“My sister-in-law is from Argentina, my mother and father were German immigrants, my husband’s family is Greek. So we have their ethnic traditions surrounding the traditional Thanksgiving dinner.”
We quizzed her for specifics on hosting a melting-pot Thanksgiving.
1. What time is dinner? We start at 12:30 and go to 10, so we have a long Thanksgiving. We eat dinner at 2:30, then the cousins come for dessert at 5. At 7 we drag all the food back out again and have round two. I’m not kidding.
2. What’s first? For appetizers we have dolmades — that’s grape leaves — Greek olives and feta. That’s a must-have for my husband, Greg.
3. What other dishes are a must? We have to have mashed potatoes, stuffing, AND noodles. Thick kluski-style noodles cooked in turkey broth, served over the mashed potatoes. AND rolls. It’s carbocide here.
4. Stuffing inside or outside the bird? My mom does stuffing, so we do it outside. I put oranges inside my turkey. Got that tip from Emeril.
5. What dish are you doing this year for the first time? I do a Key lime punch that everyone loves — has vanilla vodka in it. We might incorporate that this year. We always do a Spanish champagne and a German beer.
6. What’s for dessert? I make a pumpkin pie, but maybe two pieces will be gone because we have flan that my sister-in-law makes, and strudel my mom makes and baklava.
7. Who does dishes? My children — I have teenagers.
8. Do you decorate? Food is the centerpiece, but we have candles. And I have a turkey planter that I drag out every year that gets made fun of.
9. Aside from food, what are your traditions? We always do the Thanksgiving prayer. There’s definitely football on the TV. And we play euchre in the evening, and board games, to keep the evening rolling along.
10. Best advice for hosting Thanksgiving? Do a lot of preplanning. Have a timetable. Don’t get stressed out. Enjoy the holiday — don’t worry whether food is perfect.