Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! #Thanksgiving #Canada

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Canadian Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holidays for my family. The excitement begins when I start seeing pumpkins everywhere – at grocery stores, at Costco, on school snacks calendars, on print advertisements, on news promoting pumpkin patches and deals on this fruit (yes, fruit) everywhere.

We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving today but hosting a festive lunch. The actual day is tomorrow – Canada celebrates its Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October. We had some of our friends over for a celebratory lunch with the usual menu – Turkey and Gravy, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans Casserole, and Yams (Sweet Potatoes). This year, I also added Cornbread, and a Beets-Apple Mash. Thanks to Trader Joe’s, we had delicious Pumpkin Cheesecake for dessert.

As an immigrant, participating in Thanksgiving activities in the United States were a cultural right of passage. I did not know the significance of the day or its controversial and bloody history. To me, it was a day off from school and whenever invited over to someone’s home, a delicious meal.

Then, I married a Canadian and learned of the reasons why Canada celebrates a day of thanksgiving. Even though there are a few different explanations for this, the one that appealed the most to me had to do with it being a celebration of harvest and a symbolic way to say thank you to the good fortune that the previous year had brought along.

I take pride in raising my multiracial and multicultural kids and Canadian Thanksgiving or as Canadians call it, Thanksgiving, is just one of the cultural celebrations we observe. The others are Diwali, Hanukkah, and Christmas.

The first time I cooked for Canadian Thanksgiving, it was just for Aaron and me. The following year we invited a bunch of friends over for dinner and I remember making a whole array of items including Gnocchi with Butternut Squash, Pumpkin Cupcakes, and another item I now forget. I remember the hours at the kitchen stove sweating it out with the cooking, 5 months pregnant, and stressing over how everything would turn out – it was my first time hosting so many people and I wanted everything to go well. Most of all, I remember the fun and laughter, the happy cheers floating around my dinner table, and the strong friendships.

The following year, we celebrated Thanksgiving with even more people and had even more fun. It was also Baby J’s first Thanksgiving and he got a pretty little bib from one of our friends to commemorate the occasion (see image below).

Then, we moved to San Jose and celebrated our first Thanksgiving in a new city with a few close friends. We didn’t have as many people as we did in Chicago but the chaos surrounding cooking everything on time and to taste as delicious as I could pull off, the stress levels, and the amazing conversations accompanied by the warmth of friendship were all just as intense and memorable.

This year, we had two more people than last year including Baby E. This was her first Thanksgiving and although I only gave her a little of the food (only a pinch of Sweet Potatoes earlier in the day), it was still memorable.

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Baby E wearing the same bib her brother wore two years ago to commemorate her first Canadian Thanksgiving

I really enjoy cooking Thanksgiving food especially because it has a predictable menu and I am not spending time trying to figure out what to make. I may make a few modifications or add a new dish but I don’t have to. I can simply make the usual suspects of Thanksgiving items and it will still be a great meal (assuming everything tastes well).

The one thing that does accompany holiday cooking, be it Thanksgiving or Diwali, is the stress I take on to ensure everything is just perfect. Even though in the end it all seems to come together wonderfully well (Thank Goodness!), there have been an occasional sweet potato or two that has gone flying across the living room floor because the skin refused to comply to the demands of the peeler! Oh well..what is a holiday without a little stress.

In the end, I had fun catching up with our friends. TJ had a blast playing with his friend. I was still able to keep Baby E’s schedule.

As I write this, late into the night, the dishes are all cleaned and put away. Until next year…

Here are some pictures from our lunch today:

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Turkey Roast
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Partially cooked Green Bean Casserole just before baking
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Baked and ready to eat – Green Bean Casserole
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Mashed Potatoes
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Stuffing

For now, we are all still enjoying our leftovers and reeling under the effects of tryptophan. Gobble Gobble.

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What holidays do you celebrate? Have you ever celebrated something that is traditionally NOT a part of your native culture?


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12 thoughts on “Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! #Thanksgiving #Canada

  1. We had such a good time celebrating with you all yesterday! And everything was so delicious 🙂 I admire you for making it work with two kids! Well done, Suchi 🙂

    1. Oh thank you so much, Hema. I’m so glad you guys could make it. I keep thinking of the interactions between M and J. What joy to watch!

  2. I shouldn’t have read this hungry, it all looks delicious! Being new to the US from the UK, we are only just getting into Thanksgiving… this will be our third year and I’m already feeling excited! #FamilyFun

    1. Thank you. It was a good Thanksgiving. Are you looking forward to this year’s American Thanksgiving? Do you have something similar that you celebrated while in the UK?

      1. In the UK there really is no thanksgiving. We just have to hold out for family celebrations until Christmas. But I’m all up for adding another holiday to the calendar and my 6yo daughter is pretty much all American these days so we have to get on board! Any excuse to enjoy good food and company is a good thing 🙂

        1. Oh absolutely!! October-December is such a fun time in the year, for kids and adults too. Very soon we’ll start hearing ads and music about how “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” I love hearing that song.

    1. You’re not alone. Most non-Canadians don’t know about it. I only know because of my husband. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  3. Wow you did go to a lot of effort and the food looks yummy! I’d love to take part in thanksgiving one day as it’s not something we have here in the U.K. It’s looks like such a fab day spent with friends and family and lots of food! I’m glad you had a good day with and that your little one had a good first thanks giving. I love that your children will get to celebrate to many multi cultural holidays, its truly amazing. Thank you again for sharing with us at #familyfun xx

    1. Thank you. Thank you. I really pride myself on enabling a multicultural life for my kids which hopefully, they will grow up to appreciate one day. The best part about the hours of Thanksgiving cooking is the leftovers I actually really enjoy making all the items. Thanks again for visiting and commenting.

  4. Wow you do a lot don’t you. I like the fact that Canadian thanksgiving has such a better meaning. I’m surprised we don’t do more for harvest in the UK they celebrate in the churches but that is about it. We should be more thankful for the things we get! I love that bib it’s very cute! Thanks for linking up to #familyfun

    1. I try 🙂 It’s a lot of work but I want my kids to grow up with memories surrounding the appreciation and cultural richness Aaron and I are able to provide.
      I believe a few other cultures also celebrate the harvest. In Northern India, particularly in Punjab, this is celebrated as the Lori Festival.
      Thanks for visiting and commenting.

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