Thanks for all the food
By Bella Campbell
It’s that time of year again… when you break out your autumn-colored sweaters and daydream about all that turkey and potato salad. Thanksgiving is upon us once again! Personally, I am happy for this holiday season.
Some foods just have a connotation. I say “turkey”; you say “Thanksgiving.” I say “pumpkin pie”; you say “Thanksgiving.” Or maybe it’s the other way around. These foods can be eaten any time of year. There’s nothing to stop you from eating turkey and stuffing in June, but just like the holidays themselves, I suspect that some things are just better when in moderation. If you ate cranberry sauce and spiral ham everyday, then I’m sure it wouldn’t be as great if you ate it once or twice a year. You wouldn’t look forward to it as much.
For me, Thanksgiving favorites are stuffing without the turkey, rolls and my grandma’s worship-worthy macaroni salad. Those are things that I only get to eat once a year. Like tamales on New Year’s, hot dogs on the Fourth of July, or squash soup on the first day of autumn, some things are just classics and some foods just have their day.
New England is credited with starting the turkey, cranberry and pumpkin pie trend back in the nineteenth century. Now different regions of the United States make their own changes to the traditional thanksgiving menu. Many northeastern states incorporate crab into their meals, northwestern states use hazelnuts in their sauces, and Florida serves Key Lime pie alongside pumpkin. In Minnesota, turkey might be stuffed with wild rice, in Baltimore it’s common to eat sauerkraut with ham, and in Indiana persimmon puddings are a favorite dessert.
Is there a bad side of Thanksgiving, you ask? I’m here to inform you that there is.
The leftovers. Something you love can easily turn into something you hate when subjected to it every day for the next week. I love macaroni salad, but not for breakfast, lunch and dinner for days. Maybe you like leftovers, but believe me, I’m happy to say goodbye to Thanksgiving and all the leftovers about three days after it ends.
Thanksgiving meals have evolved from the simple feasts of the Pilgrims and Puritans. The ideas and purposes behind Thanksgiving have also evolved. Most people (including yours truly) think about the food and not the thanks. I argue to myself that I can give thanks any day of the year, whenever is necessary, but then I remember that special food eaten year-round isn’t as special anymore. So perhaps thanks would have more impact if truly meant and truly felt once a year.