By Santee Ross, University of Montana
Thanksgiving is the one holiday where gluttony becomes everybody’s sin but I’m not judging because I love food as much as Emeril loves to say “BAM!”
I can’t think of any American who doesn’t love a plate (or several plates) of good food, football, the couch and family. That’s just living the dream right there.
Now most families have the traditional spread—turkey, stuffing, cranberries, mashed potatoes and some bread with butter. My family is slightly non-traditional.
On thanksgiving our meal becomes exotic and fun. It all started a couple years ago when we grew tired of the same old drab meal. The women in my family became bored with making the same stuffing, the same yams and the same old boring turkey.
That’s not to say I don’t love all these dishes but having them at Thanksgiving and then again at Christmas took all the deliciousness out of them. So the solution was to create a completely different kind of Thanksgiving.
The first non-traditional meal we had was Chinese—not take-out that would be cheating. We made egg rolls, fried rice, lo mein and drank hot tea. The second year we had Mexican—hello spicy! We made enchiladas, tacos, Spanish rice and beans.
We have also done East Indian, Italian and this year (sadly I won’t be there), my family is going to do German.
This non-traditional thanksgiving meal became our tradition. I love that my family is unique and out-of-the box because every other family is having the same exact meal.
Essentially that’s what holidays are for in the first place, bringing family together through tradition—our tradition just happens to be cooking differently. So even though my family does Thanksgiving a bit odd, we found a way to claim it as our own.
Santee Ross (Hopi/Lakota) is from Lander, Wyo.