Thanksgiving is one of our most favorite holidays. Actually, it’s Micah’s favorite. Growing up, we never really did Thanksgiving. I think we did it 2 or 3 times but we ordered the ready made meal from Safeway. What can I say, we’re Asian. I don’t think my parents knew about Thanksgiving until I came come from Kindergarten one day and explained it to them. They just knew that they got the day off and people ate turkey.
When Micah and I started dating, we decided we were going to do Thanksgiving. I mean the whole deal – turkey, stuffing, rolls, gravy, napping after dinner, followed by a walk and a second dinner – the whole deal. The first Thanksgiving we had was very traditional. We didn’t get creative, we didn’t stray too far from what we got in those Safeway ready meals. The only difference is we made everything from scratch and our stuff tasted much better.
Since then, we’ve taken Thanksgiving to a whole new level. We do themed Thanksgiving. We alter the rolls, salad, green bean casserole, sides, turkey and pie to reflect a regional cuisine. The first year of this experiment was a Chesapeake Thanksgiving. I had just moved from DC, and we thought it would be a nice reminder of the move back west. The highlights were Old Bay seasoned Turkey, oyster stuffing and the Old Bay onion tart. The Virginia Spoon bread didn’t fare as well.
The year after we did a Hawaiian Thanksgiving. That was the best one thus far. Kalua Turkey, Hawaiian sweet rolls, pineapple upside down cake, poi, spam fried rice and a tofu salad. It was a HUGE hit!
Last year we did a New Orleans themed meal. I think the winner was the andouille stuffing. The Cajun rubbed turkey was pretty good too.
Thinking about Thanksgiving this year made us a little sad. We originally planned on a New Mexican Thanksgiving including an adovada rub turkey but as the house fell behind, we realized that Thanksgiving in the new house or even the current apartment wouldn’t happen. Trying to cook a turkey at my parents house seemed like too much to handle amidst the packing and moving. We were sad.
Then Mom had a great idea. A local Chinese restaurant with killer BBQ and roast poultry sells roasted turkey during the holidays. They cook it the way they cook roast duck. B.I.N.G.O! So now we’re doing a Chinese themed Thanksgiving. Here’s the menu:
Rolls = BBQ baked Hum Boa
Soup = Hot and Sour or Wonton
Mashed Potatoes = fried Turnip Cake (Law Bok Gow). See image below.
Green Bean Casserole = Szechuan (fried) green beans
Salad = steamed Gai Lan (Chinese broccoli) with oyster sauce
Pumpkin Pie = Pumpkin pie. I’m going to make a fortune cookie crust.
I found a recipe for the turnip cakes at Appetite for China. It’s one of my favorites when we have Dim Sum. The best part about this meal is that everything should take no more than an hour to cook. We can still move all of Wednesday and the only thing we have to do is buy a few things in Chinatown. My parents have all the spices and sauces already.
I’m excited that Micah gets his favorite holiday. We’re excited we get to continue our tradition this year. We’re excited that my parents are really excited for the food. My Dad feels weird if there isn’t rice at every meal. Can you tell we are excited?