How do you stamp your family’s identity on your Thanksgiving meal?

I love Thanksgiving. I was born on Thanksgiving Day and grew up with the story of my dad trying to take a Thanksgiving dinner to my mom in the hospital. I loved having my grandparents all arrive to enlarge our gathering. We had that canned cranberry jelly and we kids decorated our fingertips with the black olives my mother always served. We always had homemade rolls and pies.  I’ve tasted those canned olives lately and they don’t taste as good, but they still hold the memory.

This week I read this article by Amelie Liu, I’m Honoring My Chinese Jewish Family ThisThanksgiving. I love Amelie’s suggestion that we bring foods to our table that “celebrates your family and all that makes it unique”.  That “could” be canned olives, but I urge you to create your own memory-foods, hopefully ones that retain their flavor.

A Thanksgiving week Shabbat offers another fun tradition – a turkey challah!
On November 28, 2013 Thanksgiving and the first day of the Hanukkah coincided; it was dubbed Thanksgivukkah in the media.  Quite naturally all the Jewish media was full of turkey shaped challahs. I love challah, I love specialty shaped challah, so of course I made one. I just used my regular challah recipe and then shaped the parts of dough to look like a turkey. I see online that other folks braid the dough that represents the tail, but I just did dots. It was very easy to tear apart. You can make it even more fun and delicious by using this pumpkin challah recipe.  I think I’ll do that this year.

Don’t hesitate to tell me about your family’s Thanksgiving traditions!

Happy Family Time!