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Planning the Best Thanksgiving Dinner

CLAUDIA_ESPINOZA_Thanksgiving_Dinner

Thanksgiving is one of the greatest holidays of the fall season, in my opinion. Who wouldn’t want a day to just eat or be offered food until your stomach is bursting at the seams? A traditional Thanksgiving day dinner consists of stuffing, pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, and of course the turkey. But now, more and more families are giving Thanksgiving dinners a little twist and some creative but delicious tweaks, especially in diverse Montgomery County. Whether it is a result of vibrant cultural backgrounds or just wanting something new many students and teachers have something different to offer at the table this year. Below are some recipes and tips for preparing a fantastic Thanksgiving meal!

African Pie

One Northwest High School student’s family is from Ghana. They combine the typical mashed potatoes Thanksgiving dinner with different kinds of delicacies. Pumpkin pie is always delicious but African Pies really hit the spot.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/3 cups of flour
  • 1 can of corned beef
  • 1 cup of sliced onion
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons of canned tomatoes

Recipe:

  1. Preheat oven to 360° F.
  2. Make the flour into dough and pan it flat with a rolling pin.
  3. Cut large circular pieces of dough with a large cookie cutter
  4. Mix canned tomatoes, onions, and corned beef together and add some mixture into the middle, but not too much.
  5. Fold into half and press the outer sides down with a fork
  6. Add a little butter on the top of the pastry and place into the overn for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Take out to cool and enjoy!

Samosas

Another student who goes to Northwest has an Indian heritage. For Thanksgiving, her family makes samosas, potato-filled doughy treats that can either be sweet or spicy. The recipe is as follows:

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 cups store-bought refrigerated mashed or frozen mashed potatoes, thawed (about 16 ounces)
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen peas, thawed
  • 115-ounce package refrigerated pie crust
  • 1 jar mango chutney (optional)

Recipe:

  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the curry powder, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the potatoes and peas.
  2. Unroll the piecrusts and cut each into 6 triangles. Place a really big tablespoon of the potato mixture in the center of each piece. Get the corners of the dough and pinch to form a point. Pinch the seams to seal. Place onto a baking sheet.
  3. Bake the samosas until golden or brown, 22 to 25 minutes. Serve with the mango chutney, if using.

In addition, here are some tips for a Thanksgiving dinner that will blow your feathers off!

1) Prepare for anything.

Everyone has that beautiful, fantastic image of the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. But sometimes, things go wrong. The turkey you spent all night seasoning could burn in an instant, or Uncle Joe could end up eating the entire pumpkin pie. Everyone should always have a back up plan or some way to handle things that could easily go wrong.

2) Be a good host.

I know personally that when I go over to my Aunt’s house for Thanksgiving, all of my cousins and I usually sit and wait a long time until the food is ready. To keep your guests happy and interested, have multiple fun things set up in advance. Have a funny holiday movie playing in the background with board games or silly activities planned out. Coloring books are always a go-to for younger family members. Let everyone have some fun.

3) Try something new.

Don’t always bring out the same ancient china that was used for your great-great grandmother’s dinner parties. Spice it up! Have an interesting dining set laid out. The plates could be green with purple polka dots and the glasses to match. Personalize it, and be you.

 4) Have fun!

Thanksgiving only gobbles around once a year. It’s a holiday where the primary feature is family and togetherness. It’s a time to count your blessings and make new memories with the closest people around you. Enjoy yourself and eat until you can’t anymore!

I encourage you to use these tips to make your Thanksgiving the best you have ever had! Have a safe and fabulous holiday!

 

Article by Jozette Allah-Mensah, MoCo Student staff writer.

Image by Claudia Espinoza, MoCo Student graphic artist.

About The MoCo Student

In 2012, Student Member of the Board of Education John Mannes created a countywide press network to help build a conduit to share fresh and relevant information written by youth to the wider Montgomery County student body.

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