The following post was inspired by this post by the silver-tongued Karen over at foodvox.
As a kid in South Louisiana in the 70s, Thanksgiving was a time for giving thanks and for eating lots of great food. There was an occasional cool snap in the weather, leaves fell from trees, and the men were keeping up with their favorite football teams. The 70s were simpler times -- there were no turduchens, no Cajun injectors, and no deep fried turkeys (at least not for us) yet. Instead, my mamère and my mother combined family favorites into family feasts.
On Mamère's table, were these:
- roasted turkey
- fresh white beans
- fresh field peas
- salad of sliced, blanched chardron in vinegar, s&p -- We pronounced them "shah-drrrron" (with a silent 'n'). The French call them chardon (no second 'r'). They are the stalks of artichoke thistles harvested, in our case by Papère, from fields and swampy areas.
- rice n' gravy -- This is a very common Cajun dish of a thin, not gloppy, pan sauce served over rice.
- Cajun potato salad
- gumbo (occasionally)
Mom's house was a bit different. On the menu there were the following delicious options:
- pork loin with LOTS of yummy garlic
- dirty rice (rice dressing) OR farre (a German meat dressing of organ and other meats)
- petit pois -- The tiniest of green peas cooked in a roux with onions and other seasonings; most often eaten on rice
- green beans and potatoes OR
- creamed potatoes -- silky smooth, tasty, and thinner than mashed potatoes
- candied yams
- mirliton casserole with shrimp -- Another occasional dish. Mirliton ("Mare-lee-tawnh") is a vining vegetable that is also known as chayote or vegetable pear.
There were other dishes that made appearances over the years, but the ones I've mentioned were the anchors at our Thanksgiving meals.
At this time of year, I especially long for those foods of Thanksgivings past. As usual, I probably won't put many of them on my Thanksgiving table -- DH and picky SD probably would not touch them with a ten foot pole.
Which of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes you are you unable to or reluctant to cook for your family?