Thanksgiving in SoCal: What are your Thanksgiving food traditions?
Thanksgiving week means recipes and last-minute cooking tips for a traditional Turkey Day meal are in abundant supply: How to roast a turkey without burning your house down. How to make the creamiest mashed potatoes, the most savory stuffing, the most mouth-watering pumpkin pie.
But lest we forget: We’re in Southern California, land of mashed-up cultures! And that means mashing those cultures into our Thanksgiving dinner recipes, too.
Why opt for gravy when you can drizzle on some mole? Why have cornbread stuffing when you can have sticky rice? In fact, do we even need a turkey at all? (One KPCC staffer's Chinese-American household’s annual meal: takeout Peking duck, complete with a hot pot smorgasbord. No turkeys to be found here.)
In that spirit, here are few food traditions some listeners have shared with us:
Melissa Alvarenga, who describes her family as “large, loud and loving,” tells Take Two:Greg Matuskiewicz tells Take Two: Darren White hails from Inglewood, but his family is from a much sunnier place: Trinidad and Tobago. "I feel great about my family traditions," White tells Take Two, "because it's a part of our family identity, it's part of who we are."
Thanksgiving morning in White's household entails codfish, hot chocolate and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. After that, the household descends into chaos.Jenny Yang is a writer and stand-up comedian. She lives in Highland Park and her family is from Taipei, Taiwan. Yang describes her Thanksgiving household festivities as a "hybrid" between Taiwanese and American styles. The kids of the household would introduce the traditional Thanksgiving dish, and their mother would adapt it.
Confusion over what stuffing is led to the creation of a sticky rice dish.Abelardo de la Pena Jr. describes his family as “polycultural with a lean toward Latino,” and typically has a vegetarian Thanksgiving. And Maria de Jesus Lopez, who owns the Koreatown-based Oaxacan restaurant Guelaguetza, explained to KPCC in 2012 what goes into their signature Oaxacan style stuffing: What kind of spin are you putting on your Thanksgiving meal this year? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook or on Twitter. Happy eating!
To hear SoCal residents share their Thanksgiving traditions, click the blue play button above.