Happy Thanksgiving Day! I am so thankful and full of joy on this special holiday. I know it's early but are you gearing up to stuff your bellies today with all of the good food that your family cooks and the tons of leftovers that you and your family will be eating three days later, still? Me too. This holiday is the kickoff to the holiday season: Black Friday (that's a holiday for some of y'all), Christmas and New Year's Eve. Get your "I'm thankful for...." speech ready cause you know one of our cousins is going to kick that off, as we stand in a circle, holding hands before we bless the food. In my family, on Thanksgiving Day, we eat of course, then the men and boys watch football, we play games, sip adult beverages, dance and just love on family. So for today, I decided to share my favorite foods that you will most likely find on my first plate of many.
Here are my top 5 favorite foods to eat on Thanksgiving Day:
1. Turkey (see image above)
Out of all of the meat selections on the Thanksgiving Day table spread, I always eat slices of turkey first (if you're a fancy eater, you can top it off with brown gravy). Mainly because I eat ham, fried chicken or roast beef year round so turkey is like a luxury on Thanksgiving for me. I will every now and then cook turkey legs and wings in the crockpot, but turkey fresh out of the oven on Thanksgiving just sets the tone for the holiday to me.
2. Collard Greens
I am borderline obsessed with greens, specifically collard greens. I love making this peppered/pickled sauce that I spread over my greens to add flavor and a spice to them. Most people just pour hot sauce on their greens but I think greens are Mother Nature's finest work of art when it comes to plant based foods. I cook collard or turnip greens at least two times a month or I freeze leftovers and enjoy them periodically with other meals. I love a lot of meat in my greens any one of these will do: smoked hammocks, turkey necks, sausage, salt pork, etc. I am known to steal the meat out of the pot (shhhhhh don't tell my family lol).
3. Black eyed peas and rice
I cook beans or peas weekly, I am a beans and rice kind of gal. I love cooking black eyed peas during the holidays with rice and a few fresh okra (I keep the okra in the freezer until I'm ready to cook them with the peas) in the pot makes this dish delicious. Just as with the greens, I love topping my black eyed peas with my peppered/pickled sauce to add that spiciness to them. I love spicy foods so if two out three foods on my plate are not spicy, chances are, I'm putting some spice on that third food item. Again, I love meat in my black eyed peas (same meat that I listed in collard greens above).
4. Dressing with cranberry sauce
My mouth is watering now just thinking about some home cooked dressing with cranberry sauce. I like the cranberry sauce that you have to slice. Authentic, homemade dressing gives me life. Everybody makes dressing different and that's probably a whole other blog post but I'm usually satisfied with whoever cooks the dressing on Thanksgiving. I've actually learned how to cook dressing myself. Usually anything that I enjoy eating from other people, I learn how to cook it myself so that when I crave that food, I can cook it myself! Now that's how you know you're grown, when you can cook basically anything you want on that Thanksgiving table at the family gathering.
I decided against showing you an actual picture of cooked chitterlings because I know the sight of them grosses people out. For those of us who love them, drowned in hot sauce, this was the reason behind this blog post today. Where else can I talk about my love for chitterlings? Chitterlings give me life on Thanksgiving Day. I can remember as a child, my mother coming home with buckets of these red tubs fillled with chitterlings that she would spend hours cleaning. My mother still cooks chitterlings twice a year and my family races to that pot as soon as the blessing is said, to make sure we get several servings while they last. Rarely is an occasion where we get to take chitterlings home for leftovers. Chitterlings are my uttermost favorite Thanksgiving Day food to eat. Don't judge me!
I pray that you are enjoying your Thanksgiving Day holiday with your family. Family means a lot to me, even if we don't always agree or get along, we're still family. I am missing my family in Chicago this holiday but I look forward to seeing all the pictures of the food that everyone will be eating. I'm thankful that we are blessed with Thanksgiving traditions and I encourage you to invite someone over who doesn't have family and share your Thanksgiving Day dinner with them or the homeless.
What are your top favorite foods to eat on Thanksgiving Day? Post them in the comments.