How to celebrate thanksgiving with an Aussie Twist

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

I’ve never celebrated Thanksgiving, similar to Halloween it’s an American tradition. However, we visited some Aussie family members over in America last year a few days after Thanksgiving and they were telling us all about their fun-filled day with their friends.  It made me think that I would like to adopt Thanksgiving, but give it an Aussie twist.  Create a tradition of being more about being thankful for our friends, families and loved ones and not about spending a lot of money on presents like Christmas. It seems such a lovely tradition and I know that some of my friends already celebrate it.

I decided to get creative and consider how we could celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia and what sort of spring/summer menu we could cook up and serve. Let’s see if we can compare the American traditional menu, and substitute our in-season harvest to create a Thanksgiving with an Aussie twist!

I decided to get creative and consider how we could celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia and what sort of spring/summer menu we could cook up and serve.

Thanksgiving is celebrated as a national holiday in America on Thursday 22nd November. We are getting together at a friends house the weekend before for pre-Christmas celebrations, which is perfect timing for Thanksgiving celebrations!!

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THANKSGIVING?

Americans have been celebrating Thanksgiving for centuries, with the first ever Thanksgiving held in October 1621. But what exactly were they celebrating? Well as history goes, American Plymouth colonists wanted to honour the abundant harvest that the land provided that particular year, as it was enough food to feed an entire community for a very long time. In previous years, there had been a very difficult famine in the area, but the prosperous harvest finally returned and provided rich crops and animal livestock to the locals. This made the pilgrims want to give thanks to the Lord for their good fortune and to celebrate the “New World”, which was a name used for the Earth’s Western Hemisphere that included the Americas, the Caribbean and Bermuda areas.

What followed, was the ‘Age Of Discovery’ era, where Europeans made landfall discoveries, which eventually led to America becoming its own country. The pilgrims decided to combine all these positives that were occurring and celebrate with an incredible feast of delicious food that was prepared from the bounty hunted and collected that year. And, in October 1621, 53 American Plymouth colonists and 90 Wampanoag Native American Indians attended the feast, which consisted of a most-likely menu of roast goose, codfish, lobster, venison, porridge, corn and wildfowl. The feast lasted for over three days and included prayers to thank God for their health, military and political success, and for that year’s abundant harvest which symbolised the end of the long drought.

But it still took a long time for Thanksgiving to become a national federal holiday in the USA. Finally in 1863, and right in the middle of the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving as a symbolised holiday, which would take place on the last Thursday of every November of every year.

THE FOOD SIDE OF THANKSGIVING AND THE YUMMY RECIPES

Americans certainly know how to create wonderful food feasts that make your eyes stare in awe and your tummies rumble. Some of the food that is traditionally served for Thanksgiving today, includes mouth-watering and perfectly cooked turkeys with stuffing, corn puddings and cheese grits, roasted sweet potato casseroles, bacon and green beans, pumpkin pies and walnut crusts. These are just some of the incredible foods that are served on the November holiday!

I decided to get creative and consider how we could celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia and what sort of spring/summer menu we could cook up and serve.Image credit visit Fine Cooking

AMERICAN THANKSGIVING MENU

I’ve used the All-American Thanksgiving Menu from Country Living, where you will find several examples of Thanksgiving American recipes, to compare the menu and contrast some Aussie food recipes I found, which I thought would make interesting substitutes to go with our Aussie summer.

What I found interesting, is that the stuffing for the turkey is cooked in a casserole dish and not actually stuffed into the turkey. I’ve never actually made stuffing but this sounds delicious.  Traditionally, it’s made from bread, butter, celery, garlic, sage, thyme, broth, eggs, salt and pepper.

I decided to get creative and consider how we could celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia and what sort of spring/summer menu we could cook up and serve.Image credit New York Post

Main Course: 

Perfect Roast Turkey

American Side Dishes:

Cheese Grits and Corn Pudding

Roasted Sweet Potato Casserole with Praline

Marvin Woods’s Brussels Sprouts, Red Pepper, and Avocado Salad

Potato and Celery Root Gratin

Green Beans with Bacon

Cracked Pepper Dinner Rolls

American Desserts:

All-American Apple Pie

Pumpkin Pie with Walnut Crust

We purchased a frozen SaraLee pumpkin pie while we visited America, I really enjoyed it and could only imagine how much nicer one from scratch would taste… ooh my taste buds are watering.

AUSSIE THANKSGIVING MENU

For the Australian Thanksgiving menu, I found some recipe inspiration from around the web and combined the meals with a few of my own recipes, creating an Australian Thanksgiving menu below. I hope you all enjoy my Aussie twist on Thanksgiving and don’t forget to share your thoughts with me, by leaving a comment at the end of this post.

I decided to get creative and consider how we could celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia and what sort of spring/summer menu we could cook up and serve.Image credit visit Dungog

Australian Main Course: 

Pesto-crusted Lamb Racks with Golden Parmesan Potatoes

Australian Side Dishes:

Zucchini and Sweet Potato Slice

Feta and Mint Pearl Couscous Salad

Gravlax and Potato Salad

Chargrilled Fennel and Asparagus Salad

Grilled Vegetable and Squid Salad

Garlic Prawn Rolls

Australian Desserts:

Pavlova

Lamington Roll

I decided to get creative and consider how we could celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia and what sort of spring/summer menu we could cook up and serve.

Image credit Delicious

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS AND FAVOURITE THANKSGIVING RECIPE

I’m curious to know – do you celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia? If you do, are you from the USA and do you have a traditional recipe that you cook every year that has to be on your dinner table? And If you don’t, would you consider adopting this American tradition into your family because of its family values and lessons it teaches us to be grateful and thankful for the simple things in life?

You may also like

2 comments

Christine November 8, 2018 - 9:18 PM

As an American girl who has been living in Australia for nearly 10 years now, I love celebrating “Aussie” Thanksgiving! Since the weather here is warm, instead of cold like in the States and we don’t get the day off work to cook all day, I do a summer-y, simplified menu with similar flavours. I like to make turkey burgers on the bbq topped with cranberry sauce, with a side of sweet potato chips. I’ve also seen that Coles now sells canned pumpkin! So I will have a go at making a pumpkin pie this year!!

Reply
Elizabeth November 9, 2018 - 11:38 AM

Am an Aussie Melbournian and would absolutely love to start this tradition. Think it’s such a beautiful concept. Thank you for writing this xx

Reply

Leave a Comment