Being from Panama, Thanksgiving always felt like a borrowed holiday among my family. Instead of turkey, years past have brought lobster, roasted chicken, lamb as the much-awaited centerpiece to our evening meal. A year ago I was in Segovia, Spain, celebrating Thanksgiving from far away with cochinillo, or roasted suckling pig and glass after glass of rioja. This year, we had hours long cooked bison- delicious. Store bought pumpkin and sweet potato pies always made an appearance, in order to fool ourselves into thinking that we were actually celebrating the most American of holidays.
Bison aside, we attempted to deep-fry a turkey this year in honor of this grateful day. The poor bird looked like it got severe sunburn. Thankfully, it was the side dishes and desserts that were saved the day. Clove-studded clementines eased hunger during a long day of culinary preparations. Artfully displayed cocktail shrimp introduced dinner. Golden roasted butternut squash soup drizzled with cream and garnished with rosemary warmed up our carnivores’ appetites. Homey cornbread stuffing, buttery sweet potato mash, rich mashed potatoes, and spicy homemade applesauce topped off the meal.
At long last, an array of desserts. In addition to sweet potato pie and baked peach crisp, a picturesque red velvet cake crowned the table. After briefly becoming diabetic, my family and I relaxed over steaming mugs of mulled apple cider and Panamanian coffee in preparation of the second most American of holidays- Black Friday sales.