Happy Thanksgiving! Or Black Friday, if you’re into that. I hope you all had a fabulous day full of awesome food and new memories with your families. At my house, we did it up like we usually do every year. We’re Dominican, so our Thanksgiving is nothing like the “traditional” American dinner. We don’t have green bean casserole, or mashed potatoes, or stuffing. Dominican Thanksgiving is actually interchangeable with Christmas dinner. The only thing that changes is the main protein; we have turkey (just like everyone else) at Thanksgiving, and pork for Christmas. Enough with the Christmas stuff, we’ll get to that next month. Let’s talk about yesterday’s dinner.
My mom and I are always the main cooks in the kitchen. My sister comes and goes, but it’s mainly us two. We plan a menu a week in advanced, but my mom always adds things last minute. My mom, or Mami as I like to call her, always says that she doesn’t know how to make small amounts of food. She’s right because even though we’re just a family of four, she always make enough food to easily feed at least 12. Thankfully, our neighbors join us for dinner, which helps take some of the food off the table and also gives us that ‘family’ feel that’s necessary during the holidays.
On this year’s menu, Mami and I made:
- Moro de gandules: rice cooked together with pigeon peas (not pictured, unfortunately).
- Eggplant casserole: a layer of tempura graffiti eggplant followed by tomato sauce, canned green beans, bell pepper slices, onion slices, mozzarella cheese, another layer of tempura eggplant which is finally topped of with more sauce and a final layer of cheese.
- Pork pastelón aka starch casserole because it’s basically two thick layers of shredded plantains, squash, taro root that have been mixed together with other seasonings, and a middle layer of cooked chunks of pork.
- Potato salad aka my specialty: boiled then diced potatoes and carrots, chopped hardboiled eggs, diced onions and cubanelle peppers, mixed with mayo, salt, and vinegar.
- Tri-colored macaroni salad: tri-colored macaroni, tossed with mayo, vinegar, salt, and diced onions and cubanelle peppers
- Tossed green salad: shredded Napa cabbage, canned corn, chopped green and red tomatoes, and cucumbers
- My whole wheat dinner rolls. I actually made them half white, half whole wheat.
- Coconut macaroon and pumpkin pie from the Shiksa in the Kitchen, which is just me trying to introduce more “traditional” items into our holiday menus. It almost always fails, as my family doesn’t always like it. The pie was awesome, though. I just wish it were more coconut-y.
- We also made piña colada; an amalgamation of canned pineapple rings in juice, canned pineapple juice, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, canned coconut cream, and as much Bacardi as you can handle (also not pictured).
Everything was awesome and I can’t wait to eat leftovers! I am just thankful for all the blessings I have and haven’t received. These past six months were kind of tough on me mentally and personally but I know that maybe things were just supposed to be this way for me, and that good things do come to those who wait ( I just need more patience). I’m also thankful for my mom’s awesome cooking!
Again, I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and that you creatively enjoy your leftovers!