked to perfection.

“Thanksgiving is all about the food for my family,” senior Isabelle Farias said. “We always make sure to cook the essentials, like the turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce.”

However, considering how diverse our society has grown due to the diffusion of various cultures and different lifestyle choices, Thanksgiving can look pretty different depending on the household you’re in. Having a multi-cultural background adds new flavors to the table. Generations of family members come together to cook dishes that are a reflection of their culture’s traditions.

“It’s a mixture of Hispanic heritage and Italian Heritage,” sophomore Gianfranco Tommaso said. “We first have with the Hispanic heritage, an assortment of different kinds of foods like empanadas, tostones, Arroz con gandules (rice and pigeon peas) and even pasteles. Then with the Italian side, we have three types of meat: the regular ham, turkey with bacon on top of it and pulled pork. Then you have the pasta, fried-up zucchini, and homemade meatballs.”

While students may trade in the turkey for a dish from their cultural, others may omit the typical feast for dietary reasons. In the traditional setting, the main staples of a Thanksgiving feast are the various meats such as ham, turkey, or chicken. When you live on a vegetarian diet, however, the consumption of meat is out of the question even for the holidays.

“I am a vegetarian so for me it’s kind of different,” sophomore Julia Yates said. “I eat corn, pie, salad, and {the store} has vegetarian turkey cutlets with gravy. I feel like it’s a lot healthier”

Some families may skip out on the dinner altogether. Breaking out fancy tableware and spending hours slaving away in the kitchen to host a large feast doesn’t serve as a good fit. Instead, they order food from restaurants or cook up an average meal. At the end of the day, spending time with one another is the only concern for Thanksgiving. A casual get-together with everyday food manages to accomplish this goal, without the hassle.

“We normally just invite my grandparents and eat dinner. Everything we eat is pretty much made on the grill.” sophomore Ashton Stavros said. “We usually have burgers and hot dogs, with some Mac on the side. Who cares about staying with ‘tradition?’”?

As time goes on, many realize that there is no perfect way to celebrate Thanksgiving. It doesn’t matter if you eat the usual ham and sweet potatoes or you eat burgers and hotdogs. All that matters is who you celebrate with. As long as you have a great group of people around you, you are bound to make some amazing memories.