--By Julia Bainbridge, Bon Appétit
As a kid, Molly Wizenberg had no idea that sauerkraut was not a traditional Thanksgiving dish to most Americans. "It was always there, on the sideboard, as inevitable as turkey," she writes in the Cooking Life column of our current issue. "That's part of the condition of being a kid: Your family, no matter the oddities or inconsistencies, still seems perfectly normal."
Intrigued by Molly's story--and by her recipe for Sauerkraut with Gin and Caraway--we polled our Facebook fans for their unusual Thanksgiving traditions. And what do you know? We found some gems:
-Deborah Tolda Kohler: My father's side of the family is Portuguese. Every year we serve stuffing made with chorizo. Yum!
-Allen Zeitgeist Greenky: Fresh Dungeoness crab. The end of November used to be the opening of the crab season in the San Fran and Bay Area, and when there were still fishermen at Fishermen's Wharf you could get some of the first catch of the season. Since this was the era of overcooked unbrined un-'bagged' dried-out turkey, I loved the crab the best.
-Erika Penzer Kerekes: We do cabbage, too--braised red cabbage in red wine vinegar and brown sugar, finished with a touch of butter.
-Janet Ciccaglione: I am carrying on the traditional Italian Thanksgiving Dinner, which was started by my husband's grandmother--raviolis, meatballs, and braciole filled with garlic, parsley and Parmesan cheese. My kids were the only ones in school who didn't have turkey on Thanksgiving. (We save the turkey dinner for the Saturday after Thanksgiving.)
-Susan Combs: There are lots of Russ/Poles/Ukrains at my family gatherings, so kovbasa has to be part of the spread.
-Mandy Higgins: Love to see pierogies on the table at Thanksgiving!
-Michele Stanley: With the exception of my sausage cornbread stuffing, I never serve the same thing twice at Thanksgiving and every year the menu has a new theme. You never know what you're gonna get at my house.
What non-traditional Thanksgiving traditions does your family have?
Photo Credit: Elinor Carucci
More from Bon Appétit:
- 6 Steps to a Stress-Free Thanksgiving
- Instant Party Appetizers
- What to Do if You Hate Turkey
- Complete Thanksgiving Menu Generator
- 25 Perfect Thanksgiving Pies