Every family puts their own twist on a Thanksgiving meal. Here’s how some of our readers do

Every family puts their own twist on a Thanksgiving meal. Here’s how some of our readers do

In October, I shared a look into how my family celebrates Thanksgiving. While we do enjoy a lot of traditional Thanksgiving dishes, we do it with a Latin twist.

With my dad’s Cuban marinade and my mom’s Honduran pupusas, our meals look a bit different. After writing the story, I was curious about your twist on Thanksgiving meals. Here’s what some readers said.

A plant-based twist

Thirty-two years ago, Zakiya Courtney adopted a vegan diet. She applied this to holiday meals, family gatherings and birthday parties. Courtney did this with the goal of creating home-cooked meals that are just as good as, or better than, those with meat. She also calls Thanksgiving “Ancestors Day,” to reflect the history of Indigenous people in the U.S. and the opportunity to share memories of their own family’s ancestors.

An emphasis on giving

Terry Dorr is a volunteer at Kathy’s House, a hospital guest house on the campus of the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center in Wauwatosa. Patients come from all over Wisconsin to receive treatment they are not able to get closer to home. This year, 50 to 60 patients and caregivers will stay at Kathy’s House while they receive treatment at area hospitals.

“Away from family and friends, my goal is to provide a nutritious, delicious and comforting meal to guests,” Dorr wrote in an email. “Most guests are undergoing grueling treatment for cancer and stay at Kathy’s House for months.”

With help from other volunteers, they will cook, bake and serve turkey and other fixings on Thanksgiving.

Exploring other cultures

Karin White is all about jumping out of comfort zones. She’s had turkey roasted, grilled on the Weber, and even deep-fried.

Some fun banter between family members on who can make the better jambalaya led her family to experiment with other cultures during family meals. They’ve hosted gatherings with meals that reflect German, Greek and Indian cuisines, and last year they had a Creole Thanksgiving.

This year the White family will have a French Thanksgiving meal and make Chateaubriand and potatoes au gratin, plus other side dishes.

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