Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Gathered Thanksgiving Part One

Despite the great political divide and intolerance that's gripping this country, there is one thing that unifies us as a nation  - Thanksgiving. No matter our ancestry, our skin color, or our beliefs we come together in giving thanks and gratitude. Many have forgotten that nowadays,. The New York Times Food section has it. This week , there are holiday recipes from all sorts of home chefs.

Diversity and the willingness to not only explore but to hold on to ttime-honored traditions is what make's America's kitchens so great. The Tmes interviewed fifteen families from all over the US. There is the taste of somalia thanks to clothig designer sisters Ayaan and Idyl Mohallim of Brooklyn  who have their family rice recipe, bariis iskukaris. This is a rich mix of basmati rice cooked in chcken stock and flavored with various spices such as cumin and fenugreek, Raisins top and red onions. Filipinos have bibingko instead of cornbread. Nicole Ponseca, a New Yorker and first generation American-Filipino creates this tasty dish made from rice and coconut milk. Preserved salted eggs and Parmesan cheese give it saltiness and richness Of course there is traditional recipes such as Sweeney potatoes from the Passanisi family  of Alameda California Theirs comes from grandmother , Florence Sweeney who took the recipe from her Dutch ancestors. she named it after her Irish husband Kevin Sweeney. It's like a scalloped potatoes, lush with cream cheese and sour cheese. Butter and cheddar cheese make it even more silkier.

The history of American food is the history of this country.It was never more evident in african cooking with dishes going back to the enslaved period in American history.. Erika Council  has her grandmother's Mildred Council's pork neck and macaroni. Her grandmother was a restaurant owner and chef  who crried on this simple but delicious mix of bomes and onion simmered in ater flavored with pepper flakes, ground pepper and salt.. It's cooked until the broth is gelatinous and then the macaroni is added. The Latino influence is also strong and vibrant in this country. Cuban american Margarita Velasco of Miami  who combines her two heritages into one pumpkin flan. It is made with calabaza, a kind of pumpkin shaped squash used in  many Cuban recipes. For MarthBeltrann of austen Texas, it pan de jamon, ham bread from Bogota Columbia, It is a labor intensive  and time consuming because the bread that is later filled with butter, olives and ham. It wouln't be a  family dinner without it,.

America is a truly diverse country. Our foods define us and our heritage yet they blend together to form our cuisine. It's varied, reflectng us and who we are.

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