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The New Take on Traditional

The New Take on Traditional
Photo by Julia Bonavita

By Allie Brown

Staff Writer

 

Our world is mostly divided between the Halloween people and the Christmas people. You like one or other and there is often a debate about which is the better holiday. However, I think we
tend to skip over the true superior holiday; Thanksgiving.

There aren’t gifts from a magical man or the opportunity to get free candy, but Thanksgiving does provide an opportunity for family, thankfulness and a whole lot of food. There’s nothing
better than sitting down after a long day of cooking and sharing a meal with your family.

You have the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole. For dessert, you have apple pie with some warm apple cider. It’s the best meal of the year with a particularly specific
menu… or is it?

My dad and I started looking at recipes around mid-October to plan for the big day. Imagine my surprise as I scrolled through some recipes and stumbled upon “A Modern Thanksgiving Menu.”
It was terrifying.

There was the version with sautéed duck and mushroom turnovers with a side of roasted asparagus and balsamic-shallot butter. And for dessert, a molasses cake with a lemon cream
cheese frosting. Or the hold the bird versions with pork loin or a ham, with sides of roasted root vegetables, and sweet onion pudding.

After researching a multitude of these types of menus, I was left in shock. I was expecting some spruced up dishes. Maybe a new type of turkey marinade or some fancy side dishes. But, to
change the whole menu just seems absurd.

As Peppermint Patty says in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, “What kind of Thanksgiving dinner is this? Where’s the turkey, Chuck?” It’s a good question. Where was the turkey? In attempts to solve this mystery, I asked around trying to find answers.

“I’ve been vegetarian for 14 years now, so my thanksgiving always consists of no main course,” said FGCU Student Krystal Schroeder.

Schroeder went on to describe what her menu consists of.  Typically, it has a wonderful array of vegetarian friendly foods; vegetarian stuffing, mashed potatoes without the gravy, cranberry
sauce and more! I must admit that meal still does sound delicious.

I now understand why a modernized turkey dinner is to benefit those with dietary restrictions, which is something I can fully support. Based on what Schroeder said, it still has the traditional
feel.

It’s the other versions that confuse me.

The ones that completely replace the meal and appear more as a fancy dinner. After all, how can you celebrate turkey day without the turkey, or for my vegetarians, the delicious sides? The traditional version has a certain homeliness to it that cannot be replaced with a fancier version. Changing up the food takes away the sense of comfort that this holiday can bring.

It’s not only about the food, but the nostalgia and comfort it brings. In every Thanksgiving special of a series you always see the close up of the golden turkey getting carved or the pouring
of the gravy onto creamy mashed potatoes.

Not only is the traditional food superior, but the emotions it brings cannot be beat. In my family, we countdown to the days and our excitement grows. There’s nothing better than demolishing
turkey dinner and ending the day in your loosest pants laying down with a full tummy. At this point, Thanksgiving becomes less about the food and more about what the traditional spread
represents.

A home cooked meal reminiscent of your childhood days, where eating turkey or a big slice of pumpkin pie and spending the day with loved ones is all anyone expects from you. If you cannot
already tell, I am team traditional all the way. There is just something about changing this menu that irks me. Maybe it’s the tradition with my family or just my love of turkey, but I don’t think I
could ever switch.

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