For many Americans, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to showcase their best recipes, either inherited down familial and cultural lines or torn straight from the pages of the November issue of Bon Appétit.
Although we all know the classic interpretations of Thanksgiving dinner— a stuffed turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce— anyone who’s had a home cooked meal knows that it matters just as much who makes the dish as what goes in it.
Not only that, but many observers of Thanksgiving do not keep their meal restricted to the kinds of dishes we might expect to see in a Thanksgiving children’s book. Tables may be loaded with dumplings, tamales, stews, tahdig, fritters and other savory mains, as well as pies and cakes.
Given the recent precipitous rise in COVID-19 cases, many of us will be enjoying Thanksgiving alone, or with just a small gathering of household family or friends in order to stay safe. We may be craving our grandmother’s cornbread, or dreaming about our cousin’s secret chili recipe.
Ahead of this unusual Thanksgiving, we are coming together to reflect on our all-time favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Is there a pie you still dream about? Your grandmothers’ recipe for stuffing that she keeps close to her chest? A batch of mac n cheese that came out exceptionally well five years ago that you still fantasize about to this day?