Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Specials: Guavalicious...Turkey?

How many of you incorporate your heritage into your Thanksgiving celebrations? Do you have special traditions unique to your culture or family? Perhaps you cook certain non-traditional dishes... that are traditional in your home. What does a Thanksgiving in your home look and smell like? Some Latino families proudly add tastes of their culture to their feasts and this post is part of my series on Latin-inspired Thanksgiving dishes! I'll be featuring and linking to recipes on my friends' blogs. Be sure to look around while you're there. You'll love their amazing dishes.

My mother flew in yesterday. And my stepdad is expected to arrive on Wednesday. The kids are all excited and thrilled beyond belief to have their 'Buelita and Grandpa here for Thanksgiving, and they have planned a week full of activities to keep them entertained. (My parents will need a vacation to recover from their vacation after they get back.) So this week will be less about lessons and studying, and more about decorating and COOKING! (Yay!)

I am wondering how many of you will be celebrating Thanksgiving this year? Will you be cooking a traditional turkey meal like the ones the Pilgrims are said to have enjoyed during their feast with the Wampanoag people at Plymouth Rock? (Actually, their meal probably included corn, lobster, fish, berries, and other locally harvested foods.)

Or will you be enjoying a little sopa de frijoles as your main dish, like it may have been at America's REAL first Thanksgiving that occurred 56 years earlier in St. Augustine, Florida? And where the dominant language for the event was actually Spanish? You know... the first Thanksgiving feast that took place between a group of Spanish conquistadores led by conquistador Pedro Menéndez de Avilés and the native people of Florida, the Timucua.

Or will you be doing your own thing by mixing a little tradition with a little cultura? I'm still working out my contribution to our big Thanksgiving feast with familia y amigos, but over the next couple of days, I will post a few inspirational recipes that are available on the Internet. Muchisimas gracias to all of the authors/chefs/friends for allowing me to link to their mouth-watering posts....

This first super delicioso recipe comes from mi amiga, Marta Darby, over at My Big Fat Cuban Family.

by Marta Darby

I love Thanksgiving.

Being Cuban Americans, we appreciate that Thanksgiving is a holiday unique to this country. When we first started joining in and cooking the turkey, the side dishes were typically Cuban – arroz con frijoles negros, yuca con mojo, platanos maduros, etc.

What else would you cook when you have that many people coming over for a big meal??

Ah, but we have evolved. We made the decision a few years ago to keep the Thanksgiving meal pretty traditional. We didn’t want this to just be the “warm up” for Noche Buena.

My sisters and I share the load. My two oldest sisters will take turns cooking the turkey and side dishes. They know I can cook, but I’m still “the baby.” They let me do the creative: invitations, centerpieces, and photos, while they do the heavy lifting of preparing the meal.

Occasionally they give in and let me come into the kitchen. And when they do, I go for the “wow” factor. I originally got this recipe from Carrie. She was generous enough to share it on her Boonie blog and I immediately thought, “I am sooo making that!” (I changed a few things about it to make it my own, but that’s not important right now.)

The paring of port and guava and turkey is so sublime that it’s almost other-worldly.

You’ve been warned. Buen Provecho!

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