Thanksgiving: A Day When Food Becomes History

Cheyenne Yodong, Opinion Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The truth behind Thanksgiving seems to be forgotten by those who celebrate it. Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pies, among many things, usually come to mind when we think of Thanksgiving. It’s a time to come together as family and friends to show appreciation, especially for the cook.

So, what is the history of Thanksgiving?

According to various historical texts, the first Thanksgiving involved the Pilgrims – Christian religious refugees – acknowledging the help of the native Squanto and members of the Wampanoag tribes who taught them how to fish and plant seeds to survive in a so-called “new” world.

This harvest of plenty of food such as corn and squash became the beginning of Thanksgiving.

Like an onion, this is only a layer of the Thanksgiving story. The level of controversy one encounters over Thanksgiving depends on who’s presenting the story.

Sometimes Thanksgiving history seems to forget the long period of conflict between the Native Americans and Europeans that led to the loss of millions of lives. Instead of thanks, some people see it as a “National Day of Mourning” and gather annually atop Cole’s Hill overlooking Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts.

Still, the most history people deal with on Thanksgiving is the task to make the turkey and trimming “history,” plate by delicious plate. Thanksgiving is a food holiday. Just like the difference people have in viewing the holiday, there are differences in what people eat on the holiday that vary from house to house among Weston Ranch students.

Like most people, Lily Ortiz (’18) celebrates with the traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

“Besides turkey, my fam buys a good ol’ brown sugar ham. My mum makes Spinach Dip and Cranberry Relish. We have Mashed Potatoes with those delicious dinner rolls. We eat some veggies like corn and fried asparagus. Then for desert, Pumpkin pie and this thing called Ambrosia,” Ortiz said.

What is “Ambrosia”?

“It’s basically Cool Whip mixed with fruit cocktail and toasted coconut on top.”

Other than Ambrosia, there are some other dishes typically served by different groups of people that speak to their traditions.

For some African American students like Nyla Ivy (’18), Thanksgiving can mean getting a plate of chitterlings known as “chitlins.”

“I don’t eat chitlins, but my family does,” Ivy said. “They have too much fat. It’s hard for me to chew them, but my sister loves them.”

Chitlins are made from pig intestines. Some families in South Americans also prepare the dish for special occasions.

For Michy Benavides, Thanksgiving means her uncle will be cooking white offal.

What is white offal? Simply put, its fish guts.

“We get the inside of the fish and clean it. We have to let it sit out for a day. We boil it, cook it, and then we have a choice of eating it raw or put spices in it,” Benavides said.

Then there are students who chose not to turkey or any meat at all.

As part of a vegetarian, Supreet Sandhu said, “We don’t eat the usual turkey dinner. Instead we usually get some other type of take-out, that way no one has to cook for the holiday. Also, pizza is good any time of the year.”

Other vegetarians select tofu turkey, which like any tofu, is made out of soybean protein, yet shaped like the national bird of the day.

While tofu is vegetable-based, for most families, the primary vegetable dish of the day is the green bean casserole, known by many yet enjoyed by few, at least at our school.

Sophomore Chris Rogers said of casserole, a concoction of green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and bread crumbs, “I used to have it in Texas. My grandma made it. It reminds me of her.”

Ethnically, Rogers also said it is “It’s the whitest dish ever.”

Malik Ellerbe (’18) also celebrates Thanksgiving with the dish. “I only eat it during Thanksgiving because that’s the only time people cook it.”

Amazingly, we have much to learn about Thanksgiving, compared to what we think we know.

As for the holiday desserts, a recent survey by the baking company, Pillsbury revealed that pumpkin pie isn’t the most popular Thanksgiving dessert. In fact, more people buy apple pie as opposed to pumpkin pie.

By the numbers, 32. 1% of holiday shoppers buy apple pies, 23.2% get pumpkin pies, followed by chicken pot pie, pecan pie, and sweet potato pie.

No matter how you choose to celebrate Thanksgiving, pace yourself, to pile more onto your plate to make your food “history.”

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Thanksgiving: A Day When Food Becomes History

    News

    Cougars Receive Grants, Donations For Program Improvements

  • Thanksgiving: A Day When Food Becomes History

    News

    Hanukkah Part of Holiday Lights

  • Thanksgiving: A Day When Food Becomes History

    News

    Finley Focused on Future at Iowa Central

  • Thanksgiving: A Day When Food Becomes History

    News

    Sophia: A Citizen But Still Not Human

  • Thanksgiving: A Day When Food Becomes History

    News

    Veterans Day Is A Day To Honor The Living

  • Thanksgiving: A Day When Food Becomes History

    News

    Friends-Giving Way For Students, Clubs To Share Holiday Spirit

  • Thanksgiving: A Day When Food Becomes History

    News

    Senior Quote Guidelines Sent Out To Class of 2018

  • Thanksgiving: A Day When Food Becomes History

    News

    Suddenly, I was homeless

  • Thanksgiving: A Day When Food Becomes History

    News

    Career Technical Clubs Begin Dialogue With MUSD

  • Thanksgiving: A Day When Food Becomes History

    News

    Homelessness Subject On Many Students’ Minds

Thanksgiving: A Day When Food Becomes History