I write about historical England, but one of my favorite holidays of the year is Thanksgiving. It was created by Abraham Lincoln and celebrates the first year of survival of the colonists who settled on this continent in the 17th Century. (But don't quote me on any of this, because I am ashamed to admit that my U.S. History is rather shaky at best). Canadians celebrate similarly in October, but I think we are the only country in the world that gets the fourth Thursday in November off.
It's not the uniqueness or the patriotism that gets me, though. And it's not that the day dedicated to feasting. It's the fact that the celebration is centered around getting together with loved ones. There are no presents, no fireworks, no bunnies. For me, Thanksgiving has always been about bringing people together, just to be.
And to eat.
My favorite Thanksgiving dish is something my mother introduced into family gatherings when I was a kid. She and her friend looked at the table sagging with turkey, potatoes, yams and dressing and said, "There are no green vegetables here." And because she had young children, who (given the choice) would rather eat turkey than broccoli, she devised a clever ruse to get all of us to eat our vegetables.
Our pre-dinner appetizer was vegetables and dip. And not just any dip. A special dip. That we only get on Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's still my favorite food of Thanksgiving and I look forward to it every year. It's especially good with fresh, raw green beans.
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2/3 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp. dill
1 Tbsp. parsley
1Tbsp. grated onion
1 (scant) Tbsp. Beau Monde seasoning
Just mix everything together, let sit for a bit (or not) and serve with carrot sticks, broccoli, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, snap peas, cauliflower (if you like that kind of thing) and, of course, green beans.
Beau Monde seasoning can be tough to find in some places, but it adds the necessary salt and je ne sais quoi to the dip. I've never tried to omit it, but if you do, let me know what you think!
Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends and happy last week of November to everyone else. I'll be taking the week off social media to spend time with my family (and to read over the first pass pages of BRAZEN). See you in December!
'Help! What am I?' by Karen Maitland
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